Anna wakes up in a vast and mysterious undersea temple with amnesia. By unlocking the enchanted Imperial Relics she must rediscover her own lost identity and the forbidden secrets of Dark Empress before it’s too late.
User reviews:
Overall:
Mixed (77 reviews) - 68% of the 77 user reviews for this game are positive.
Release Date: Feb 21, 2010

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About This Game

A beautiful young woman wakes up in a vast and mysterious undersea temple complex, not knowing who or where she is. She soon learns that she has been frozen in a death-like slumber in a secret crypt for over a century. Now she must escape the crypt and explore the ancient underwater chambers to unravel the mystery. Use your Hidden Object and puzzle-solving skills to help Anna unlock the enchanted Royal Relics, reveal the terrible secrets of the Dark Empress, and piece together her own shocking identity … before its too late! Along the way she encounters strange and mysterious characters. But who truly wants to help her? And who wants her dead? The fate of humanity lies in her hands.


Features :

• Over 140 breathtaking scenes in a vast undersea temple and cloud city.
• Immersive locations, fantastic story and unique object hunting and mini-games.
• Meet mysterious characters to gain vital clues. Who can you trust? Who will deceive?
• Stop the Evil Empress from destroying the underwater world.
• Escape to the utopian city in the clouds.

System Requirements

    Minimum:
    • OS: Windows XP/Vista/7
    • Processor: 1.0 GHz
    • Memory: 512 MB RAM
    • Graphics: DirectX compatible video card
    • DirectX: Version 8.1
    • Storage: 200 MB available space
Customer reviews
Customer Review system updated! Learn more
Overall:
Mixed (77 reviews)
Recently Posted
Tsuki❤
( 2.1 hrs on record )
Posted: May 28
Voice acting of Anna is some of the worst I've ever heard. The HO scenes are fairly challenging, but only because they're blurry. I recommend but only if it's at least 60% off.
Helpful? Yes No Funny
CrystalBooness
( 5.5 hrs on record )
Posted: May 17
I highly enjoyed this game and the visuals. The graphics were good with good games. The story was pretty good.
Helpful? Yes No Funny
prositen
( 2.2 hrs on record )
Posted: April 20
Mediocre hidden object puzzle with stupid plot and sub-par voice acting.


If you want to buy it, wait for a sale.
Helpful? Yes No Funny
scrawford65
( 2.3 hrs on record )
Posted: March 20
It just isn't an enjoyable game. The frail plotline does nothing to excite-I can hardly remember it through the haze of I Spy puzzles. That's really all this is, a low-quality string of I Spy puzzles. If you're really so into that you'll pay money for it, I suggest purchasing the original CD-ROM I Spy games. Or the books. This is not an enjoyable game in any sense. The worst part is that the puzzles don't connect with the story or the game. You have to find so many hidden objects to advancec to the next room. Why? No reason, it's just the solitary gameplay feature. Not worth five dollars. Maybe worth 1.
Helpful? Yes No Funny
crazipowerz
( 2.1 hrs on record )
Posted: February 28
Not too bad of a HOG in general. Graphics and resolution are a bit blurry in general. Story and voice acting aren't amazing, but at the same time still decent. Overall I would say it's worth a sale buy for sure. Very short, and the puzzles aren't very hard but as a total package pretty good. I would play the next one if they managed to make it.
Helpful? Yes No Funny
Aphelia
( 0.8 hrs on record )
Posted: January 21
Empress of the Deep is a hidden object game that follows a young girl called Anna, who finds herself awoken in a tomb underneath the sea.

There isn't really much to say about the game, which speaks volumes about the game itself.

Pros:
Nice art
Interesting story line

Cons:
Voice acting that sometimes disables you from becoming fully immersed in the story

Something I wish to go indepth with with a con, is the fact that a lot of the items you were asked to find weren't what I thought they would be. I would be looking for one item when in fact it was another item that I needed, but because of what could only be considered a lanuage barrier between different english speaking countries, it did make it difficult at times.

Would I recommend this game? All in all I did have fun with the game, and did find a lot of the puzzles fun to solve.
Helpful? Yes No Funny
Trtlman
( 4.0 hrs on record )
Posted: January 10
I love these types of games and this one is awesome. Good mystery story and a little eerie. A quick enough game but with a story. Quick play but the story is great.
Helpful? Yes No Funny
Barbarella Psychadella
( 3.4 hrs on record )
Posted: November 21, 2015
It was fun for a while, and by fun I mean casual fun. Nothing exciting about this game. It's a good way to kill time, but that's about it. The story had a lot of obvious foreshadowing. Do I recommend this game? I wouldn't go telling my sister to play it so I would say, no.
Helpful? Yes No Funny
lex
( 2.4 hrs on record )
Posted: November 20, 2015
Well I bought this game for less then 2 euro which was a bargain really. This game has nice gfx and somewhat of the harder hidden object puzzles in it. The story was ok, nothing too amazing but nice nonetheless. For the price I bought this game you simply cant go wrong!
Recommended.
Helpful? Yes No Funny
KroeboCop
( 3.3 hrs on record )
Posted: November 1, 2015
Very relaxing ambient. But unfortunately had a few good puzzles. 5/10
Helpful? Yes No Funny
Faudraline
( 6.1 hrs on record )
Posted: October 13, 2015
A couple of HOG gamers persistently suggested Empress of the Deep series and I sincerely tried to like this one. For that purpose only, this is my third playthrough of the game, in hopes of catching a glimpse of what I might have missed before. I know that it takes a maximum of 2 hours to finish the game, so it's not a labor, but the spark simply is not there.

Meet our protagonist: Anna. We watch her drifting into the depths of an ocean in the opening cinematic, and then, she opens her eyes in an odd sarcophagus, remembering nothing of her past. She - who is a bit dim witted, may I say - is told that she just woke up from a century old slumber. She is in a mysterious underwater civilization and two unseen companions welcome her: an old man named Jacob who asks for her to try and gather three royal relics to uncover her own destiny, and a nameless young girl who we can only communicate as a fleeting, creepy voice in our head. One asks for our aid to help the sinking civilization by overthrowing the evil empress and the other asks us to activate 10 uncanny orbs to see something cool. Guess who is actually trustworthy?

The setting - besides being a shameless imitation of Bioshock series - is beautiful, and I'd like to congratulate the visual artist on that manner. It looks old - as if taken from an old Myst game, but pretty enough. Is there anything else remotely interesting or exceptional about this game? No. Sadly, the whole game doesn't go even one step further than being a collection of pretty environment design. Voice acting is tedious. Characters speak as they are about to fall asleep half the time. And other times, you can swear that Bollywood has seen better acting performances, with more feeling. Animations are actually old stop-motion presentations, and they look a bit eerie in play, which is not the intended atmosphere, I think.

HOG scenes are horrendously bad, consisting of cut out stock photographs thrown around in blending colored backgrounds. It is nearly impossible to even recognize whatever you are clicking on half the time, so no one should expect for you to actually search for an item that you cannot identify! You'll quickly find yourself abusing the hint button just to get done with the scene. About puzzles; yes, there are some imaginative logic puzzles. But there is no skip option, so either you complete it, or get stuck on the present point until you manage to solve the puzzle. This becomes disengaging pretty quickly. Gameplay? There is a horrible amount of backtracking for a game this short in playing hours, and there is no usable map option for quick transport either.

Still, my major complaint is about the story itself. At the beginning of my blabbering, I mentioned Anna being a bit dim witted. Well, I underestimated. She is downright stupid. I mean, she keeps seeing her own face on a family portrait, side by side with the same girl, and she doesn't get even slightly suspicious of the mischievous little girl voice, who speaks in a tone fitting for Disney villains! We practically see a portrait of the evil empress, carrying those purple orbs all around her, and we still keep activating them! I mean, there should be a limit to how stupid a character can be! In this situation, she was stupid enough to let a maniac blow up the archive of all civilization...

Hailing from Gogii games, I'm not surprised to see a below mediocre game. Their games tend to be either brilliant, or horrible anyhow. What I was surprised is that there is a considerable amount of gamers who are in favor of the series. I didn't play the rest of the series yet, so I'm still hopeful that this shoddy little game doesn't represent all that there is for me to discover in Empress' world. I'll see for myself, and inform you accordingly.

Update: Please bear with this game, 'cause with the following instalments this makes one great trilogy! I'm still annoyed when I think about this one, but I promise you, losing 2 hours with this game worths it when you experience the rest of the series!

Please also check out Lady Storyteller's Curator page here - follow for regular updates on reviews for other games!
Helpful? Yes No Funny
AaToSMeD
( 2.8 hrs on record )
Posted: September 19, 2015
Finished in one sitting! Even though the plot was predictable for me, I still enjoyed the journey of it all. It's a mix of hidden object search and casual puzzle adventure all in one. The environments are beautiful, not a single sight for sore eyes. It's much like reading a comic as the animations are done as if per panel at a time; depending on your taste, this could be a hit or miss. No worries though, if you don't like the animation style, the voice acting will keep you engaged as it is well done. Overall, this is a quality game to sink some time into.
Helpful? Yes No Funny
Wereboar
( 5.5 hrs on record )
Posted: August 29, 2015
Sometimes they return...

Well, this game isn't the newest around. It's also quite simple, and sometimes misleading... not in the way misleading like in mischieviously putting you on a red herring. More like in, I haven't expected this.

The graphics are dated. The sound is also a bit worn, it has quite good voiceacting - though the special effect at the start of the game is overdone. The game can be finished fast.

Pro:
  • Simple to follow story.
  • Not buggy, I encountered no crash during gameplay.
Con:
  • Graphics and HOS are dated.
  • Sound could have been with some less effects.
  • Story is a bit... Well, worn!

Only Recommended with strong conditions

This is a perfect game for beginners of the HOG's genre. It's not a perfect start maybe, but at least it offers a fast and very secure way to give the player some poistive feedback. Veterans won't get happy with the game, since the story is quite weak in this game.
Helpful? Yes No Funny
Vic=HKC=
( 1.9 hrs on record )
Posted: August 15, 2015
Empress of the Deep is putting you in the shoes of Anna, a young woman waking up with no memories in an underwater city. Guided by Jacob, she must find who she is, why she was awaken and who is behind the purple orbs.

Given the fact that the sequels give you some anwsers, yeah, you're in reality royalty that was destined to be the Empress of the Deep... if only your twin sister, hungry with power, didn't try to kill you. And your enemy is... her.

While the game isn't as beautiful as Artifex Mundi's products, Empress of the Deep is way better than Theatre of the Absurd, published by the same enterprise and based on the same mechanisms. But here, the plot doesn't really suffer of plotholes. Besides, the places are also less dark and way more colorfuls. Not that I don't mind dark settings.

The puzzles aren't hard but I never found a skip button. It was: "solve it or forget about finishing the story". The HOG are challenging because the majority of items aren't really seen immediately. Another regret is that the map isn't interactive: you can't go from one place to another by clicking on it.

The soundtrack is good too. The voice acting is also well done. I mean, you don't know who to trust because Jacob and the one behind the purple orbs have trusting voices.

But the best is perhaps the ending. True, it's a To Be Continued (Song of the Blue Whale is coming after). But it is a quite shocking one.

I recommend it. Because well, who never dreamed of being an Empress in a fantasy world?
Helpful? Yes No Funny
выдра
( 3.6 hrs on record )
Posted: August 2, 2015
I found the story to be interesting even if it was nothing new and is been used in many similar games. The world is very pretty, nice to look at and I admired the art many times in my play time. Some items were hard to see in HO scenes but I have seen worse so it did not bother me too much. Puzzles were good quality, not too hard but not too easy either.
Game is good enough for me to want to try it's sequels but I will wait for them to be on good sale before doing that!
Helpful? Yes No Funny
Zeka74
( 2.0 hrs on record )
Posted: August 1, 2015
Its a very generic hidden object game,using the same basic "puzzles" over and over again.Not hard at all and short very short,Dont buy it you can find free games like this on your phone
Helpful? Yes No Funny
Wuzzerator
( 2.6 hrs on record )
Posted: July 28, 2015
Very cutesy but pretty good fun on the whole. I even bought the sequel which was a similarly diverting 3 hours or so.
Helpful? Yes No Funny
Sayanne
( 1.7 hrs on record )
Posted: July 25, 2015
Very good first part of a trilogy.
You play the role of a young girl who wakes up from a type of chryo, but with no memories.
You try to piece things together with the help of a friendly voice.
Helpful? Yes No Funny
lionhart
( 7.1 hrs on record )
Posted: July 24, 2015
I have played all three games in the Empress of the Deep series; they are all very similar and share the same plusses and minuses:

+ Beautiful artwork.
+ Intriguing Myst-like environments.
+ Outstanding sound design.
+ Fun/interesting puzzles.

- Weak story.
- Mediocre voice acting.
- Sometimes frustrating hidden object scenes (due to some objects being very difficult to see/too well hidden).

If you want to give the series a try I would suggest starting with the third game (Legacy of the Phoenix) since it has the most up-to-date graphics and UI. If you like that one, then the first two are more of the same.
Helpful? Yes No Funny
Rejutka Lupex
( 2.0 hrs on record )
Posted: July 18, 2015
A nice idea, but it could use a lot of polishing. And a better ending. Most of the puzzles are quite easy, though later on I had some problems.
The story itself is enjoyable, though a bit bland perhaps. Certainly not as deep as this underwater ark is :-) I think it's mostly the idea of the story (underwater "city" that is called an "ark", an evil empress, you awaking from cryo-sleep, etc...).

Navigation could have been more userfriendly. You have to manually click the navigation arrow no matter where you want to go - a quick travel would be nice.
Or at least arrows that appear instantly, instead of only after a second or so.

I liked the voices, and there is text to the voice as well (always good), but apparently no way to skip the speech (you can skip certain cutscenes).

On the plus side, you get a visual notification when you have done everything in an area, so you don't have to wonder if there might be something you've overlooked.

IMO the biggest letdown is the ending. No subtlety, though a hint of more to come.

I recommend getting it when cheap - it took me 2 hours to get through, so I wouldn't spend more than at most 1 Euro for it.
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Most Helpful Reviews  Overall
41 of 53 people (77%) found this review helpful
3 people found this review funny
Not Recommended
2.9 hrs on record
Posted: July 10, 2015
Despite the lack of any animation, fuzzy hidden object pictures, cringe-worthy voice acting, no fast travel and backwards-walking that makes up half the game... uhhh... and unskippable credits along with a storyline that didn't even make sense, hmmm.

Oh.. I guess that's it.

If you're a fan of hidden object adventures, I'd probably steer clear of this one. Even on sale.
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30 of 36 people (83%) found this review helpful
Not Recommended
6.1 hrs on record
Posted: October 13, 2015
A couple of HOG gamers persistently suggested Empress of the Deep series and I sincerely tried to like this one. For that purpose only, this is my third playthrough of the game, in hopes of catching a glimpse of what I might have missed before. I know that it takes a maximum of 2 hours to finish the game, so it's not a labor, but the spark simply is not there.

Meet our protagonist: Anna. We watch her drifting into the depths of an ocean in the opening cinematic, and then, she opens her eyes in an odd sarcophagus, remembering nothing of her past. She - who is a bit dim witted, may I say - is told that she just woke up from a century old slumber. She is in a mysterious underwater civilization and two unseen companions welcome her: an old man named Jacob who asks for her to try and gather three royal relics to uncover her own destiny, and a nameless young girl who we can only communicate as a fleeting, creepy voice in our head. One asks for our aid to help the sinking civilization by overthrowing the evil empress and the other asks us to activate 10 uncanny orbs to see something cool. Guess who is actually trustworthy?

The setting - besides being a shameless imitation of Bioshock series - is beautiful, and I'd like to congratulate the visual artist on that manner. It looks old - as if taken from an old Myst game, but pretty enough. Is there anything else remotely interesting or exceptional about this game? No. Sadly, the whole game doesn't go even one step further than being a collection of pretty environment design. Voice acting is tedious. Characters speak as they are about to fall asleep half the time. And other times, you can swear that Bollywood has seen better acting performances, with more feeling. Animations are actually old stop-motion presentations, and they look a bit eerie in play, which is not the intended atmosphere, I think.

HOG scenes are horrendously bad, consisting of cut out stock photographs thrown around in blending colored backgrounds. It is nearly impossible to even recognize whatever you are clicking on half the time, so no one should expect for you to actually search for an item that you cannot identify! You'll quickly find yourself abusing the hint button just to get done with the scene. About puzzles; yes, there are some imaginative logic puzzles. But there is no skip option, so either you complete it, or get stuck on the present point until you manage to solve the puzzle. This becomes disengaging pretty quickly. Gameplay? There is a horrible amount of backtracking for a game this short in playing hours, and there is no usable map option for quick transport either.

Still, my major complaint is about the story itself. At the beginning of my blabbering, I mentioned Anna being a bit dim witted. Well, I underestimated. She is downright stupid. I mean, she keeps seeing her own face on a family portrait, side by side with the same girl, and she doesn't get even slightly suspicious of the mischievous little girl voice, who speaks in a tone fitting for Disney villains! We practically see a portrait of the evil empress, carrying those purple orbs all around her, and we still keep activating them! I mean, there should be a limit to how stupid a character can be! In this situation, she was stupid enough to let a maniac blow up the archive of all civilization...

Hailing from Gogii games, I'm not surprised to see a below mediocre game. Their games tend to be either brilliant, or horrible anyhow. What I was surprised is that there is a considerable amount of gamers who are in favor of the series. I didn't play the rest of the series yet, so I'm still hopeful that this shoddy little game doesn't represent all that there is for me to discover in Empress' world. I'll see for myself, and inform you accordingly.

Update: Please bear with this game, 'cause with the following instalments this makes one great trilogy! I'm still annoyed when I think about this one, but I promise you, losing 2 hours with this game worths it when you experience the rest of the series!

Please also check out Lady Storyteller's Curator page here - follow for regular updates on reviews for other games!
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31 of 42 people (74%) found this review helpful
2 people found this review funny
Not Recommended
3.2 hrs on record
Posted: May 26, 2014
It's not uncommon to see hidden object games (hence referred to as HOGs) riffing off other games for their source material in order to continue to the ever constant stream of releases with little in the way of originality. In terms of Empress of the Deep that comes in the form of an unapologetic retelling of Bioshock, as told through the eyes of someone who skimmed a synopsis of its plot and then asked a fifth grader to rewrite it based off the most prominent themes and moments.

A mysterious voice on the radio, a creepy girl asking for help, all taking place in an underwater city meant to be the last bastion of humanity. I'm not entirely opposed to casual games trying to do their own version of something I've already seen, and in some cases find it hilarious the way the developers get around the fact they are making a game on a much smaller scale and budget, but EotD is so painfully written and voiced that it just feels insulting. The plot is contrived to the very last moment, with boneheaded characters that constantly feel the need to reexplain the simplistic plot to you through painfully voiced dialog. The voice actors sound incredibly bored the entire time, and almost seem to be missing the correct tone on purpose as never once does a characters reflection actually fit with what they say. It's hamfisted and forgettable, making it even more obvious that little attention was payed to writing anything half decent for what was likely seen as casual shovelware by the publisher.

I'd be able to forgive the horrendous narrative if the object finding was itself enjoyable, but it's hard to have fun when you're locked at a resolution so low that it's near impossible to make anything out from the background. More often than not I was simply guessing at what I was clicking on, as objects are blurry to the point of being invisible, which really kills the entire point of this sort of game. The handful of logic puzzles inserted among the traditional HOG gameplay are a nice touch, but are so easy they feel like throwaway additions.

I might seem rather down on Empress of the Deep, but it's not that it's especially bad for what a lot of people consider a HOG to be; it's that with an influx of excellent ones like Angelica Weaver and The Twin Vaccines, this sort of halfbaked mediocrity is no longer what we should expect from the genre. It deserves better, and that quality is out there hidden among all the fluff. If you've already devoured the other HOGs in your near vicinity you could do a lot worse, but that doesn't change Empress of the Deep from being a wholly lackluster experience that's better left forgotten (and perhaps chucked into the ocean for irony's sake).
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10 of 11 people (91%) found this review helpful
Recommended
10.3 hrs on record
Posted: October 7, 2014
This hidden object game is a slightly different flavor than the normal variety. It is very puzzle oriented and the puzzles come with no directions. However, if you're familiar with these types of games, you should be able to figure everything out. The story is very cryptic but that actually helps the whole feel of the game, which I liked very much. For an older game, the graphics are quite nice. The hidden object areas are a bit blurry but not bad enough to stump me for long. Even though the game is dated, it DOES have voice acting - sometimes good, sometimes not so much, but always interesting. One thing I absolutely love about Empress of the Deep is that once you've finished everything there is to do in an area, an "Area Cleared" Star appears. You never have to worry about coming back to that area to find or do something else. And it gives a nice sense of accomplishment. I wish more hidden object/puzzle games incorporated that feature. The whole game has a very surreal feel to it. It's not a long game but I enjoyed every minute of it. There are also two sequels to this game that continue the story, if you're curious about what happens next. Because of the length of the games, I'd recommend trying to find them on sale. But they're good enough that I'm currently replaying them all. If you like a game with an intriguing atmosphere and plenty of puzzles, check this out!
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12 of 15 people (80%) found this review helpful
Recommended
2.3 hrs on record
Posted: May 14, 2014
Surprising little gem of a casual game. It's an adventure/hidden object mix, which has become quite common, but leans more on its adventure side than hidden object, and instead of heaping in hidden object scenes every few steps, includes a selection of different kinds of puzzles, some of which were fairly unique. The hidden object portion is the standard fare you'd expect, perhaps even a slight bit sub-par with the amount of objects I felt I was squinting to make out (even with a hint, some were still unrecognizable in my opinion).

The adventure portion, however, more than made up for it. It won't shine in the way a full-fledged adventure game would, but as a casual title, it can be clever with the sorts of puzzles it throws at the player and gives a decent number of rooms to explore. This, though, leads to some backtracking, some of which is particularly unnecessary. Without spoiling anything, the ending makes you revisit nearly every screen to click a single object on each, which was a rather bland way of padding the already short game length.

The narrative is decent, but nothing groundbreaking. You'll see any major plot points coming a mile away, but it still gets the job done and gives you a reason to wander the game world. It's also fully voiced, and the actors do well enough a majority of the time.

One thing to point out is it ends with a "To be continued." It does complete its own self-contained story at least, and the next part is available on Steam.

Lastly, it clocks in at a measly two hours. It's worth the ride for fans of the genre, but only on sale. (As of writing this, it's 50 cents, and that's a steal :) ).
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7 of 7 people (100%) found this review helpful
Recommended
3.0 hrs on record
Posted: October 25, 2014
Nice graphics, standard story. Took me 3 hours to complete. If you can grab this game for $2 or less, go for it.

The strongest word used is "damnable", so I consider it suitable for ages 8+. The hidden objects comprise 50% of the gameplay and aren't particularily challenging, and there's no penalty for using the hint button. The puzzles comprise the other 50% and are based on classic concepts like "tower of Hanoi", which makes solutions easy to find online if you get stuck. This is NOT a challenging game and I suspect the intended audience is tweens through teens.

I appreciate the fact that I wasn't forced to replay any of the hidden object scenes: once I completed a hidden object area, it was done. I was glad to see the game using female voice acting and programmers/designers. Show your tweens that women can be a part of the computer gaming industry.
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9 of 12 people (75%) found this review helpful
Recommended
2.1 hrs on record
Posted: May 14, 2014
Got the game for 50 cents and brought me 2 hours of playtime. Game got full voice acting,interesting and fun puzzles(though some of them are hard to understand what you need to do),and mediocre story. Also there is a marker to tell you if you completed an area or not(completing means you completed the puzzle in there or found a " hidden" item). Puzzle varies with mostly hidden objects but also there are complete a picture,find the difference,find X amount of Y,light an object and such so you gonna have some fun. But also game got some stuff that really annoyed me at the end like misplaced sound effects,annoying movement(to pass through every area till you get to the desirable one) and some puzzles were designed really well and could make you rage a bit.
Overall if you get this cheap - $0.5-1 it will be worth it.
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9 of 12 people (75%) found this review helpful
Not Recommended
1.8 hrs on record
Posted: October 11, 2014
I play a lot of HO games and this game can't really be recommended. I finished the game in 100min which isn't a lot, not even for HO games. The story is very linear and while this is maybe not the most important part of an HO game, it really stands out.
Most importantly the HO mini games are no fun. This is mainly caused by the lack of high-resolution textures. The game only runs in 800x600 windowed or the same resolution stretched. The artwork quality is pretty average too. It's rendered with a grainy look and isn't hand-drawn. Together this makes objects harder to find than necessary. Add to this the bad font choice where you can't tell h from b, hat or bat? Animations are not fluid. Overall it's hard to believe that this game is from 2010. It looks and feels like a game from the 90s, when PCs had 800x600 resolution.
Other puzzles aren't that interesting. But then, I can't be bothered with the 8-queens-on-chessboard-problem. I prefer fresh types of puzzles.

Bottomline: Unless you're really into HO games, avoid. There are many better ones. If you want it, wait for bundles or get it cheap under 1 <<currency>>.
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6 of 7 people (86%) found this review helpful
Recommended
3.7 hrs on record
Posted: April 12, 2015
Empress of the Deep is a quick dip into a still, ancient, underwater world. It's a little like Amerzone with more water and hidden objects, which makes it a happy light entertainment for, say, downtime at work, which is where I played it in 15- and 20-minute slices. My 3.7 hours in the game involved reminding myself where I was and what I was doing since I wasn't playing straight through, and I reckon an average player would complete it in three hours or less.

The game is a pretty slide-show exploration adventure set in a deserted underwater habitat called the Ark, where you are awakened at the beginning with little memory to explain why you're there and, of course, with a destiny to discover. This is pretty much par for the course, but happily the voice acting is fairly subdued and the plot is delivered calmly, so the routine nature of the story doesn't compete against the pretty scenery.

You're met early on by Jacob, a disembodied voice that will come to you from time to time over your little handheld device thingy (map, clues, notes, and collections) with encouragement and vague instructions. He tells you to find the three parts of a family artifact, and you're off through a trio of silent, giant pavilions. A furtive little-girl voice will join in later, and she and Jacob push and pull for your trust until the end.

The art is beautiful, and not especially detailed. It's pleasant to push through and ultimately feels like an inert high-fantasy world of science, though without the splashy excesses of, say, Rapture. There isn't much to explore - the eye captures each screen quickly unless there are puzzles present - but I thought from the bones of the design that the game idly aspired to Myst as an influence, rather than entirely embracing its hidden-object heritage.

Still, it is absolutely a casual game, with none of the crazy-making that kind of ruined Myst for me back in the day. You'll push a button in one scene, activate an orb in another, collect a few stray inventory items here and there, and move similarly through the peaceful scenery at a good clip. The game introduces an "Area Finished" star icon that displays in the upper left of each screen when all actions there have been completed, and it's a great convenience. Less usefully, it awards you flowers when you finish puzzle segments, and you're meant to collect them all, but since they arrive automatically as you progress through the story and don't do anything but sit on their collection page, it's easy to forget that they are there.

A flurry of action at the end contains a satisfactory reveal, as well as putting the player into position for part two.
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5 of 6 people (83%) found this review helpful
Recommended
1.6 hrs on record
Posted: September 17, 2014
Empress of the Deep probably was a good HOG at some point, but it didn't age well. If you really like the genre, you may give this a try. If not, look elsewhere.
I was torn whether to recommend it or not, but I feel it's just about good enough if you get it very cheap (i.e. at a huge discount).

The game in detail:

# It has only one game mode. It's fairly easy, and the hint button recharges quickly. There's a random clicking penalty, that doesn't really do much (your cursor moves around wildly for a bit).

# The graphics aren't good. The HO scenes are blurry, and sometimes, the objects are very difficult to be spotted. Awkwardly, most screens have only one item lying around (usually in plain sight), and once you pick it up, the screen is finished. It felt like a great waste of potential to me.

# There are a few mini-games but nothing extraordinary.

# You'll spend a good deal of time backtracking. There's a map, but it's pretty useless. You can't use it to "teleport", and it doesn't indicate the unfinished screens. Thus, the backtracking gets pretty annoying.

# It's quite short. It took me just 1.5 hours to finish it, and I read all the dialogues, watched all the cutscenes, and played all minigames.

# The game doesn't have achievements, but for some reason, you collect flowers. They seemed very out of place to me, didn't do anything, and were impossible to miss.

# The story is somewhat decent, but you can tell the big twist right from when the characters are introduced.

# The voice overs and music are all right.
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6 of 8 people (75%) found this review helpful
Recommended
1.9 hrs on record
Posted: August 15, 2015
Empress of the Deep is putting you in the shoes of Anna, a young woman waking up with no memories in an underwater city. Guided by Jacob, she must find who she is, why she was awaken and who is behind the purple orbs.

Given the fact that the sequels give you some anwsers, yeah, you're in reality royalty that was destined to be the Empress of the Deep... if only your twin sister, hungry with power, didn't try to kill you. And your enemy is... her.

While the game isn't as beautiful as Artifex Mundi's products, Empress of the Deep is way better than Theatre of the Absurd, published by the same enterprise and based on the same mechanisms. But here, the plot doesn't really suffer of plotholes. Besides, the places are also less dark and way more colorfuls. Not that I don't mind dark settings.

The puzzles aren't hard but I never found a skip button. It was: "solve it or forget about finishing the story". The HOG are challenging because the majority of items aren't really seen immediately. Another regret is that the map isn't interactive: you can't go from one place to another by clicking on it.

The soundtrack is good too. The voice acting is also well done. I mean, you don't know who to trust because Jacob and the one behind the purple orbs have trusting voices.

But the best is perhaps the ending. True, it's a To Be Continued (Song of the Blue Whale is coming after). But it is a quite shocking one.

I recommend it. Because well, who never dreamed of being an Empress in a fantasy world?
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3 of 3 people (100%) found this review helpful
Recommended
1.8 hrs on record
Posted: February 27, 2015
I originally played this on my iPod touch forever ago and enjoyed it quite a lot, enough that I picked it up again here for another playthrough and plan to pick up the sequels.

That said, there are a few things to take into consideration if you're looking at buying this:

1. This is a combination of puzzles and hidden object scenes, with items to find in the world for clues or to complete puzzles. If you want straight HO, you may not appreciate the puzzle/adventure aspect, and if you're a puzzler that doesn't enjoy HO scenes, you also might want to give it a miss.

2. The graphics are older and while it didn't excessively bother me (I grew up with an old 386 so I get strangely nostalgic for ancient graphics), it does make some of the HO scenes difficult. This isn't because objects are well hidden but simply because the scenes can be dark or grainy.

3. This is not a long game. I took about two hours to playthrough this time on Steam, and it took a little bit longer the first time on my iPod. This was at a leisurely pace, without rushing much, and with a couple of unpaused breaks for various reasons. Actual playtime was probably closer to 90 minutes.

4. The $4.99 price tag is a little steep for what you get. However, I've seen it on sale more than once and I picked it up myself for 75% off; paying $1.24 for it is totally reasonable in my opinion if it's a style of game you like.

TL;DR: Recommended if you can pick it up on sale and if you don't mind some graphically-subpar HO scenes mixed with some decent puzzles.
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5 of 7 people (71%) found this review helpful
Not Recommended
2.6 hrs on record
Posted: September 20, 2014
While some puzzles are pretty decent, the hidden object part is simply horrible. Most of the scenes represent a primordial soup where you have no choice but to blindly poke around hoping to catch something. No fun in that.

You can't really expect much from a budget HOG in terms of narrative, but many developers at least try to spice up the usual boredom in some or another way. Not the case here, unfortunately. You get all the thickness of undiluted tedium you can get, with no real bonuses to cheer up your miserable in-game existence.

I surely will think twice before buying anything else done by Gogii Games in the future, even if it goes only for half a dollar on a sale, and I suggest you do the same.
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2 of 2 people (100%) found this review helpful
Recommended
2.4 hrs on record
Posted: October 25, 2014
Two hours to complete. Nice little story. The puzzles and find the objects were either VERY easy for VERY hard. If you fiddle with the puzzles long enough you figure them out. For some of the hidden objects I had to use the hint button. The graphics were nice and the voice acting was good as well. It is a suprisingly evil tale. Overall nice little way to waste two hours.
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3 of 4 people (75%) found this review helpful
Recommended
1.5 hrs on record
Posted: December 25, 2014
Short version: 68%
Myst-like gameplay and Verne-esque design meets the classic hidden object genre in this short and mediocre title, the first chapter of a much better trilogy.

Long version:
Empress of the Deep: The Darkest Secret looks and feels like a Myst type first person adventure game where photo-based hidden object scenes replaced the classic mind-twisters, only with a much shorter– roughly two hours long– play time.

The story is fairly simple: the (badly voice-acted) protagonist wakes up alone in an undersea museum/mausoleum, which she needs to escape from with the help of a holographic guardian, before the evil Empress kills her.

None of this sounds particularly special, but two things make Darkest Secret stand out. The first is the visual design: not that it was never seen before, but how greatly it works in throughout the trilogy. And the second is that it is an actual trilogy, planned and executed in three games, not just some sequels slapped onto a semi-successful title. And the overall story, starting right here, will be greater than the sum of its parts.
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1 of 1 people (100%) found this review helpful
Recommended
2.8 hrs on record
Posted: September 11, 2014
I'm recommending this game, but you should remember that honestly it's a less-than-average game, but it's good enough to distract you for an hour or two and hopefully you won't regret spending that time. The gameplay is pretty much exactly would you find in pretty much every other hidden object game. It's very linear, so you don't have to think about the story too much if you're not into it. Some of the puzzles were tough, but I'm not good at puzzles anyway so that's not a very objective answer. You do have the option of skipping after you hear the hint.

All in all, good distraction, but not worth an investment of time and thought for story. The voice acting isn't that good so remember to mute it in game if it'll bug you. Buy it on sale.
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1 of 1 people (100%) found this review helpful
Recommended
4.2 hrs on record
Posted: September 16, 2014
I give this game a 4/5 Stars.

As a HIDDEN OBJECTS Adventure game, it was one of the best of that genre that I have played. I originally assumed it was a game for children because it started out so easy, however the puzzles rapidly (too abruptly) shifted from solve in your sleep to ones I finally got frustrated with and looked up the solutions. It also had a handy Hint/SKIP Puzzle system so I wasn't too frustrated when I got stuck, but I did want to know how to solve one or two of them that stumped me, not just move past the obstacle.

The hidden objects puzzle while using a telescope to scan an area was very unique. Plus finding puzzle clues based on their scientific classification names, matching star maps, etc. were all unique for this genre.

The game was colorful, exotic, and interesting. I thought the "surprise ending" was way too obvious (again, was this game originally aimed at children?), which is why I only gave it 4/5 stars. It felt like the plot was insulting my intelligence/situational awareness, but it forced you to complete all the steps to create the race against the clock situation at the end game.

I recommend this game if you like Hidden Object Adventures!
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1 of 1 people (100%) found this review helpful
1 person found this review funny
Recommended
2.5 hrs on record
Posted: May 5, 2015
Averagely entertaining game. I like the art through most of the game though the style makes it even harder to see the hidden objects in the puzzles. The font is pretty terrible. Sound and music is decent, though for some reason the voice of the main character annoyed me though the same person voices two other characters in the game whose voices was perfectly fine.

You control Anna, who recently woke up from coma and explores a small underwater world trying to find out who you are and what's going on. You encounter two characters who help you on your way.

Very linear story with a lot of backtracking, the hidden objects outside of the puzzles are overly easy to find. The hint button is there throughout the game so you'll never be stuck. There is no punishment for not getting puzzles right, if you mess around too much you can skip them and on the hidden object puzzles the hint button has a fairly low recharge and no penalty for use.

The map is mostly completely useless. For some reason you get a flower as a kind of achievement for every level you finish, though the flowers seem to do nothing other than be a collectable.

This is game 1 in a series, but has a decent ending in itself.

I suspect this game would be enjoyed the most by kids and pre-teens. Not a bad game directly, just very 'meh' if you're older than that, though the puzzles in this game felt harder than the ones in the 2nd game. Buy on high discount sale if at all.

Voted recommended in lack of 'meh' button.
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2 of 3 people (67%) found this review helpful
Recommended
5.5 hrs on record
Posted: August 29, 2015
Sometimes they return...

Well, this game isn't the newest around. It's also quite simple, and sometimes misleading... not in the way misleading like in mischieviously putting you on a red herring. More like in, I haven't expected this.

The graphics are dated. The sound is also a bit worn, it has quite good voiceacting - though the special effect at the start of the game is overdone. The game can be finished fast.

Pro:
  • Simple to follow story.
  • Not buggy, I encountered no crash during gameplay.
Con:
  • Graphics and HOS are dated.
  • Sound could have been with some less effects.
  • Story is a bit... Well, worn!

Only Recommended with strong conditions

This is a perfect game for beginners of the HOG's genre. It's not a perfect start maybe, but at least it offers a fast and very secure way to give the player some poistive feedback. Veterans won't get happy with the game, since the story is quite weak in this game.
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3 of 5 people (60%) found this review helpful
Recommended
2.6 hrs on record
Posted: June 25, 2014
I was always apprehensive of Point & Click games; mostly because I couldn't think they could be fun which is far from the truth, recent titles such as The Wolf Among Us and The Walking Dead showed me how great they can be. Having an indepth and engaging story, deep characters need not also be coupled with the best graphics or modern game-play which works to shoe-horn in every aspect.
Seriously, if you've played any recent games from 'AAA Developers/Publishers' like EA or Activision, you'll no doubt see how they've attempted to cram everything from stealth elements, to puzzles to even racing into games that neither need it nor gamers who want it. Konami added forced stealth elements to Castlevania Lord of Shadows; I remember when those used to be games about combat, about adventure and fighting monsters, not about trying to copy the popular parts of other video games to 'broaden the audience'.

You may notice it says I've played about 3 hours, that is how long the game took me, being a puzzle game, it may take more or less time for others but even so, I was more interested in the story of a 3 hour, point & click game than any AAA title that has come out in the last few years.
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