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Nightmares from the Deep 3: Davy Jones

Nightmares from the Deep 3: Davy Jones is the final chapter in the Nightmares from the Deep series, with this third game completing the story of Sarah Black, and her endeavour to stop the endless curses by Davy Jones, the infamous sea devil.

After the troublesome events of Nightmares from the Deep 2: The Siren's Call, one would expect Sarah to rest upon her journey, but no, she went deeper and kept her museum with one goal in her mind; The search for the truth, the true identity of Davy Jones, and the pirates that once spread havoc over the seas. This is exactly what fires up our new journey, as Sarah, with the help from her daughter Cory, do a presentation of Davy Jones, to a live audience at the museum. According to new information acquired by Sarah, the sea devil, it's not just a legend, he was real, a flesh and bone person, giving a whole new perspective of the story behind the most dangerous pirate who ever sailed the seas.

As people cheer and applaud, the lights go out and the Davy Jones himself sails across the museum, in a ghostly way, warning Sarah that her deeds have disturbed him, and this time both Sarah and her daughter Cory are in trouble! The fearsome pirate kidnaps them, and sails way to high seas, imprisoning them. A mere prison won’t stop Sarah of course, and as she tries to escape with Cory, Pirates get the hold of them, threatening their lives. In a moment of despair, Cory makes a pact with Davy Jones, to spare her mother's life, but the sea devil had other plans… Being astute and crafty, Davy Jones tricks Cory, and throws her mother Sarah down into the water.

So it starts, the final and decisive chapter, and this time Sarah has a real and up close reason to uncover the mysteries behind Davy Jones and his curses, to hopefully, put an ending for all, while at the same time, save her daughter from eternal enslavement. The journey won’t be easy, but she won’t be alone as there are new friends to meet, and some of them are dead for centuries, but still willing to lay a hand to Sarah. Interactions across the island are vast, including with cute animals, which will aid in this journey to find peace across years of pain and desolation.

Artifex Mundi delivers again a fantastic adventure that concludes this saga, and they couldn’t finish it in a better way. Developed and published by one of the most prestigious Hidden Object publishers on Steam, this adventure proves a systematic improvement in quality is possible, in fact, we’ve seen it more and more frequently within Indie developers. A five to six hour adventure that maintains the same level of mechanical design and somehow increasing visual fidelity from the previous title!

Nightmares from the Deep 3: Davy Jones was released in 2014, and it's been four years, but just like the previous installment of the series, this one also suits automatically well to 16:9, and although the native resolution is 720, it scales just fine to 1920x1080. It’s not a technical issue, and can easily be overlooked.

When it comes to visuals, this final chapter remains within the same parameters established by the previous title, but improving the quality and quantity of 3D renders on the background, for cutscenes and overall relevant moments. The ambient remains atmospherically the same, with pirate themes, tropical cursed beaches and fishing villages, with more pirates, of course, and a dose of magic to go with it. The colors are still bright, exotic and fits perfectly in the game’s spirit across the 68 beautiful sceneries, all hand drawn with taste and passion.

Gameplay wise, Nightmares from the Deep 3: Davy Jones delivers 11 traditional Hidden Object scenes, and plus two variants of the classic approach. One where just like traditionally the player must find items, but this time they are object fragments, in order to achieve a specific item. Other Hidden Object scenes consist of unlocking one item, use it to further unlock more items and use them in a successive order until the desired object is found. It’s an overall good mix of identical, but at the same time very distinct scenes players always enjoy, especially when creativity is the main focus. Due to the resolution being upscaled, some objects may prove to be hard to find, plus they are particularly well hidden occasionally, so it’s a mix of enjoyment and leaving one deep desire for higher quality, that won’t at any point hurt the experience.

Puzzles are also present, and as seen previously, they stand in an easy-medium difficulty, perfectly suitable for beginners and casual adventurous players. These puzzles resemble classic mini-games such as combining gems based on their color in rotating mechanisms, or completing a jigsaw puzzle in order to complete a painting, or even one of my favorite, navigating a galleonacross a board, hitting all the signed checkpoints, but without repeating the same location twice. There are 29 engaging mini-game puzzles, and although some are challenging, none will reach to a point of frustration. Overall difficult is still presented in three levels, from Casual to Expert, in which this advanced level excludesmost helpful tips and hints.

Gameplay goes further than your traditional simplistic adventure. Among the arduous task of uncovering the secrets in Davy Jone’s past life, players have more challenges displayed out in the open. There are a total of 12 mysterious statues to awake, they represent the past memories of the sea devil, and unlocking all of them will grant extra cutscenes with secrets to unveil. 3 extra sets of collectibles are also available across the game; 12 seahorses, 10 pirate cards and 24 puzzle pieces are scattered across the environment, and serves as an extra motivation to enjoy the scenery!

Extras are included, containing 12 wallpapers with different resolutions; 1024x768, 1366x768 and 1920x1080, 26 cutscenes to be re-visited anytime, 12 concept art images, and of course the ability to replay Hidden Object scenes. The Steam version is supposedly the Collector’s Edition, and contains a bonus story entitled The Stolen Treasure, a direct sequel of events right after the end of the main adventure. This extra adds between 30 to 40 minutes of gameplay, where a new evil rises and only Sarah and Cory can stop it. Players have a handful of Hidden Object scenes and a few mini-games to complete within the now changed locations, and a few extra locations, completely new.

In-game music is mostly atmospheric and ambient filler with some particular tunes that were re-inspired from the previous chapters, and it’s not entirely wrong considering how this saga delivers the same vibe across the three games. In the Extras Menu, players can find the total amount of six music tracks and save them to their computer with a quality of 128 kbps of bitrate. It’s not much in terms of quality, but it’s a free OST that not many developers are willing to give for free!

Overall, Nightmares from the Deep 3: Davy Jones is a fantastic ending to this adventure, revealing a more emotional and humane side of the sea devil, and focusing on the mysteries behind such enigmatic villain. With no fillers or distractions, it’s a complete journey for the truth and redemptions. A great recommended adventure where it’s important to emphasize the need to play, if possible, the entire collection of Nightmares from the Deep, to fully appreciate this endangerment that joins mother and daughter in a bond that only their hope and love can save this cursed island!

This game is available across several platforms, including PC, MAC, Portable devices, and consoles such as Playstation 4 and Xbox one.

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