Ancient Chinese Secrets
From developer Cotton Games and publisher, Lilith Games comes investigative visual novel Tales of the Mirror. Set during China’s Ming dynasty, the game tasks players with solving a gruesome murder in a small village along the Yangtze River. Players take the role of an investigator named Peh Jun as the game thrusts him into a world of magic and secrets.
Chinese literature has a long history of investigative tales, dating as far back as the medieval Song dynasty. Tales of the Mirror acknowledges this legacy in both its setting and visual design, which resembles Ming dynasty paintings. Players navigate the painted landscapes in search of clues and witnesses. Aiding protagonist Peh Jun is the magic hand mirror that gives Tales of the Mirror its name. And players had better move quickly, as the murderers won’t sit idle and time is running out. The game also features multiple endings based on which clues and characters Jun finds and interacts with.
A Time for Reflection
Shanghai developer Cotton Games opened its doors in 2013. It’s won several rewards in China but so far remains mostly unknown outside the country. Tales of the Mirror is the studio’s first international release. Publisher Lilith Games has a significantly higher profile. The company’s name is attached to several prominent mobile games such as idle RPG AFK Arena and multiplayer RTS games Rise of Kingdoms and Warpath. Despite its high media profile, Lilith’s releases tend to see mediocre reception and accusations of pay-to-win. An investigative visual novel is also something of a departure from the publisher’s usual fare.
Only time will tell if Tales of the Mirror lives up to its promise as a well-written, story-driven investigative experience. In the meantime, the game is available now in English, Chinese and Japanese. Players can download it on Android, iOS and PC through Google Play, the App Store and Steam. Stay tuned for our Hardcore Droid Review.