What could be more terrifying than waking up in a completely derelict yet magical place after being out cold? Surely, such a scenario is no player’s first rodeo, particularly when games such as Granny popularized escape room-esque gameplay. No matter the variant set for the environment, the exhilarating thrill and joy of hatching an escape plan while traversing a strange environment is something to live for. To satiate the enthusiasm of escapists and ruin maniacs, jump into Legacy 4: Tomb of Secrets, the fourth installment to David’s series of cryptic, enigmatic puzzlers, with its choice of graphics more grounded in that ancient Egyptian style.
Still on the edge? Check out why we love this series so much
Tomb Raider the game – less action, more exploration
Without wasting any breath for exposition’s sake, the game sets you up for a rough awakening on a cold hard tarmac in an equally frigid and rocky room. From here on, puzzle pieces and runic hieroglyphs will be a common sight in the mystical tomb which, in turn, gives Purgatory vibes. Symbolism related to myths ornate the cavernous chambers, traveling through the ever-changing rooms will give you an appreciation of the unique aesthetics associated with each room. From having a rustic cellar and steampunk machinery with its color tone to magical subterranean worlds with luminous glow and rocky terrains, to gilded representations of mythical creatures like the serpent. You snoop from one area to the other and solve the puzzles while you’re at it.
Picking up the trails of Legacy 3: The Hidden Relic, you continue your trek down the ancient tombs in search of your mentor, mired in archaeological research and whisked away into oblivion after encountering some supernatural beings. As a masterful practitioner of “show, don’t tell”, the onus is on you to uncover the tracks and construct the whole plot piece by piece, relying on vintage notebook papers scattered throughout the rooms of the derelict tombs across three chapters.
The treacherous saga continues
Intuition in picking up visual cues, scouting for items and solving puzzles are mainstay elements in the series. Years of experience in designing puzzlers shone its brilliance as the developers doubled down on this aspect. They might seem simple at first glance but require viewing from a lot of angles. Quite literally. Case in point, you have to observe a set of numbers from the perspective of an elevator platform to acquire clues for the next piece of a puzzle involving electric rods. While navigating through the tombs, you will be rewarded with small pinches of lore through vintage notebook papers, effectively highlighting the finest essence of “silent storytelling”. It’s just so good that I need to praise this aspect twice.
Here comes the treacherous part, subtlety be damned as some pieces of the puzzle demand you to break through the constraints of your imagination. As a standout and crucial element associated with puzzle games, back-tracking is plentiful. One moment you unlock a clue that leads to the next stage, only to find that solving the next one mandates you to teleport back to the previous room. This interconnection is a bonus point that draws out the charm between individual puzzles.
No pitstops – puzzles that lure you down the rabbit hole
Not alienating novices or experts, the puzzle difficulty scales linearly. Starting with piece-of-cake puzzles that get complicated further down the rabbit hole. A keen eye is needed on this adventure as you have to scout every corner to pick up items or cues. I kid you not, items blend in well and can be tough to spot.
With that said, the puzzles themselves are elementary enough. For the most part, you decipher hieroglyphs, input numbers into a keypad, flick levers, push buttons, connect things from point A to point B, fiddle with lasers and profit! Do forego your desire for instant gratification as the solutions are not always pain-free and obvious.
Nothing beats a good ambient soundtrack when it comes to fueling the already cryptic atmosphere. It’s rewarding if your wits can solve everything with great haste as they laud you with an encouraging beat: “Nice one, you have progressed through this”. It’s also a double-edged sword as the soundtrack will grate your earbuds if you are stuck too long. And yes, there is only one single soundtrack that is on an indefinite loop.