Lost Town takes you back to the eerie world of mechanical puppets and creepy-eyed toys in this new title of the PuppetShow series from ERS Game Studios. During a visit to a new cave system discovered near a town, Suzy, a little girl visiting the caves with her mother, is kidnapped by a creature that shows up from the depth of the mountains. The monster disappears with the girl provoking a cave-in and leaving no trace behind. As the town detective, you are once again called up to solve the case: find the girl and bring her back with her mother. To that end, you go deeper into the cave to find a way out. Behind the mountains, the abandoned town of Moonstone awaits you with lots of locations to explore and a new mystery to unravel.
Gameplay-wise, the game is a hidden-object adventure that blends puzzles and mini games with a story of mystery. It uses point-and-click mechanics: you need to pick up objects and use them to interact with the environment in order to start piecing the story together. The lost town is huge and consists of numerous locations, each one comprising puzzles and hidden-object scenes. While some objects are scattered around the game and can be picked up with a single click, others are granted only after completing hidden-object scenes and mini games. Puzzles, on the other hand, involve most varied types of tasks: repairing a broken bridge, getting some rusty gears to work, collecting letters to complete a grave nameplate, repairing headless dolls, etc., which should be familiar to those playing HOG adventure games often. At the beginning, puzzles are clear enough, and some quite obvious; but as the game progresses and the town expands, they will require a bit more thinking and intuition, aside from good memory to recall the location of that item you'd come across earlier.
Keeping the essence and atmosphere of the previous titles, PuppetShow: Lost Town is a good choice for casual gamers looking for an enjoyable, accessible game. Although the storyline is pretty formulaic and predictable (and resembles the plot of the previous titles), I liked the game's gorgeous graphics and the balanced combination of puzzles and hidden-object scenes. The only complaint I have is the lack of an interactive map to move through the different scenes; the town is pretty extensive and you are forced you to walk back and forth all the time. Other than that, PuppetShow: Lost Town is a nice addition to any HOG/adventure collection.
- Locations are gorgeous and detailed
- Inventive puzzles
- Regular and expert modes
- Collector's Edition includes bonus levels and lots of extras
- Uses the same soundtrack from previous titles
- Too much backtracking