The House Of Da Vinci 2 Review | Become an apprentice of the famous Leonardo da Vinci. Solve handcrafted mechanical 3D puzzles and discover hidden secrets. Navigate through mesmerizing environments of the Italian Renaissance. Travel through time to influence your surroundings.
Developer: Blue Brain Games
Console Played On: Nintendo Switch
Touchscreen Compatible: Yes
Number Of Players: 1
Do you wish that you lived in the renaissance era? Check ✅
Would you like to work for Leonardo Da Vinci? Check ✅
Would you like to travel back and forth through 16th Century Italy? Check ✅
Well if so, this puzzle game might just be for you.
“Painting Is Poetry That Is Seen Rather Than Felt, And Poetry Is Painting That Is Felt Rather Than Seen.”
The House Of Da Vinci 2 starts by (literally) taking no prisoners. As the character Giacomo, you are guided to escape your prison cell, to meet with a mysterious character; proposing an offer you cannot refuse.
The look and feel of the game are idiomatic from the beginning. Furthermore, the detailed aesthetics of the puzzles are in some cases, stunning; adding to the responsibility of drawing the player into the game’s world with ease.
My one drawback from an immersion perspective is the voice acting, which at best, is wooden. The cut scenes in the game are heavily driven by NPC dialogue and it does take a slight shine off an otherwise, immersive experience.
“Once You Have Tasted Flight, You Will Forever Walk The Earth With Your Eyes Turned Skyward…”
I’m in two minds about the control. The handheld control I found intuitive and easy to get on with. The console-docked method however I found to be quite the opposite.
Handheld allows you to either use the joy-con controllers, touchscreen or an interchangeable hybrid of both. There are plenty of calibration tweaks that can be applied in the options menu, for further customisation and personal comfort.
The console-docked method involves a single detached joy-con only, to be pointed at the TV, like a mouse. The biggest setback; is that this method is right joy-con compatible only. The left joy-con has no option to be used. (If you saw our Palindrome Syndrome review, I mentioned that I am left-handed). Therefore, I didn’t feel comfortable using this control method. It is something I would like for the developers to consider, if any updates are on the horizon.
“…Realise That Everything Connects To Everything Else”
The majority of puzzles presented, are logical and satisfying to complete. Puzzle types include observation, searching, placement, logic and math. Be warned however that observation and attention play a huge part in the player’s success. There were a few times that I was stuck in a room, pressed for a hint and was asked to merely open a door handle or a latch to a drawer. These slip-ups were sometimes my own poor attentive skills, but in some cases, it was due to the mechanisms not being signposted clear enough on screen to engage with.
The hints system works well in gradually assisting the player to the next progression, usually in 2, 3 or 4 stages. The collection of hints per puzzle are unlocked gradually through time spent looking around and attempting. This is a very organic process and strikes a fine balance between getting stuck for too long and spamming the hints from the off, preventing the risk of an overly-easy playthrough.
“Art Is Never Finished, Only Abandoned.”
What I like most about The House Of Da Vinci 2, is the reason that Giacomo becomes Leonardo Da Vinci’s apprentice. I’m not going to spoil it for potential players, but it is a fantastic story-piece, that bolsters the narrative’s depth.
Whist I mentioned above that the puzzle aesthetics are generally strong, the puzzle mechanics and types are not that varied. A lot of the puzzles require acute observational skills and, in some cases; can come off as pedestrian. Because of this, some players may find the game at times, repetitive and frustrating.
That being said, the return of the time travel mechanic from the first game; whilst not a completely original concept, is still exciting; adding further depth to the puzzles presented. There is a great satisfaction in going back in time, to change a prop’s position or picking up an item, thus carving out a solution in the present.
Priceless Art Or Worthless Fake?
The current value for The House Of Da Vinci 2 varies based on console choice. Mobile is priced at £4.99, whereas Switch is £8.99. Steam however is priced at £17.99. I’m going to base this on the console played (Switch), so add or remove a star for value for money, if you opt for one of the other two choices.
£8.99 I feel is a very reasonable price point for a game that will provide around 10 hours worth of solid, enjoyable game play.
For The Artist Or The Apprentice?
I’m going to put it out there and say that the majority of content in The House Of Da Vinci 2 is not difficult… as long as you pay attention. It is a game that rewards you for having a keen eye for nuance and the finer details. It’s when your mind might wander; for example, you look at your phone for a brief moment, during a short, automated cut scene; you miss an integral part to progress, and therefore have no choice but to use hints. (Yes, this did happen to me *cough*).
Bottom line, if you have a short attention span; you might struggle, and yes, I am calling myself out here.
This is a good game and has many reasons for it to be considered as your next purchase. Whilst there are some niggles and frustrations, these are often minor and do not take away from a satisfying experience.
The House Of Da Vinci 2 | Review
RussBuilds is an independent escape game designer. Here, he is writing on video games and escape rooms in the middle of the UK.