Dark City: Dublin Collector's Edition
March 13, 2020
4 Friends Games
3 Difficulties + Custom Mode
Evidence Board & Special Power
Exclusive Bonus Chapter
Integrated Strategy Guide
Wallpapers & Concept Art
Soundtracks & Cutscenes
Achievements & Collectibles
Replayable HOs & Puzzles
Screensavers & Morphing Objects
4 Friends Games (or Friendly Fox Studios) welcomes a new chapter in the chart-topping Dark City franchise. A mischievous leprechaun is running wild in Dublin, ruining everyone’s St. Patrick’s Day. Soon you discover that there is much more behind these mysterious robberies – can you use your investigative ability and save the day?
Over the past three games, Dark City has become one of my current favorite hidden object adventure series so I had high expectations for this fourth installment. While the storyline is still quite engaging and all the twists and turns are neatly executed, Dark City: Dublin is not nearly as gripping as its predecessors. The game includes two gadgets that are meant to help drive the story. The first is an evidence folder, where you can organize your thoughts and connect theories, a nice touch but definitely not an original one. The other is the protagonist’s innate ability to deduce what went on in a scene through a mini hidden object puzzle, which feels unnecessary and redundant.
However, Dark City: Dublin’s main problem lies in its gameplay. For big-time HOPA players, there is nothing in this game that is innovative or challenging. All aspects of the gameplay are straightforward and easy. From the not-so-hidden hidden object scenes to the simplistic puzzles. Although the game is beautifully put together, since 4 Friends Games is one of the most experienced HOPA studios out there, that alone is not enough to excite long-time fans.
On a positive note, Dark City: Dublin still delivers a stellar production. The old-school visual style is accompanied by brilliant artwork and animations, creating a secretive, slightly ominous environment. The background music further enhances the mysterious vibe and prevents the game from going completely stale given its uninspired gameplay. As the game is set in Dublin, the characters speak in an Irish accent, which is over-the-top at times, but mostly believable.
To put it simply, my near four hours experience of Dark City: Dublin was inconsistent. There were parts that excited me because of the storyline and there were parts that bored me because of the beginners-level gameplay. Anyhow, this is by no means a terrible game and it is still a bargain to purchase during a sale. The Collector’s Edition includes a bonus chapter, a strategy guide, wallpapers, screensavers, concept art, soundtracks, videos, replayable hidden object scenes, replayable mini-games, collectibles, achievements, and morphing objects.