Adam Wolfe Episode 1: An Ancient Flame Review

Adam Wolfe is a pleasant mix of mystery, action and puzzle games all in one.

Adam Wolfe is an episodic Hidden Object Puzzle Adventure (HOPA) developed by Mad Head Games. Players follow supernatural investigator Adam Wolfe as he helps the police with cases beyond their scope. At the same time, Wolfe is on the hunt for his missing sister. Each case brings him closer to finding her, with surprising connections to discover as you play.

The first episode, titled An Ancient Flame, launches the game with a bang. Following a string of arson attacks around San Francisco, Adam Wolfe is called in to help the police solve the crime spree. Determining the arsonist was more than human, Wolfe launches an investigation into a fire demon and how to stop him before more people are lost. 

Adam Wolfe: An Ancient Flame is a great introduction to the series. Not only does the player get a sense of who Wolfe is as the game progresses, but the crime to be solved is extremely interesting. The story also has various twists to keep players moving forward.

When it comes to the puzzle and hidden object aspects of the game, they are relatively well done. Puzzles are varied throughout, with little to no overlap in how to complete a puzzle. The hidden objects section is easy to fulfill and reveals more about Wolfe's past. 

The one thing that could be worked on for the rest of the episodes is that many of the puzzles did not have an explanation on how to complete them. While most of the puzzles were relatively self-explanatory, some of them took valuable time just trying to figure out how they worked. This slows the player's progress towards accomplishing the objective. However, the problem may be remedied in later episodes if puzzle types are repeated so the player has requisite knowledge for how to complete them.

The aesthetics of Adam Wolfe are beyond what I expected. The locations are beautifully done and filled with detail. During action scenes, the art style is reminiscent of comic books and uses multiple panels to move the story forward. 

Looking at other reviews on Steam, it appears that players on iOS may run into issues with clicking the wrong thing while playing due to smaller buttons. Other than that, though, there were no technical problems or glitches with the game that I discovered while playing.

Filled with action, adventure, a mystery to be solved and variety in the game play, Adam Wolfe: An Ancient Flame was well worth the time I spent playing. Ending on a cliffhanger that will lead into the second episode, the game seems more like an interactive television show than a full-fledged HOPA game. Still, the elements have combined perfectly to make this game a hit. 

Note: Mad Hat Games provided a copy of the game for the purposes of this review.

Published Oct. 10th 2016

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