The Case of the Golden Idol was one of 2022’s unexpected treats and, earlier this year, The Spider of Lanka DLC once again delivered a nicely packaged backstory to, what I would consider, a masterpiece of a deduction puzzle game. Once again, Color Gray Games has dealt another surprising blow after shadow-dropping the final part of the Golden Idol Mysteries with the new Lemurian Vampire DLC.
Set on the island where the Golden Idol originated from, The Lemurian Vampire once again brings three more levels to the Golden Idol Mysteries collection and shows how the Golden Idol ended up in the hands of Albert Cloudsley and Oberon Geller in Case 1 of The Case of the Golden Idol.
Case 1 brings back Tissa Gamini, Jayan Ji and Zubiri Kerra from The Spider of Lanka. Following on from the events of the first DLC, the trio have washed up on the shores of Monkey Paw Island in search of the fountain of youth. They encounter a Lemurian group who have created a community on the island, where everyone must work for their keep and are governed by four guardians who are each designated to a demographic group in the community. Not only must the trio find the legendary “fountain of youth”, but they’ll also need to adjust to the community’s ways of living to stay on the island.
The gameplay repeats the process of the previous entries in the series: you must work out what is happening in each scene and why, while also identifying relevant persons and also having the option to solve information puzzles relevant to the scene.
That being said, The Lemurian Vampire has also brought some surprising additions to the gameplay of the Golden Idol Mysteries. A new time slider allows you to see the same scene at different points in time, sometimes during the same day or sometimes over the course of a few days. This is a brilliant intro to Color Gray Games’ style of deduction puzzles and I felt like this added further complexity to the three levels as they are smaller than what we saw in The Spider of Lanka.
The DLC also introduced a ‘known information’ slider which you can bring up to show the names of people you have already identified in the previous cases so you don’t have to reidentify them from memory like the previous entries in the series. As someone who is bad as remembering names and faces, this was greatly appreciated.
Though, speaking of which, I do think the hint system needs to change for each DLC. While I thought this was a great idea in the base game, using the same people and objects to identify to unlock hints in the DLC was rather irksome considering I haven’t played the base game since 2022, so I’ve forgotten a lot of the names and faces of those characters by now.
Despite being smaller in terms of level size than The Spider of Lanka and the later stages of The Case of the Golden Idol, The Lemurian Vampire once again delivers a solid backstory to the trilogy while also introducing new mechanics to help increase the complexity of the smaller levels. As a completed package, The Golden Idol Mysteries is a masterpiece that’s worth uncovering, I’m a huge fan of this style of puzzle solving that Color Gray Games has unleashed and I thoroughly look forward to what they have in store for the future.
Jess played Golden Idol Mysteries: The Lemurian Vampire on PC with a review code.