Have You Played… The Drawn Trilogy?

Have You Played? is an endless stream of game retrospectives. One a day, every day of the year, perhaps for all time.

While RPS is not embarrassed to admit its fondness for hidden object games and their ilk, there’s no doubt they’re still derided by many grumpy-grumps. The Drawn trilogy [official site] are, I believe, the games that could convince these people that there is great merit to “casual games” – whatever that means – and they’re now rather quietly appearing on Steam.

From casual frontrunners Big Fish Games, the Drawn series was an attempt to see if they could push things a little further than they normally would, see if something a little closer to a traditional adventure game could appeal to their audience. Whether it worked I do not know, but clearly money’s still being spent, with the second game in the series recently released on Steam in a “Collector’s Edition”. The first went on sale on the store in 2011, so it could well be a heck of a wait for the final game, Trail Of Shadows, or perhaps we’ll see Collector’s versions of all three.

The games: The central character is Iris, who has the ability to draw objects and then see them come to life. Rather than this being a mechanic of how you play, it’s instead a way in which the story is told, and pre-drawn items are used to solve puzzles. It’s really about calm, gentle exploration of its world, a fairytale narrative, and some really beautiful scenes. This isn’t hidden object, but it’s also not a full point and click. It sits somewhere between, where solving puzzles is rarely taxing, but instead relaxingly soothing. All three games are really very beautiful, and certainly deserve a look.

From this site

13 Comments

  1. Cloudiest Nights says:

    Yes, I have! I was just mentioning them to a friend the other day. Very charming games, which I need to go back and finish.

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    alison says:

    I accidentally bought a Big Fish hidden object game called Eternal Journey: New Atlantis a while ago. I was pleasantly surprised by the story. It wasn’t perhaps as deep as a modern adventure game, but it was just compelling enough to draw me through the lazy Sunday afternoon experience of hunting down implausibly-placed pairs of scissors. I felt like a dashing heroine in a pulpy space adventure. I’m not sure i’ll ever really understand the appeal of the actual finding of the objects, but the story and world was very pleasant – i’ve certainly played plenty of “serious” games with far weaker content. It’d be nice to get some more HOG recommendations from people who don’t particularly dig the mechanics but just find the worlds fun to visit.

    • Mandrake42 says:

      Artifex Mundi have quite a few HOG games on Steam that have good stories. My faves so far are probably the Enigmatis series by that company. Daily Indie Game currently have an Artifex Mundi bundle going cheap if you would like to check out some of their games for about the price of a cup of coffee: link to dailyindiegame.com

      As for the appeal of HOG games, I guess its the same appeal that made the Where’s Wally books so popular. I was a big fan of those books so I think HOG games scratch that same itch. If you nab that bundle I recommend starting with 9 Clues or maybe Nightmares of the Deep.

      • Mandrake42 says:

        Another part of the appeal for me is that they are something I can knock off in a weekend. Good for when I don’t have the time or energy to commit to something larger and more involved.

      • Caiman says:

        I got really addicted to HOG games a while back, as the style of gameplay was something I hadn’t really touched for a long time. I still play them now and then because they’re a nice break, but I’ve found that a lot of them are quite repetitious. The Artifex Mundi games are among the most polished, but after a while you can recognise the template that they use, including using the same 2-3 voice actors, the same artists, even the same kinds of puzzles, so everything starts to look and feel the same. That said, the first Nightmares of the Deep game got me hooked (the next two are also good, but along similar lines) and I also really enjoyed some non-AM games like the two Samantha Swift games, Angelica Weaver: Catch Me When You Can, House of 1,000 Doors, and of course the Drawn games. There were a few others but honestly all the titles start to sound the same after a while!

        Incidentally, brace yourself for terrible voice acting and overly dramatic protagonists; it seems to come with the territory.

        • Mandrake42 says:

          Oh yeah do the puzzles repeat. I made the mistake of playing a couple in a row and recognised the exact same puzzle more than once. Sure, they had been re-skinned, but the solution was still the same. It’s why I tend to save them for lazy weekends rather than binge on them :)

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  5. Turkey says:

    I’m too busy working from home to play any games.

  6. Ejia says:

    So they aren’t about Grand Admiral Drawn, then?

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