My first impressions of this puzzle adventure game are positive as I’m
instantly immersed in it’s visually stunning animated cut scenes and charming
soundtrack. The quaint environment and scenery are very amiable and invite
players into the story surrounding May and her brother Tery who goes missing
after a hot air balloon trip that goes wrong.
The game is set out in a very similar style to the Professor Layton series in
which players must solve a series of puzzles throughout a small town called
The puzzles vary from simple rhythm games to more complex
mathematical puzzles that will require a pen and paper to solve. An early rhythm
game involved listening to a piece of music and following on screen instructions
to copy the same pattern of notes. This is very similar to the basic premise of
the game ‘Rhythm Paradise’. Once you’ve heard the tune, the notes disappear from
the screen and you have to listen and memorize the sequence of notes and
replicate it by tapping the screen with the stylus at the appropriate time. One
of the mathematical puzzles that had me scratching my head for ages involved the
Librarian numbering pages of a book and I was charged with working out how many
pages the book was from the number of digits she had written. Ouch!
Interestingly, May’s Mysteries: The Secret of Dragonville also offers players
a selection of hidden objects games, in which you must find items on a list.
These are cleverly hidden within the scenery and actually take you a while to
find because they are cunningly camouflaged. Other puzzles include everything
from Sudoku style puzzles and riddles, to moving matchsticks and measuring out
fluids, which rung very similar to Layton games. The game offers a hint system
if you get stuck on some of the conundrums and you find yourself lingering over
the more complex puzzles, therefore allowing the player to progress further in
the game. The puzzles come in many forms from the easy and obvious to the more
abstract and demanding.
The layout uses a map on the top screen and a compass to show the player
which area is accessible with yellow arrows, which the player simply taps on to
move the character in the direction they wish to go. The player has access to
the games inventory by tapping the grey satchel on the left hand side of the
screen. In here you can find your quest book, inventory, characters, bonus
puzzles, story puzzles and save point.
May’s Mysteries: The Secret of Dragonville boasts Over 270 mini-games,
including 230 logic puzzles, 25 hidden object games and 13 rhythm games. This
adventure puzzle game ventures through 80 mysterious locations and makes
acquaintance with 50 interesting and delightful characters, spread across four
worlds. These charismatic characters may be useful in your travels by supplying
information around the town, or they may serve to hinder your efforts. The
cutscenes are beautifully hand drawn and there are seven minutes of absolutely
stunning full-screen animated cinematics throughout the course of the 25 hour
adventure. My general feeling is that V5 Play Studio have created a good puzzle
adventure game that has obvious similarities to the Layton games, although the
story and cutscenes felt more aimed towards a younger audience. The game has a
good balance of different puzzles that are sure to delight any fan of the genre.
I certainly look forward to finding out more about the mysteries and secrets of
Dragonville, and following the storyline of May and her brother Tery this