IT ALL STARTED WITH A NEW YORK MYSTERY
Five BN Games are in a different league than all other HOPA developers. No other developer in this genre is able to produce games that even come close to the quality of entertainment Five BN provides! New York Mysteries: Power of Art is a perfect example of how entertaining a HOPA can be when the developer doesn’t spew out a new game every month as some other developers do.
We have waited 5 long years for a new game in this series, so I thought I’d recap the storyline of the previous games in the order of their release.
New York Mysteries: Secrets of the Mafia
New York, 1955 had become a dangerous and corrupt city. Tensions escalated with the disappearance of five Mafia bosses, but when children began to disappear one by one, the city began to panic.
This mysterious case drew the attention of Laura James, an up-and-coming journalist from “The Daily News” determined to solve this seemingly unsolvable case. When Laura’s investigation starts to unravel the threads of a secret society hidden in a vast network beneath the city, she soon realizes that she is the one under a microscope and has been since the beginning… could this be a test?
New York Mysteries 2: High Voltage
Officially working for the White Stone Order disguised as an ordinary journalist, Laura is tasked with solving a series of murders with the same bazaar phenomenon. Witnesses recall seeing a ball of lightning just before the victim disintegrates into a pile of ash as if they spontaneously combusted.
Obviously, the biggest mystery/conspiracy had already been solved in Secrets of the Mafia, so High Voltage doesn’t have quite the impact emotionally on the player; but nonetheless, the case itself is extremely unique.
New York Mysteries 3: Lantern of Souls
After the brutal murder of a wealthy attorney’s wife, the investigation takes a dark turn as it pushes toward the fringes. It appears the murder victim has risen from the dead to enact sweet revenge, a perfect case for the renowned Laura James!
New York Mysteries 4: Outbreak
There has been an outbreak of a strange disease that is killing hundreds of thousands of New York residents. Laura teams up with a doctor who specializes in plagues as they race against the clock to stop the deadly epidemic. Could a mysterious artifact stored in the Order’s archives have anything to do with the outbreak? Could ground zero be in their own backyard?
I have literally played thousands of HOPA games and Outbreak was, and always will be one of my favorite plots… Who doesn’t love an apocalyptic scenario?
New York Mysteries 5: Power of Art
Director Bishop receives a frantic call from the gallery’s director explaining there has been a robbery. Of course, an ordinary robbery would be a case for the police, but this was no ordinary theft because the painting itself wasn’t stolen, the monster within the painting was stolen!
For me personally, the story was a bit cheesy, and at times boring until Laura began doing what Laura does best… snoop! In the original game, Secrets of the Mafia, Laura’s investigations kept exposing details that seemed more like conspiracy theories. She uncovered secrets that were purposely hidden from the public for years; the further she drove the investigation, the more mysterious the case became. It was this “snooping” that drove the story. I wanted to uncover conspiracies but it felt like I was just solving another case with no twists or turns for far too long.
It does pick up, and Laura’s investigative snooping does become more intense, eventually. A new character is introduced towards the end and I love this character and hope to see more of him in the future.
Five BN never disappoints when it comes to gameplay or features! They have amazing Collectibles in several categories, and some of the best Morphing Objects any HOPA has ever offered. I love that previous scenes must be revisited after finding an inventory item sometime later. Often times I have forgotten all about a task when it finally dawns on me that I have to go back several scenes.
I love that the puzzles and mini-games require a bit of thought to solve. I don’t know how Five BN does it, game after game, but they always offer unique puzzles that requires a bit of strategy, and no two games seem identical. Don’t get me wrong, some of these mini-games are maddening!
One of my favorite mini-games was a simplistic game with the most basic goal of landing any square block on the X. This game seemed to take forever to solve, as I used blocks as bumpers and set up the playing field. I was totally engrossed in the game, it was challenging but really fun. (It was probably a game that only took 4-5 moves to solve correctly 🤣) These are the kinds of mini-games that make you feel like you have accomplished something afterward, you feel a sense of pride that you solved it and didn’t have to peek at the Strategy Guide.
Hidden Object Scenes
I refer to these as “Progressive-Interactive-Hidden Object Scenes” because they are far from a typical HO scene. These are highly interactive puzzles you solve by finding an item that matches the silhouetted shape shown and using that item within the scene to help you progress. Other developers have tried to create a similar concept, but they pale in comparison! There are also “Multiples of the Same Object” & “Find & Replace” Hidden Object variations as well as the Progressive Interactive HO’s.
One of my favorite HO scenes in this game was the Cowboy & Indian HO scene, where you must find and replace objects logically in a Cowboy & Indians scene. Although it wasn’t as tricky as some of the progressive scenes, it was still a fun kind of challenge. Another feature in the HOS that I absolutely love is having to search for multiple clues or codes to solve a puzzle within the HO scene. It’s so much more gratifying than having a sticky note with the solution slapped above the puzzle… what’s the point?
Kudos to the Graphics Department
Lastly, I want to give a shoutout to the graphics department whom we often take for granted. They always focus on the details; how often do we overlook the fact that tools and other objects are covered in rust or have grease, dust, dirt, and even cobwebs covering them to make things more realistic? How many other games have you played where you dig up an object buried in the dirt and pull out a bright and shiny object? Graphics can make or break a game and the fact that they pay attention to the tiniest of details is what sets their game apart from ordinary HOPAs!
Where to find New York Mysteries
Find games 1 through 4 in the New York Mysteries – 5 Pack and the most recent game, New York Mysteries: Power of Art CE, can be found in many of our bestselling packs: Dangers from Dreamland Vol. 2 – 10 Pack, Underworld Wraiths Vol. 2 – 10 Pack, and the Best of Paranormal Mysteries – 15 Pack.
The last game in the series hadn’t been made by the time we released the New York Mysteries – 5 Pack so we apologize for the split. However, if you are a Hero or Superhero member, you can also find this game in our Make Your Own Pack! Get it and four other games of your choice in this special pack you can personalize!