Tales from the Dragon Mountain: The Strix is a hidden-object game. You are Mina Lockheart. Your beloved grandmother has died and left a mystery behind for you. You’ll solve this mystery through a combination of puzzles and hidden-object challenges.
I will warn you up front, I do not believe you can successfully play this game without a stylus. I had issues with tapping just the right spot as it was, and with a finger instead of a stylus, it was insanely frustrating.
You can set the difficulty mode for the game on the opening screen. Easy has fast recharge on hints, items or areas that you need with sparkle and there’s a find items panel. Casual mode still has hints but with a slower recharge, no sparkle and a find items panel. Adventure mode has slow hint recharge, no sparkle and no find items panel.
There is a tutorial as you begin the game, but you can turn it off if you want to. If you’re new to this kind of game, I would leave it on.
There are little markers on the screen that you’re supposed to tap to change locations. I had a lot of issues with my location changing if I got anywhere near the markers, even when I was just trying to tap around and explore the scene. On the other hand, trying to tap specific items that I could see demanded fine precision. The combination was quite frustrating.
You will pretty much have to tap everything in sight. There are things you need to collect for puzzles but no indication of any kind that you need to collect them. You will also have to combine various items in your inventory screen before you can then use them in the larger puzzles.
The sound and graphics are not bad. The voice acting was between OK and awful in some places. You see a scene and Mina says in almost a monotone, “grandma’s house is in flames — oh, the horror.” It really would have been better to just have subtitles and skip the voice acting part altogether.
I would say the puzzle difficulty has been mostly easy — once you know what the puzzle wants. When you have to turn pipes to get water to the kitchen sink, it seemed like nothing would move in this tangle of pipes, until I realized that only two pipes actually move in the entire puzzle — tap, tap, done.
I don’t know if any dragons actually show up later in the story. I suspect that “Dragon Mountain” is just the name of a place, but not actual dragons, but I didn’t get far enough to confirm that. I’m still wandering around grandma’s house. So far, while I’m finding objects to use in puzzles as I wander the house, I have yet to find a traditional hidden-object scene where you have a list of items to find. I kind of miss that, especially in a hidden-object game.