Nightmares from the Deep: Davy Jones – Collector’s Edition Review – iOS

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Nightmares from the Deep: Davy Jones is the epic conclusion to pirate adventure/puzzle game series from G5 Entertainment and Artifex Mundi.  If you’ve read any of my reviews for the previous installments in the franchise you’ll know I am a big fan of the series and this final game brings the game to a grand conclusion worthy of the legendary Davy Jones himself.    There was a bit of déjà vu taking place during the opening moments of the game when the pirate king once again comes crashing into a museum to kidnap the curator, Sarah, and her daughter Cory.  Whisked away to a hauntingly beautiful pirate world, Sarah must embark on an epic quest to save her daughter who has signed a lifelong pact with Davy Jones to spare her mother’s life.

If you’ve played any of the previous games (or any of G5’s adventures) you already know what to expect when it comes to gameplay.  You will be traveling around 68 exotic locations uncovering clues, gathering all sorts of collectibles like sea horses, pirate cards, and puzzles pieces, solving all sorts of puzzles including item manipulation as well as hidden-object, and mastering 29 addictive mini-games.   Staples of the franchise remain such as multiple difficulty levels, a variable hint cool-down system, a map interface to allow for instant travel around the game world, and the classic mahjong substitute for those who don’t enjoy hidden-object puzzles.  You can also unlock music, artwork, and up to 32 achievements, and Game Center will keep track of your progress so you can compare with your friends.

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While the game may seem the same on the surface I found there were a greater variety in the puzzles as well as some definite improvements in the graphics that are now making the most out of the new Apple hardware.  Some of the visuals are nearly photo-realistic, and one early insert of an animated puppy looked like real video.   I really got into the whole visual vibe of this series and Davy Jones takes it to the ultimate level with a mix of Disney’s Haunted Mansion meets Pirates of the Caribbean.   The audio does a great job of supporting the visuals with haunting music, fantastic sound effects and some reasonably good voice acting.

It’s all too easy for these hidden-object games to fall into a cookie-cutter rut, but the Nightmares from the Deep franchise has always seem to maintain a level of freshness and originality, plus you can’t really go wrong when your game has pirates in it…especially GHOST PIRATES!   I found the puzzles logical for the most part – nothing that couldn’t be figured out with a bit of thought and item location memorization, and when my memory did fail me the hint system would always nudge me back on track without making me feel like I was cheating.

Expect a solid 3-5 hour experience with Nightmares from the Deep: Davy Jones depending on how skilled you are with this HOA games.  It’s a great game in and of itself, and it concludes the series with a satisfying and much-deserved epic finale to a fantastic story.

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