City Legends: Trapped In Mirror Collector’s Edition
City Legends is a series of hidden object games in which the main protagonist is a renowned horror book author whose works are inspired by their own personal experiences with the occult, witchcraft and the supernatural. Each of the games narrates one specific episode from the author’s adventures, which will, later on, become the plot for their next publication.
Trapped In Mirror is the second installment of the series, where we get to see the author investigating the mystery of a beautiful ghost trapped in a mirror, who also kidnapped the novelist’s publishing agent in her mirror world. The plot is heavily based on the legend of Bloody Mary, borrowing the main events and characters from folklore, but placing them in a modern context.
I consider City Legends to be one of the most enjoyable HOG series on the market, with well-done games in all aspects. They not only check all the boxes, but they also provide alternatives for various playstyles. For instance, a nice feature that I haven’t encountered in any other HOGs is that the player can choose to solve any minigame either on easy difficulty or on hard. This is independent of the difficulty set at the beginning of the game, which has an impact on the recharge time of the hint button, as well as on how the hidden object scenes are highlighted. The easy mode of a minigame simply means that the player will need fewer iterations to solve it (for instance, fewer digits on a code, or fewer moves required), notably decreasing its complexity.
Aside from the above feature, another thing that I liked a lot was the fact that all the collectibles were marked in every scene. There are indicators for each of the three types of collectibles, with different states depending on whether the collectible was already picked up or not. These are also shown on the map (where you can also see in which rooms you still need to perform actions). While this aspect is for me a bit stressful in other games (I usually dislike having to replay the whole game from scratch just because I missed collectible at some point), City Legends was absolutely great in that regard, and I was finally able to fully relax, while also enjoying gathering these collectibles. Among them, there are not only static objects but also morphing objects and a special type of collectible – bookmarks – which you can then use to buy decorative items for the author’s office in an extra scene.
The hidden object scenes are not only very well done (having beautiful artwork and items blending perfectly with the background), but also very varied. There is at least one scene of each of the common types (list of items, silhouettes, etc.) as well as some new interactive ones. Additionally, you can choose between playing a Match 3 game or solving the hidden objects scene, or even swap between them as you wish to cross out the next item on the list. The HO scenes, together with the minigames (some of them also being very fresh) are all quite exciting to play and discover, even for HOG veterans.
Trapped In Mirror also introduces a new mechanic to the genre: choices. At specific points in the story, you can choose to progress immediately, or to unlock an extra location and respectively more information about the background story of one character. The location comes with a new set of puzzles to figure out, together with new items scattered in adjacent rooms and a respective achievement for completing it. .
All of the other features that one would expect from a HOG are present in City Legends too: a fast travel map, highlighting of the hidden object scenes, a nice journal tracking the story and your objectives, plenty of characters and cutscenes, and an in-depth walkthrough / strategy guide, listing all the actions, solutions and collectibles. All hidden object scenes as minigames can be replayed from the Extras menu unlocked after the end of the game, which also contains the cutscenes, the collections, the music and concept art. The item inventory rarely goes above five or six items, making it quite easy to follow which object is needed for a puzzle. The game is also designed to contain these puzzles and minigames in groups of three or four locations, reducing the back-and-forth between scenes to a minimum. The overall difficulty is slightly higher than the previous game and the puzzles are somewhat less intuitive, but overall it still has a very casual gameplay.
The game can be completed in around 3 to 4 hours, and the Collector’s Edition adds an extra ~45 mins chapter to the main game, with its own distinct story, while still being related to the main plot. As a HOG, City Legends: Trapped In Mirror is enjoyable in all aspects, aside from the fact that it does not have Steam-integrated achievements, although it does have many in-game achievements.