This gorgeous game was made by one of the world’s most popular museums
Co-developed by NetEase, Ink, Mountains and Mystery became an instant hit in China
It’s probably the prettiest Chinese game ever made, with every frame resembling a rare landscape painting that you would only see in a world-class museum.
The art is spectacular, but the game mechanics are pretty standard. All we could really do is tap to pick up items and release them later, much like any point-and-click puzzle game.
That should probably be expected, because it shouldn’t be a surprise that this game focuses less on being an actual game and more on being an educational tool. (I mean, it’s made by a museum, what did you expect?)
While I was blown away by the how good the game looked, there are also quite a few things that feel like missed opportunities for NetEase and The Palace Museum to truly make this title great.
For instance, at one point in the game, we had to tie a ribbon on a tree branch, which is a common practice in China, supposedly to invite good luck. While the intent of this practice is obvious to those who are Chinese, the game shouldn’t take it for granted and should explain what it means.
To be honest, the game is pretty bad at giving feedback overall. We often felt lost, both in terms of direction and in intent: We didn’t know where we were going or why were doing certain tasks. While some of that is part of the nature of point-and-click puzzle games, it still didn’t work for us.
Despite that, Ink, Mountains and Mystery is a terrific title that is like nothing you have seen before. Upon release earlier this month, it became an instant hit in China, topping the iOS download chart on its first day.
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