Thursday, August 23

Review: Nightmares of the Deep 2 - The Siren's Call [Nintendo Switch eShop]


While there are many puzzle and adventure games on Switch there aren’t that many that blend the 2 genres together quite as thoroughly as Nightmares from the Deep 2. Much like the other title already available on the system from Artifex Mundi, Enigmatis 2: The Mists of Ravenwood, Siren’s Call deftly blends together a pretty wide variety of challenges and styles into one package. While the result is decidedly casual in nature, perfect for portable play using the Switch’s touchscreen, that isn’t to say it can’t be fun for the right crowd by any means.


While this is the second title in the series, some quick mention of a previous adventure is about all you need to understand. Once the plot gets rolling you’ll understand enough that things are just fine. Scary shark-headed villain wants and artifact that will let him take control of the mythical Kraken, you need to rescue a mermaid he has abducted to save the day. Check. Really, the story is just there to connect it all together, and the characters you encounter along the way lend a little bit of flavor as well with some middle-of-the-road voice acting and somewhat dated but creative visuals.


What you’ll really want to dig into will be the puzzles, and for fans who appreciate a pretty wide variety of challenges these titles consistently shine. While hidden objects used to be the bread and butter of these games over time those have become just one of many that are available. Even when you do encounter hidden object puzzles they will tend to have multi-tiered objectives that change up the formula a bit and feel fresh. Mosaic picture puzzles and various brain teasers will keep you on your toes, and at times you’ll even have the choice to go with a game of mahjong if you’d like as an alternative. Then, as you complete each individual challenge, the reward is typically an object that will help advance the more traditional adventure story that is layered on top, requiring you to explore and use your inventory items to overcome obstacles in your way. It all meshes together quite nicely.


Whether you’re a more casual gamer who’s looking for some variety or someone who normally prefers intensity but is interested in something to cool down and relax with Nightmares from the Deep 2 is a great option. Though its production values can get a little weak in places the diversity and quality of puzzles it offers more than compensates. Throw in a well-implemented and simply hint system that recharges and will help keep you from getting lost and it stands out as a great choice for some laid back enjoyment.


Score: 8

Pros:
  • Terrific variety and quality in its various puzzles
  • The hint system is well-implemented and keeps you from getting too lost
  • Love the inclusion of mahjong as an option in certain cases

Cons:
  • Some of the production values feel a bit dated
  • The story is fine to connect it all together but is a bit cliched