G5 Games puts out some fun throwaway point-and-click mysteries, and Nightmares from the Deep: The Siren’s Call is no exception. In this game, which was released last week for Macs (but was already available on other platforms), you are asked to solve hidden-object puzzles and other mini-games in a sea-worthy tale that includes Davy Jones, fish-men, and the ominous threat of a kraken about to sink a ship full of people.
In the story, you are Sarah Black, the curator of the Caribbean Naval Museum. You receive a package from a strange messenger. But, once you open it, it’s taken from by mysterious assailants – the Praetorians. The messenger then reveals himself to be a fish-man who needs your help to rescue the siren named Calliope. Thus, the adventure begins.
The setting of the game is a fishing town called Kingsmouth, where the citizens have been under a curse cast by Mayor Murray (with help from the sea-devil, Davy Jones). This curse is turning them into fish-like creatures, and must be lifted. To do this, you must travel through town, discovering the truths about Mayor Murray and his horrible acts as you find your way into secret rooms, explore a haunted ship, and finally catch up to the kidnapped siren in the old lighthouse. Calliope is the source of Mayor Murray’s power, and only she can control the horrible kraken that Mayor Murray has sent out to do his evil bidding.
I’ve played G5 Games titles before, but not from the Nightmares from the Deep series, and I liked this one the best. For one thing, it’s got some pretty visuals and cool environments, and a story that mostly makes sense (although I can’t help but wonder why my fish-man friend stands around and makes me do almost everything). For another, it’s not too easy to lack fun, but not so difficult that you’re ever stuck for long. On “Casual” mode, sparkles will alert you to things you need to click on next; a compass icon in the corner lets you skip puzzles, or get you a hint where to go next if you need it.
Also, the games and puzzles actually seem to advance the story – which was not the case in the last game I reviewed, Brightstone Mysteries: Paranormal Hotel. Each hidden objects puzzle (which can be skipped if you prefer to play a quick mahjong matching game) gets you something you need. And other games fit well into the narrative. For example, in one section you’re required to make coffee for a surly guard who thinks you’re a serving wench. Well, in addition to finding a working grinder, coffee beans and a cup, you spike his drink with sleeping potion and that’s how you get past him.
In another area you make your own torch to light the way through a labyrinth (using symbols you found by decoding a set of pictograms). Other sections have you matching symbols to open doors, finding and unscrambling pieces to complete pictures, examining a circuit breaker, figuring out how to break into an old safe, getting an old newspaper printing machine to work, and solving math logic puzzles.
Like other G5 games, this one’s easily playable by kids who can read – and atmospheric enough to scare my eight-year-old in certain spots where, for example, ghosts jump out at him. There’s no objectionable content in it, so it’s great for older kids as well as teens and adults. There’s nothing groundbreaking about The Siren’s Call, but it’s great amusement for the short term and I recommend it if you like point-and-click adventures that will last you the better part of eight or ten hours.
Nightmares from the Deep: The Siren’s Call from G5 Games is now available for Mac OS as a free downland with a full game unlock for $6.99 through the App Store. It’s also currently available for iOS devices, the Kindle Fire, and through Google Play for Android phones and tablets.
View the trailer here: