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: Mixed (57 reviews)
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
    • Hard Drive: 200 MB available space
Helpful customer reviews
5 of 5 people (100%) found this review helpful
3.7 hrs on record
Posted: April 12
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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3 of 3 people (100%) found this review helpful
1.8 hrs on record
Posted: February 27
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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1 of 1 people (100%) found this review helpful
1 person found this review funny
2.5 hrs on record
Posted: May 5
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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28 of 38 people (74%) found this review helpful
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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12 of 15 people (80%) found this review helpful
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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