A puzzle game for those who like their puzzle games light on challenge but heavy on charm.
By Ned Jordan
In Lost Souls: Enchanted Paintings, a woman receives a painting in the mail
that her son likes so much that he insists on hanging it in his room. She
agrees, but later that night she hears him scream from his room. When she rushes
into his room her son is gone and the painting has changed to a portrait of the
boy. The police can't find her missing son, so she consults a gypsy who directs
her to search for her son through a series of other magical paintings. Each of
the magical paintings is an entrance to another world, and each of these worlds
is suffering some manner of magical sabotage at the hands of a mysterious
phantom. Help restore each world, and each one in turn will help you to get
closer to saving the boy.
Lost Souls is a light mixture of adventure, hidden object, and puzzle game
elements. Each of the worlds is divided into a handful of locations that you'll
need to revisit a few times as you collect the necessary objects to complete
puzzles and unlock new ones. Some puzzles require you to find and use objects
from one scene to the next, adventure game style, such as locating a spade so
that you can dig into a patch of dirt or a bottle to pour a potion into. All of
these puzzles are pretty straightforward; you pretty much know what you need to
find and there's no need to combine objects to create new ones.
Other puzzles are traditional hidden object puzzles in which you're given
either a text or picture list of objects to find, made a little trickier (and
only a little) by the need to move some objects in the puzzle to discover the
object that you're looking for behind those objects. Overall, I'd say that these
puzzles are of average difficulty - some items are worked into the background,
but most are in the open and it won't take you too long to track them all down.
Lastly, there are more traditional puzzles such as jigsaw style puzzles or
logic puzzles. None of these puzzles are particularly challenging for anyone who
does puzzles with any regularity, though. It's not that they're poorly designed
or made for children; they're just not that difficult to solve.
As a puzzle game, Lost Souls is best for someone looking for some light
entertainment rather than brain-teasing challenge. The light challenge level
works in the game's favor as a mobile game - you can easily bite off a puzzle or
two while standing in line or waiting for a latte. The game also has a lot of
charm to it thanks to its enchanting hand-drawn locations and imaginative
fantasy worlds. You'll probably enjoy the time you spend with Lost Souls:
Enchanted Paintings; it's the kind of game that's relaxing to play. I think I
would have enjoyed it more, though, if the puzzles presented more challenge.