Kheops Studio, 2006
The Secrets of Da Vinci: The Forbidden Manuscript is an excellent adventure game with astounding graphics, enjoyable music, realistic sound effects, and a game play, an adventure gamer could die for. The game exhibits the last home of Leonardo Da Vince, which was known as the Manoir du Cloux in the very middle of Renascence, but nowadays known as the Chateau du Clos Lucé. The player moves and enjoys the inside and the outside views of the house in broad daylight and also at night to do certain tasks as the time does matter.
The game storyline is set in the year 1522, the Renascence era and cast you as Valdo, a young apprentice, who is assigned to investigate and recover Leonardo Da Vinci's forbidden manuscript hidden somewhere in his last home. You arrived at the house at night so the game begins at night and you need to finish certain tasks before you go to sleep and trigger the morning time. Well, that is the beauty of this game to enjoy same graphics in different times of the day. You play the game in first person perspective where you interact with game characters that are very lifelike and portray true image of the era with their appearance. The game puzzles are either preparing some item by combining many other items in a certain apparatus or gaining access to different locked areas. There is a map of the house in the game interface that shows the floors and the rooms. Once you unlock an area then the map shows the room in a darker color. There are many other places around the house that you explore to perform different tasks during your investigation and here my personal favorite is the casting of gold coins in the foundry.
The inventory items that you collect are placed automatically into the inventory, which can be accessed by right clicking the screen. In the inventory area you have a journal that logs all important clues you gathered during your investigation. For moving around you have a 360 degree angle view from a fixed place in every screen and a direction cursor that becomes visible only if the next screen you want to go is available, which also fades in and out if available. The distinguish feature in the game is your attitude toward the other game characters, which will result in either gaining or losing their confidence and also lead you to different game ending sequences. Another nice and enjoyable feature is the multiple ways to produce same inventory item and this means that the game can be played again and again to enjoy all these different ways. Finally I would quote that this is one of my best games that I really enjoyed playing and I would high recommend this game to all you adventure game players.