The House of Da Vinci – Review
Follow Genre: Point 'n click puzzle adventure
Developer: Blue Brain Games
Publisher: Blue Brain Games
Platform: PC, Mac, iOS, Android, Kindle
Tested on: PC

The House of Da Vinci – Review

Site Score
7.0
Good: Great variety in puzzles
Bad: Meager story
User Score
8.0
(1 votes)
Click to vote
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Rating: 8.0/10 (1 vote cast)

The House of Da Vinci is a point ‘n click puzzle adventure set in the renaissance era. You are an apprentice of Leonardo Da Vinci, and you’ll explore his house which is riddled with puzzles, to find a mysterious inventions which is threatened to be stolen by people with nefarious intentions. This game is rather similar to The Room, but the setting and atmosphere make this title distinct and worthwhile for lovers of this genre. The House of Da Vinci was developed and published by Blue Brain Games.

the house of da vinci logo

Story

The game starts with an animated sequence where you, an apprentice of Da Vinci, are outside of his house, and there’s some foreboding strange explosion happening near you. A letter from the master himself explains that he wants to show you a new invention, but other parties might be interested in it as well and it looks like these others don’t mean well. As you go around while solving puzzles, it seems like you are being followed as you go from room to room, but you don’t exactly feel rushed because nothing happens while you are working on the puzzles. Some letters you’ll find explain a bit more about the backstory, but that’s it, story-wise. Sometimes you’ll see a short dialogue that says something about the puzzles, the house, or the inventions of Da Vinci.

The game is basically a series of intricate puzzles, and not much story surrounds it, which is a pity, because while the puzzles are quite good, this game would have been a great opportunity to surround them with a good story as well, and thus make you feel like you have more of a purpose for solving the puzzles, besides just the satisfaction of finishing the puzzles and proceeding through the house.

The House of Da Vinci - screen 3

Graphics

The graphics are absolutely fantastic! The atmosphere and the use of light is really well done in this game, and the textures and materials used look really good! The user interface is intuitive, which is nice because you’ll have to rely on it a lot to solve parts of puzzles. The animations of many mechanisms inside the puzzles look good as well, it all feels like you are looking at beautiful intricate machines.

Sound

The game has relaxing background music, which fits the atmosphere and the setting of the game. The dialogues aren’t narrated. All mechanisms you activate and work with have sounds, and these sounds fit whatever you are doing very well, except some soundbites are a bit short and loop noticeably if you do an action for an extended period of time, for instance: the sound you hear when moving an object over a metal track. However, this is not much of an annoyance during the game; the sounds are generally fine.

The House of Da Vinci - screen 2

Gameplay

As we’ve mentioned before, The House of Da Vinci is a point ‘n click puzzle adventure game. Each room you’ll enter contains multiple puzzles, and these puzzles are almost always interconnected: You’ll need to solve parts of them to reveal objects which need to be used in order to progress on another puzzle present in the room. This means there is a huge amount of objects around you, and each has a great number of tiny pieces you can interact with. It’s useful to examine all objects carefully for anything missing or misaligned to get started, but often it might get a bit overwhelming to gain insight into all new puzzles and the order you’ll need to solve them, each time you enter a room. You won’t have any highlighting of interactable objects available in this game, so everything needs to be examined carefully.

The puzzles themselves are usually not very hard to solve, but sometimes you simply have missed an object hidden or cleverly disguised in another object in the room. Luckily there’s a hint feature for that, to help you on your way and reveal where you need to look in order to proceed.

The House of Da Vinci - screen 5

Sometimes you’ll need to check the items you have in your inventory, because many of them can be combined or manipulated to change their shape and change into a useful object. Often the name of an objects reveals whether it’s useful or not: ‘wooden foldable handle’ is not very useful, but ‘screwdriver’ is.

Early in the game you’ll get access to a handy tool which reveals hidden mechanisms in any puzzle, and another tool which shows you the state of certain objects in the past, so you can recreate this state again. Both are lenses through which you can look at certain puzzles and objects, but you’re never sure when you’ll need them, so usually you can try to use both to check out whatever puzzle you’re working on and try to reveal the next step if you are unsure on how to proceed.

The House of Da Vinci - screen 1

The puzzles you work on are based on Da Vinci’s actual work, and it’s a lot of fun to see these contraptions appear in the game. The puzzles have a lot of variation and are really inventive. It’s pretty amazing how intricate all the puzzles are: each object has so many details, and all details are important. It’s amazing how all puzzles in a room tie together to create one huge puzzle to eventually get to the next room. Luckily, the smaller ‘parts’ of the puzzles often show what their ultimate function will most likely be, hinting at the goal you’ll have to work towards while working on the puzzles.

Conclusion

The House of Da Vinci is a very good puzzle game, with smart and intricate puzzles which are a lot of fun to solve. The design of the puzzles and the environments, and the atmosphere created by the graphics and the music really transports you into the realm of the past. People who love puzzle games like this will surely enjoy this title! It’s too bad the story felt rather distant and meager while playing this game, because a game like this could have been backed by a great story about conspiracies and secret societies.

The House of Da Vinci - screen 4

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Rating: 8.0/10 (1 vote cast)
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The House of Da Vinci – Review, 8.0 out of 10 based on 1 rating
Anmaja
Anmaja


I'm a LARP writer, freelance teacher and everlasting PhD student, and an avid gamer. Nowadays I game mostly on PC, but I love my retro playstation 1 & 2 as well :) I like watching anime, movies and series, and read books & comics whenever I have time!

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