Mirrors of Albion (iPad)

By Rebecca Larocque - November 19th, 2012


I so wanted Game Insight’s Mirrors of Albion to be a fun little game. Set in a version of Victorian England that has much more in common with Lewis Caroll’s Wonderland, you start out as a junior sleuth working alongside Chesire Jr. searching for the missing Alice Flemming. You search houses and other locations for clues, talk to her parents, and seek out input from other characters who are also pulled from the same world*. There is a great deal of assistance available from the characters you interact with, and you can always count on them to remind you what tools you need or where to look next.

Except… there are very few moments where someone isn’t popping up to tell you to buy this tool or buy more energy points or go complete that task. Every time you complete a task from the list on the left side of the screen, it feels like two more pop up. Although there are a variety of tasks to complete, they all involve the same thing: searching a room for objects unique to that location. Granted, I enjoyed this challenge to a certain extent because the objects were never in the same spot and they would mostly be cleverly hidden – sometimes you had to search for them by name; sometimes by silhouette. However, occasionally they would be obscured by an object that wasn’t on the list, or not entirely on the screen, which would make finding and selecting them a challenge.

Rebecca really likes this character.

The character interaction happened so frequently that it was easy to start tuning it out. The interactions usually related to one of three things: the main objective, a side objective**, or the acquisition of a tool or object needed to complete an objective. And, as I mentioned earlier, since you always end up playing “find the object” to complete a task, it doesn’t matter what you were told to do – it only mattered in which location you were in when you were asked to do it.

The most egregious problem, at least in my opinion, is the constant harassment to link to your social media accounts and keep your friends abreast of your accomplishments. Admittedly, there are many valid reasons to tie in your social media account to the game***; but I am of the school of thought who find it intrusive and pushy, not to mention the host of privacy concerns it raises. Again, it is optional and you can still play the game without dragging Twitter or Facebook into it – but I dislike being told I could be doing so much better if I onlu told my friends and family how well I was doing.

Ultimately, I found the experience frustrating and came up with several dozen reasons to avoid playing it.

* – Well, helloooo Mad Hatter…
** – Oh Mad Hatter, you are welcome to my tea party any day…
*** – Promotion, the desire to share with fellow users, in-game bonuses for doing so.

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