Too many viewings of This is Spinal Tap have made it impossible to think of druids without also bringing to mind dwarves dancing around a two-foot tall Stonehenge. German developer House of Tales is finally challenging that habit with The Mystery of the Druids, an adventure that absolutely is not funny. Instead it's poorly designed, ugly, and rife with bugs.
Evil doings are afoot, and you, as Brent Halligan, need to get to the bottom of it all by following a trail of clues that lead from the contemporary English countryside all the way back to the medieval era. Such a ripping yarn should provide the framework for a good adventure. It doesn't, mostly because of lame scripting and puzzle design that never gets beyond Fed Ex basics. If you're not off searching for alcohol to give to a derelict, you're scrounging for a pair of scissors or hunting down mistletoe. Many of the puzzles are merely filler, particularly the alcohol one mentioned above.
Exacerbating these basic design flaws are appalling production values and the complete absence of quality control. Somebody at House of Tales let this one out the door without checking a calendar, because the graphics are straight out of 1996. Aside from some nice 3D background art and detail, everything is blocky, grainy, or some combination of the two. Glitches are everywhere. Characters appear to be standing in front of objects that they're actually standing behind. Conversations sometimes feature material that you shouldn't know about yet. The game often refuses to accept that the CD in the drive is actually the correct one, and the only fix is a manual full installation to the hard drive (this option isn't available in the initial install options) as outlined in the FAQ at the official website. Crashes are frequent. Unless you enjoy repetition, you'll want to save the game each and every time you're about to visit a new location.
No matter how hard up you are for a traditional adventure game, leave The Mystery of the Druids unsolved.