The House of Da Vinci has two major areas to focus on. One: the unavoidable fact that it's essentially The Room in a different package. Two: the unavoidable fact that it's actually a decent game.
But, can a game really stand on its own two feet when it's leaning on something more established?
Riddle me this
The House of Da Vinci is a point-and-click puzzler where you play as Leonardo Da Vinci's apprentice. After your master disappears it's up to you to find out where he's gone.
It starts off pretty simply, with moving mechanisms and finer details to take note of, but before you know if you've got a couple of special lenses and you can see through walls. Well, some of them.
Another neat quality is your ability to relive a brief snippet of time, allowing you to see what button Da Vinci pressed or where he'd been.
Not that you'd need too much help, mind you, as a lot of the puzzles are solvable with common sense. You may think that it misses the mark when it comes to the level of challenge offered, but it's nice to be able to solve at least a few things straight off the bat.
For the more difficult solutions, you've got the reliance of a handy hint system. Yes, it does make things a little easier, but the hints only pop up after a while and you don't have to use them.
The music in the game is extremely fitting, not distracting from the general gameplay while still managing to add to the atmosphere, and the same can be said for its sound effects.
The delicate 'clicks' and 'clacks' of the mechanisms alongside the responsive controls makes you feel like you're actually moving the items and turning the keys.
Oh, and the mechanisms and inventions themselves get infinitely cooler when you realise they're representative of Da Vinci's actual work.
However, going back to key point number one, you can't ignore the fact that it borrows heavily from The Room franchise. From the general design to the way the layers of the levels open up, it's easy to forget while playing that this isn't a Fireproof Games title.
While that's a compliment in itself, it's also a negative as it (ironically) doesn't show a lot of ingenuity.
The touchscreen definitely works in the game's favour but there are points where the controls are overly sensitive or overlap with other areas of a focal point, especially when zoomed right in.
Finally, a very, very small point to make is the use of 'real' writing on the paper. While it might not bother many people, the type of font is quite challenging to read and may not be everyone's cup of tea.
Da Vinci is da mastaa
The House of Da Vinci tears me two ways. On the inside it's a cracking puzzler with striking visuals, a nice soundtrack, and moderate challenges.
On the outside, however, it's a re-mask of another game that you really can't ignore after a while. The big question is, do I care that much?
Nah, not really. It's a decent game.