Review of The Secret Order: Shadow Breach

Artifex Mundi has given us another gem

Posted by Stealth David   24th March 2020
Are you a fan of hidden item games? How about magic and intrigue? A good mystery? If your answer is “yes” to these questions, then The Secret Order: Shadow Breach is the game for you.

Shadow Breach is the seventh title in a series that began in 2011 though the first of the series on Xbox One. The Secret Order of Griffins have battled supernatural dangers for generations.

In Artifex Mundi’s latest offering for consoles, you’ll find yourself playing the role of Sarah Pennington, an agent with The Secret Order whose job it is to fight the evil most of us never see. As the game begins, a fellow agent undercover at a dangerous facility is in trouble, and Sarah must find a way to help her.

The game begins at Sarah’s home, where puzzles must be solved before moving on to the next location. Like other games from this publisher, the title includes a nice variety of puzzles: hidden items, acquiring collectibles, finding clues, and solving problems. You will find yourself doing everything from searching for parts to make a laser gun to shoeing a horse.

The graphics are brightly colored and pretty, the controls responsive, and the voice acting well-done. As puzzles are solved, new places become available. You are tasked with unearthing the necessary relics to defeat your enemy. After all of the relics have been found at a location, the next area will open up.

Players will see achievements here that they’ve seen before, such as finishing all hidden item puzzles without hints and finishing all mini-games without skipping. Some, however, have been changed. Instead of having to finish a hidden item in less than sixty seconds, one now can finish in under ninety seconds twice for the achievement – a nice change. Another difference is that Hard mode isn’t required for the achievements, nor is there a secondary way to play like mahjong or dominoes, so the game can be completed in one run if desired.

Shadow Breach also includes extra content – a new chapter that becomes available once the core game is complete, a nice addition of extra gameplay for fans that has its own story and achievements.

Having played many Artifex Mundi games, I was pleased to find this one as enjoyable as any I’ve played before. The story moves quickly, the puzzles are reasonable, and the game is just plain fun. The story is inviting without being as dark as some of the titles we’ve seen in the last few years, such as those based on Grimm’s fairy tales. One might say it’s all the fun of a good mystery novel without the shadows of being terribly…well, grim.

The Secret Order: Shadow Breach is a great game in a great puzzle tradition. Artifex Mundi has given us another gem.

Reviewer’s Score: 9.0 out 10
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