Fulfill your destiny, become the ruler of time, and change the course of history!
User reviews: Mixed (62 reviews)
Release Date: Nov 4, 2011
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About This Game

It is the year 1830, and a young governess named Ester has just received a letter that will change her life forever.

The message from her aunt tells Ester that her parents, whom she never met, left her an inheritance – a mansion in London. But when she goes there, it turns out that the residence is abandoned, run-down, and haunted.

When she explores the mansion, slowly learning her family’s secrets, she discovers that for many centuries, members of her family have been investigating the phenomenon of time travel. Soon Ester finds a strange object that confirms the extraordinary legacy of the Ambrose family. This is how her exciting journey, which will lead her to places – and times - she had previously only seen in dreams, begins.

During her adventure across time and space, she will discover forgotten artifacts, meet extraordinary beings, and experience supernatural events. Trying to unravel the secrets of her heritage, Ester grows ever more entangled in an ancient struggle between the wizard Merlin and his rival, Viviana.

Will the young governess change the course of history and solve her family’s ancient mystery?

Features

  • A portable time machine – change the history according to your will!
  • 21 diverse mini-games and 16 hidden-object scenes
  • 52 beautiful, hand-painted locations
  • Time manipulation puzzles
  • 7 intriguing heroes, each with their own secrets
  • Possibility to re-play 9 mini-games and 16 hidden-object scenes
  • Additional second adventure
  • Game world encyclopedia
  • Unique wallpapers from the game (Steam exclusive)

System Requirements

Windows
Mac OS X
SteamOS + Linux
    Minimum:
    • OS: Windows XP, Windows Vista, Windows 7, Windows 8
    • Processor: 1.5 GHz
    • Memory: 512 MB RAM
    • Graphics: 128 MB VRAM
    • DirectX: Version 9.0
    • Hard Drive: 1 GB available space
    Recommended:
    • OS: Windows XP, Windows Vista, Windows 7, Windows 8
    • Processor: 2 GHz
    • Memory: 1 GB RAM
    • Graphics: 256 MB VRAM
    • DirectX: Version 9.0
    • Hard Drive: 1 GB available space
    Minimum:
    • OS: 10.6.8
    • Processor: 1.5 GHz
    • Memory: 512 MB RAM
    • Graphics: 128 MB VRAM
    • Hard Drive: 1 GB available space
    Recommended:
    • OS: 10.6.8
    • Processor: 2 GHz
    • Memory: 1 GB RAM
    • Graphics: 256 MB VRAM
    • Hard Drive: 1 GB available space
    Minimum:
    • OS: Ubuntu 12.04 (32/64bit)
    • Processor: 1.5 GHz
    • Memory: 512 MB RAM
    • Graphics: 128 MB VRAM
    • Hard Drive: 1 GB available space
    Recommended:
    • OS: Ubuntu 12.04 (32/64bit)
    • Processor: 2 GHz
    • Memory: 1 GB RAM
    • Graphics: 256 MB VRAM
    • Hard Drive: 1 GB available space
Helpful customer reviews
43 of 52 people (83%) found this review helpful
8.0 hrs on record
Posted: August 2
Artifex Mundi has a bunch of really great hidden object games out, but this one is probably the worst of them. It's not uncommon to have to click on a object 2-3 times to get the game to recognize that you've found something, which is pretty much a no-no when you're dealing with achievements awarded for minimal clicking. The design of the story can also be prety frustrating here, and it's not intuitive compared to a lot of their other games. Also, the achievements are a little lacking compared to A.M.'s other games... there's no tier of achievements tied in to the mini-game that substitutes for the hidden object scenes. Perhaps most egregious of all though, is the fact that several of the objects in pictures are literally hidden COMPLETELY behind other objects. No recognizable piece of the object sticking out, literally the ENTIRE object is obscured by something in front of it. Which means in several of the hidden object scenes, you're going to end up just randomly clickling around hoping to find the object behind other objects. If you want a great hidden object game, check out Enigmatis 2, Nightmares From the Deep: The Cursed Heart, or Abyss: Wraiths of Eden. All three of those games are much better in their design. Even Clockwork Tales, a smaller effort, feels of a piece with those three, and the sequel to Nightmares From the Deep, while not as good as the first, is certainly worth playing. Time Mysteries 2 feels like it was designed by different people, from the cut scenes, to the structure of the gameplay, to the hidden object scenes themselves. It's a bit frustrating when played after the standards set by those other games.
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25 of 29 people (86%) found this review helpful
9.1 hrs on record
Posted: August 3
You play as Esther, a lady trying to learn more about your lost family after you receive a letter from a distant relative that suggests you to investigate an old mansion, which is, of course, full of mysteries.

During your adventure you'll come across multiple hidden object scenes and puzzles of all sorts of difficulty. The hidden object scenes are nicely drawn, but it's often hard to find the objects because they're quite well hidden and undistinguishable from the others. Most scenes come with a color palette containing many shades of gold, orange or brown, and these can be incredibly difficult to complete. Nevertheless, there is a hint button that recharges almost instantly, in case you get stuck.

The novelty that this game brings is the travel device that allows you to travel to important moments in your family’s past, and the actions you do will alter the future scenes. The device also serves as an incredibly helpful map - you have different symbols for the rooms you need to visit (those that have incomplete actions), for the unexplored rooms and for the scenes that change due to actions in the past. It also serves as a fast-travel device, even within the same time.

I found the game very enjoyable and interesting, but I wouldn't recommend it to people that are beginners in this genre because the difficulty of the hidden object scenes will probably set them back.
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12 of 13 people (92%) found this review helpful
11.1 hrs on record
Posted: August 30
A good quality game of its type:

The Artifex Mundi engine is very good, puzzles all good with a lot of variation. Not my favourite Artifex Mundi game and I have played all of their games that are currently on Steam, but definitely worth playing by any fan of the genre.

I should mention that apart from the game engine, which is very slick and for instance auto zooms when you need it to, it has the standard map feature which is present in all but one (the oldest) Artifex Mundi game currently on Steam which allows fast travel by clicking on the location in the map screen.

The artwork is the usual high standard I come to expect from Artifex Mundi.

The games main feature which sets it apart from other Artifex Mundi games it involves time travel, such that you have travel to the past, change something and then return to the present, or to a later time to advance the plot of the game.

So in closing I would recommend the game, as I said not my favourite, but well worth playing and playing this game did cause me to purchase and play all of the other Artifex Mundi games on Steam which is a recommendation in itself.
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13 of 15 people (87%) found this review helpful
6.9 hrs on record
Posted: October 13
Hidden object games do something sinister to my obsessive-compulsivity. There's just something about them that's like a drug that won't let you go. After seven hours with this game, I'm almost inclined to go cold turkey.

This is the first hidden object game where I've ended up dreading going into new puzzles. Mouse clicks don't always register on legitimate items, and in a few cases objects are ambiguous-- there may actually be two of an item on screen, but only one will satisfy the game. Almost as frustrating, the game recycles hidden object scenes to an absurd degree, going back to the same well over and over again. That backtracking is really the meat, rather the gristle, of the game. It makes sense within the context of the time travel angle, and the puzzles that emerge from that, but you're visiting the same rooms and performing the same puzzles over and over again, and that wears itself out very quickly.

The rare one-shot puzzles aren't necessarily much better. Most follow a logic that is easy to work out. Others are simply baffling, accompanied by an unhelpful, cryptic comment by the protagonist if you click outside the playfield. The follow-up adventure is particularly bad for this; I'm not sure that one of them even works properly.

I get the feeling that this is one of Artifex Mundi's early efforts, because I've played a couple of their other titles and they seemed much more polished and enjoyable. I'm disappointed, because the gimmick of a family of time travelers is intriguing, and the time traveling mechanism is elegant, but the game felt like it was padded for length.
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11 of 14 people (79%) found this review helpful
7.4 hrs on record
Posted: August 2
Personally, I don't mind a HOG. And I have to admit, I'm quite enjoying this one.

There's lots of moving back and forth to get various objects to complete tasks, and the 'time device' you gain quite early on can certainly assist in where you need to go to next, should you get stuck.

A nice touch is the ability to swap to a mini game if you get fed up of the hidden object path.

The only downside so far is the voice acting. it's very meh. As if the actors weren't being paid enough!!

In general though, if you want a bit of a time waster game, with some light challeneges, and something that's not too mind bending to figure out, then this should do the trick.
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6 of 7 people (86%) found this review helpful
3.8 hrs on record
Posted: November 8
I did not like this game. It's pretty decent, but one of the worst games from Artifex Mundi. Time travelling seems fun, but I did not really enjoyed it. I know it's a HOG, but other games from this developer have less object seeking riddles and it made them much more interesting for me. Story is boring.

Still, as I said, it's far from a bad game, but I'd recommend nearly any other Artifex Mundi games currently on Steam, but this one.
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5 of 6 people (83%) found this review helpful
6.6 hrs on record
Posted: October 31
I recommend this game for 2 reasons.
1st - it's just a good game. Well designed, good puzzles, nice graphics and sound. Technically polished, no bugs, everything works just fine. But if you know Artifex Mundi games, it's not a big surprise.
2nd - time travel possibility. In this game you can back to the past to change the future, what is quite exciting idea.

VERDICT:
If you're a fan of Hidden Object games, you probably played all Artifex Mundi games, so I don't need to recommend this one. I can only say that this one has quality like all the others.
If you don't know Hidden Object games, try this or any other Artifex Mundi game, maybe you'll enjoy it.
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2 of 2 people (100%) found this review helpful
5.2 hrs on record
Posted: October 24
This is a really mixed bag, providing some of the best and worst traits of any game of the Artifex Mundi canon. The good points are very very good, and the bad points are very very not-good.

The good: most puzzles and hidden object screens are quite challenging*, and the travel mechanism is pretty cool (although it gets somewhat tedious and repetitive as the game moves forward**). The art is very well executed, as you'd expect from A.M., although not as awesome as some of the other titles.

The bad: *some of the puzzles are terrible (illogical, simple) and there seems to occasionally be terms lost in translation in the hidden object screens. The game also has a really cool backstory, but no story or character interaction or development, and **progress is unceremonious at best.

A lot of potential, and still quite fun to play, but definitely least recommended of the Artifex Mundi games I've played. I would give it an endorsement, with reservations. [ 6 / 10 ]
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2 of 2 people (100%) found this review helpful
6.0 hrs on record
Posted: December 10
I enjoyed the game, even though the criticisms people have are well-founded. The hidden object puzzles tend to be the same scene over and over, you're just looking for different things, but that's not too bad, in my opinion. I wasn't really bothered by the repetitive hidden object puzzles, I enjoyed them. There are some things in those puzzles that got very frustrating trying to find because they have you search for things like compasses, which could be one of two different things, and you don't know which compass they're having you look for. I didn't have trouble with objects registering when I clicked on them, but that's not to say other people haven't. I really liked the fast-travel feature, because it's kind of annoying to have to go through the whole thing and back track and all that good stuff, but it's really not a bad game. I enjoyed it. It took only 6 hours to play through and I got 100%, so it's kind of short, but other than that, I don't really have any complaints about it.

If you like hidden object puzzles, and you like the idea of time travel, I would suggest playing it.
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2 of 2 people (100%) found this review helpful
11.1 hrs on record
Posted: November 21
Quite a solid hidden object game, but I can't suggest it whole-heartedly:
Story is short and pretty lame. The whole game's plot could be summed up in three sentences.
There is no atmosphere or mood to talk about the game. It's so much "goal-based" that everything else is irrelevant. You need to get some runes to reach your goals? Then from now every single thing will serve the goal to get runes, and nothing else will happen. I mean, in other games usually there are shorter goals, then some info/happening, and story takes a turn. Not in this case.
And the main reason I can't recommend this:
Really, really underwhelming if you take consideration that this is an Artifex Mundi game. Go and get Nightmares from the Deep 1-2, Grim Tales, Abyss, 9 Clues, Dark Arcana, Enigmatis 1-2. They are so much better than this game, and cost the same (or at least similar)
IF you have the other mentioned games and you can get this game on a good sale, get it, afterall it's quite solid mechanically.
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1 of 1 people (100%) found this review helpful
12.3 hrs on record
Posted: October 24
If you're a fan of lots of hidden object puzzles then this one is for you. It actually got a little tedious for me on this one. Other Artifex Mundi games have been a lot better about mixing up the puzzle games to keep things a little more interesting. The very few puzzle games that were not hidden object made no sense to me. I did like the story and I liked the time travel idea, and like all the A.M. games, the artwork is great. I'll recommend this one because it was good enough for me to go on and want to do part 3 of this story line, but unfortunately this isn't one of the better A.M. games. They could have made this a lot better.
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2 of 3 people (67%) found this review helpful
3.0 hrs on record
Posted: September 2
"Time Mysteries: The Ancient Spectres" is a beautifully designed game. I like the idea of travelling forth and back in time in order to change everything. Although it doesn't have the best story, I'd love to see more of this kind of puzzle games.
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2 of 3 people (67%) found this review helpful
8.2 hrs on record
Posted: September 13
I just finished the game and it was very enjoyable. The hidden object puzzles can be hard, but with persistance you can find everything without having to use any hints. This game is part of a trilogy and the first game isn't on steam as yet, this might have an affect on the story for those of us who haven't played the first game. I haven't played it and I still think this game is worth it, especially if you find it on sale. The puzzles themselves aren't overly complicated and if you are wanting a hidden object game I'd recommend you try this one out.
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1 of 2 people (50%) found this review helpful
8.8 hrs on record
Posted: November 3
It's a good game with a pretty swell story. Yes, the hidden object scenes are a bit more grindy than in other Artifex Mundi's games, and sometimes it's hard to guess where to go next (in expert mode anyway, as there are no highlights), but overall it was yet another enjoyable game from the HO masters. :-)

Oh, and the 3D scenes are pretty bad - better stick to those beautiful hand-drawn settings. ;-)
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1 of 2 people (50%) found this review helpful
21.7 hrs on record
Posted: November 27
I enjoyed the game very much.
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1 of 2 people (50%) found this review helpful
6.2 hrs on record
Posted: December 7
Time Mysteries: The Ancient Spectres is a game that I can't recommend because:
- the price is too much for a game like this. 2-3 euro is the better price
- is a method to lose your time useless
- is better for you if you save your money for other games from the category 'hidden objects' or until this game get new updates!
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4 of 9 people (44%) found this review helpful
8.4 hrs on record
Posted: August 9
I'm not a fan of adventure games that include hidden object scenes, but this one was cool enough. Entertaining, in a way. I had already played a similar one and, for the price (I got it on sale, of course) it wasn't bad. Hidden object scenes are beyond boring, but I knew what it was before I bought it. Also the mini-games that you can escape to are boring, but that's not so bad either.

Not so cool that you can't save your game, then go back and correct something or do it better; the game saves its own progression and puts you back where you were everytime you log back in.

What unleashed my fury:
I finished the game and started the bonus adventure, called "Save Esther". I was in the doing a puzzle and decided to close the game to continue later. When I wanted to come back to the game, my profile disappeared, so all my progress (meaning, the entire game) was completely gone. Now, if I want to go back to where I was, I have to play it all over again.

Sure, it's a very short game; I played it all in 3.5 hours (plus a few times that I left it standing by to go eat or whatever), but do you think that means I want to do it all again, just because the game had a stupid hiccup and lost all my progress?

So, you can either STAY AWAY from this game and go buy something cooler, or get it on a really cool sale (I wouldn't pay 2€ for this) if you really really really like hidden object mixed with point and click puzzles.
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1 of 3 people (33%) found this review helpful
3.3 hrs on record
Posted: August 8
I got this game with my leftover steam wallet credits and coupon from crafting a badge. I actually enjoyed this game. It's short, but it is fun in that it offers the minigame option as well as the search option for when you are trying to find the items you require.
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0 of 1 people (0%) found this review helpful
6.6 hrs on record
Posted: October 14
I'm a big fan of Hidden Object games and this is definitely one of the better ones.

Enjoyable time-travel story, harder than average Hidden Object puzzles, fun mini-games, and great artwork! It also features fast-travel so no need to click through endless screens whenever you need to backtrack.

The Steam version includes the bonus chapter.

Encountered no bugs or broken achievements.

9/10
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3 of 8 people (38%) found this review helpful
5.4 hrs on record
Posted: October 19
Maybe it was the grating voice acting or the game mechanics, but I didnt enjoy the game.
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