HomeReviews3/5 ReviewThe Myth Seekers 2: The Sunken City Review

The Myth Seekers 2: The Sunken City Review

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Sometimes we have to remind ourselves that the hidden object games of Artifex Mundi have been on the PC for years, sometimes even decades before they’re ported to the Xbox. We were reminded of this fact because the first Myth Seekers, The Legacy of Vulkan, only arrived on Xbox last month. Surely, Artifex Mundi couldn’t put out two games in the same series in sequential months? Of course not: this is a series that has been on PC since 2017. We’re getting two ported games that were made before lockdown was a twinkle in the world’s eye. 

The Myth Seekers 2: The Sunken City is a continuation of the story of Amelia, who now has an agency for dealing with mythical bumps in the night. Her latest case is in Paris, where the fabulously named Fabien has found a ruby amulet that put him in a coma. She was drafted in to help Fabien by a long-term friend but – shock horror! – that friend is captured by an evil witch who seems to be set on raising the lost city of Ys. With the ruby amulet in hand, you are off to stop her. 

Now, Artifex Mundi games are always corny, but The Myth Seekers 2: The Sunken City takes the cornbread biscuit. Calling a character ‘Fabien’ was probably a clue. The villains cackle and summon monstrous beasts at you, just in case you were in any doubt that they might be evil. The good guys appear in an ethereal blue glow, powered by a love that was lost many eons ago. 

the myth seekers 2 the sunken city review 1
Feels like standard Artifex Mundi fare to us

But the story is also as lightweight and full of holes as a veil. Plotlines (like poor Fabien and an old flame, Gorland) are forgotten. The reason why Ys is being raised, why that’s a bad thing, and what happened to Ys in the past, don’t amount to anything. They all end up being pasted over by a giant ‘oh gosh, the witchy lady is coming!’ banner. Even in Artifex Mundi terms, this is a forgettable story, and we found ourselves forgetting it in real-time. 

The biggest damage it does to The Myth Seekers 2: The Sunken City is that it doesn’t offer an interesting visual theme. The first game delved into Greek myth, and we got to meet gods. Here, the developers at Sunward Games can’t convert the myth of Ys into a particular visual style, or offer interesting mythic touchstones. It’s just generic forests, dungeons and towns, which could – most fatally – be anywhere in Europe. The Frenchness of the setting doesn’t even bleed in.

But you won’t find that many people who come to an Artifex Mundi game for the narrative or theme. Most of the time it’s an excuse for stitching together the real reasons: the hidden object puzzles, the minigames and the graphic-adventure stuff. At least here, The Myth Seekers 2: The Sunken City does a decent job. 

The hidden object puzzles are as lavishly gorgeous as usual. We’d love to know what it’s like for an artist to put together odd jumbles of spanners, artifacts and spiders, but they never fail to knock it out of the park. Here, they are clear, there are no weirdo items that you won’t recognise, and there’s a satisfying variety of hidden-object tableaux types. There are Where’s Wally?-like scenes, scenes where you have to use one thing on another, and others where there’s lots of a single thing to find. It’s everything that a hidden object connoisseur could hope for. 

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As always, it excels in the hidden objects

We’re struggling to recall a single minigame in The Myth Seekers 2: The Sunken City that we haven’t seen in another title. It’s all the greatest hits, remixed with slightly different themes. Sliding puzzles, jigsaws, memory games and pattern-matching are all here in abundance. For a lot of people they will be a warm cuddle: not difficult, just a chance to go through the process of completing them, as they have many times before. For others, it will be far too safe. 

We have a few issues with the point-and-click stuff, as the logic feels more skew-whiff than it usually does. How would you expect to use an umbrella item, for example? We’d expect to protect against the rain, or use the hook at the end to reach something high up. We could imagine using it as a makeshift zipline at a stretch. But The Myth Seekers 2: The Sunken City uses it to smash a window. The same goes for a shell, which becomes a chisel and a blade. We found ourselves randomly using things on other things, simply because we didn’t trust The Myth Seekers 2: The Sunken City to go about it logically. 

Importantly, though, we were never stuck. While the logic is off, there’s no situation where you will be reaching for a walkthrough. Partly that’s because the hint systems are so good: a journal tells you which rooms contain a puzzle that still remains to be solved, while the actual, bonafide hint system literally points at it. There are no achievements for completing the game without hints, so go to town. 

But there’s also an easy-going feel to The Myth Seekers 2: The Sunken City. Don’t worry about the witch: you’ve got all the time in the world, all the hints you could possibly need, and a difficulty level that sits somewhere just above My Friend Peppa Pig. This is not going to have you tearing hair out in clumps.

But yet, that’s a statement that you could make about any modern Artifex Mundi hidden-object title: it’s so laid-back that it’s fallen asleep and flopped onto the floor. That’s not going to appeal to everyone, and it’s never been more true than The Myth Seekers 2: The Sunken City. If you are looking for something to be innovative or to push you into a puzzling second-gear then this isn’t it. 

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Ultimately, The Myth Seekers 2 is a disappointment

Which brings us to The Myth Seekers 2: The Sunken City’s major malfunction. In a world where the Xbox has dozens of Artifex Mundi hidden-object games, what does this one do that’s different, or make it stand out? The answer is an emphatic ‘nowt’. Thanks to its garbled story and diluted gaelic mythology theme, it’s flavourless and insubstantial. We’d go so far to say it’s the least interesting one we’ve played. It doesn’t even dare to be particularly camp, which is just criminal, we tell you. 

If you’re on Team Artifex Mundi and are hungry for another hidden-object experience, then The Myth Seekers 2: The Sunken City doesn’t do much to disappoint. It’s dull and bland, but it does all the puzzling stuff well and with minimal fuss. But if you’re a tad more discerning or are looking for a decent entry point to the masses of similar games – well, this is about the last game we’d recommend to begin with.

SUMMARY

Pros:
  • Beautifully realised hidden object scenes
  • Puzzles and minigames are well executed
  • Easy-going Sunday afternoon fare
Cons:
  • Visually very bland and weak
  • Story is forgettable
  • Some strange logical leaps
Info:
  • Massive thanks for the free copy of the game, TXH
  • Formats - Xbox Series X|S (review), Xbox One
  • Release date and price - 17 November 2023 | £12.49
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<b>Pros:</b> <ul> <li>Beautifully realised hidden object scenes</li> <li>Puzzles and minigames are well executed</li> <li>Easy-going Sunday afternoon fare</li> </ul> <b>Cons:</b> <ul> <li>Visually very bland and weak</li> <li>Story is forgettable</li> <li>Some strange logical leaps</li> </ul> <b>Info:</b> <ul> <li>Massive thanks for the free copy of the game, TXH</li> <li>Formats - Xbox Series X|S (review), Xbox One <li>Release date and price - 17 November 2023 | £12.49</li> </ul>The Myth Seekers 2: The Sunken City Review
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