Since Game Insight announced Mirrors of Albion earlier this month, we've been anxiously awaiting the game's launch, as this combination of Sherlock Holmes and Alice in Wonderland sounded too absurd and intriguing to be true. Now that the game has launched for free on iPad, however, we've found that our own prior excitement has definitely been deserved.
Mirrors of Albion HD places you in the role of a new detective in London, working to solve the case of a young woman named Alice's disappearance. Throughout the streets of London are shops and homes that you can investigate via multiple varieties of hidden object scenes, with London itself serving as a map of sorts, with animated citizens walking along its lovely streets. You'll unlock additional hidden object scenes by purchasing keys or simply gaining experience points and leveling up, and you'll constantly have an interesting, in-depth storyline presented through quests to guide you along.
As is the standard for free-to-play hidden object games, your time in Mirrors of Albion will be spent repeatedly playing through the same few locations until you unlock another one to add to your lineup, but these scenes come with moving items that may not be found in the same place two times in a row. Additionally, some scenes may have you finding items based on text-word lists, while others show you silhouettes of the items and force you to find them based on shape. The quicker you find objects, the more points you'll earn and the more mastery symbols you'll earn for that particular scene.
Adding whimsy to this detective's tale is a talking representation of the Cheshire Cat from Alice in Wonderland, and a few mysterious and even magical weather anomalies that can change a way a scene is played. For instance, a scene's building may have thunder clouds hovering on top of it, which then adds a time limit to the next scene you play in that location. You can purchase or find tokens that will allow you to remove these anomalies, but that becomes a matter of choice, as you'll need to decide whether it's worth spending all of those coins or energy points in finding these tokens, or if it's better to just accept the added challenge on this scene for the time being.
If there's one main problem with Mirrors of Albion, it's that the game's energy is spent far too quickly, encouraging the use of premium currency to purchase energy boosting power-ups. The world within Mirrors of Albion is beautiful, both in scenes and back on the main London board, so it's unfortunate that we so often have to leave the world behind while waiting for energy to recharge, since some scenes require 30 energy to play just a single time.
Outside of hidden object scenes, you'll also be able to complete a variety of collections with items that are earned at random as you play, and you can play a regular cop for once, detaining thieves and other criminals that you'll find walking along London's streets in between scenes. While Mirrors of Albion may obviously place most of its focus on finding hidden objects, it's nice to see these few distractions available back in the rest of the game.
While the free-to-play hidden object genre has now become fairly played out, Mirrors of Albion is a beautiful, downright fun game to play. It's not perfect, as the seemingly constantly depleted energy bar is annoying to say the least, but this is one experience that any fan of the genre should definitely try at least one.
Click here to download Mirrors of Albion on iPad now >
Have you tried Game Insight's Mirrors of Albion? What do you think of this new, literary inspired hidden object game on iPad? Let us know in the comments!