Royal Trouble: Hidden Adventure iPad Game Review

Even after reading the description of Royal Trouble I wasn’t sure exactly what to expect in terms of gameplay – and frankly I was nervous that I was getting burnt out on hidden object games after Spirit of Wandering (though ‘Letters from Nowhere 2’ tells me otherwise). Fortunately this is an entirely different sort of casual adventure game – and an absolute blast that you simply MUST try! Let’s take a look!

The Hype:
In this critically acclaimed adventure quest, help two charming royal heirs escape from a secluded island! Princess Loreen and Prince Nathaniel find themselves locked in a dungeon without any idea of how they got there. She is bright, witty and rebellious. He is handsome, smart and brave. Unfortunately, they can’t stand each other! Take control of both the Prince and Princess and help this hilarious bickering duo escape from their dastardly kidnappers. Search through the castle for exits and avoid being caught. Find suitable items to help them manage their inventories, solve puzzles, and play outstanding mini-games in search of answers. Solve the mystery of their captivity, and watch love blossom in this charming adventure game with fun twists and turns.
Key Features:

22 Entertaining locations
16 Intricate mini games
Charming witty characters
Explosive combination of mystery, romance and fun!
Game Center Support

The Reality:

Royal Trouble is a point & click adventure game that tells the story of a prince and princess – Loreen and Nathaniel – who awake to find themselves imprisoned alone in cells without any memory of how they got there or even where they are. The constant goal is to escape, but there are constant obstacles and difficult challenges that need to be solved. When the two first meet, there is distrust and antagonism since they do not know each other. But quite soon the two realize that they MUST work together to gain their freedom.

The first interesting gameplay twist is that you are playing as BOTH characters! You start off helping Loreen and Nathaniel individually get out of their cells, but after Loreen gets stuck after tricking her way into the one-person lift, Nathaniel eventually works to help her. You control one character at a time, but as the game progresses the back-and-forth becomes much more interactive as you exchange items to help one another using the dumb-waiter that connects several rooms in the castle.

Each character finds themself stuck in a room looking to advance towards escape, needing to locate items to help facilitate moving to the next room. For example, you make it out of one area by scaling down a chain rope, but soon realize that you need an item you saw in the previous room – but the chain is too high to reach. So you need to break down elements of a crumbled stairway, find some binding elements and build a makeshift ladder to help you scale back up to the previous room.

Although much of the game has you searching for items in rooms, it is very different from traditional ‘hidden object’ games and closer to ‘Sam & Max’ style adventures – each item needs to have a particular purpose directly related to whatever you are doing at the time. This is a much more engaging style of play – but requires a compelling story and characters to make it enjoyable. Fortunately Royal Trouble delivers – the protagonists are quirky and likeable, and the odd characters they meet along the way add loads of flavor. And the story – while totally predictable on the one hand – is well paced and presented and keeps you engaged and rooting for the heros throughout.

Aside from finding items to help you advance your escape and the story, you will also frequently meet up with puzzles. There are many types that will be familiar to veteran adventure gamers – restacking, pattern recognition, circuit flows, and simple math patters – and some that interact with items you locate in your travels. They never feel like simple busy-work, and always contribute to advancing the game.

Technically the game is extremely well done. The scenes are gorgeous and extremely detailed and well drawn. You will never miss an item due to lack of clarity or the screen being too dark. The cutscenes are done in a storybook 3D CGI style that brings things to life, and there is full voice acting for all characters and narration throughout the game.

My only criticism is that in a couple of ‘find X of this type of item’ puzzles I found the touch position recognition to be rather random. In one you needed to find a bunch of gears, and when there was only one left and I could SEE it … but had to find just the right place to tap to get it to recognize. This only happened in two similar puzzles, and was a minor annoyance.

But on the good side, I was glad there was no penalty for using the hint book, nor any scoring system at all. You get achievements as you advance the story and if you do things quickly, but otherwise the game leaves you alone for the most part and never breaks immersion. In some games all of the extras add to the experience, but in an adventure all you really care about is following the story so I applaud that the developers worked to keep you in-game as much as possible.

But that does nothing to diminish how much I enjoyed Royal Trouble. The story, the characters, the well-done technical details, and the compelling gameplay combine to make this one of those games I just couldn’t put down once I started and finished in just a couple of extended sessions. It is a great game that any fans of adventure games will immediately love – and any casual gamer should definitely check out!

Here is the trailer for Royal Trouble: Hidden Adventure:

Review: Royal Trouble: Hidden Adventure

Where to Buy: iTunes App Store for the iPhone and iPad

Price: Free with full-game unlock via in-app purchase: $4.99 iPhone / $6.99 iPad

What I Like: Excellent fun story; well-developed characters; great voice acting and cutscenes; engaging gameplay; fun but challenging puzzles; no scoring/penalty
What Needs Improvement: Two puzzles had me random tapping to get the game to recognize I had found the item correctly.
Source: Publisher provided review code

Categories: Gaming, Reviews

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