It’s been five years since the first House of Da Vinci game was released back in 2017 by a small team of Leonardo da Vinci + puzzle adventure game enthusiasts — a small niche if ever there was one. The game was a certified hit, spawning a sequel and now, at long last, its third and final installment: The House of Da Vinci 3 for Android.
I’ve been into point-and-click adventure games for most of my gaming life, and I’m always happy to see new contenders land on the scene. The frequent comparisons House of Da Vinci draws to The Room series (the true puzzle adventure behemoth on mobile) are understandable, but that doesn’t make The House of Da Vinci 3 (HoDV3, for short) any less fun of an experience; especially for genre diehards like me.
HoDV3 is a 3D puzzle adventure game set in Renaissance Italy at the height of artist and inventor Leonardo da Vinci’s fame. A faction of mysterious men seem to be hunting for Leonardo and now you! Thankfully you’ve still got his most fantastical invention, the Oculus Perpetua, a strange device that can open portals through time and see hidden mechanisms the human eye can’t.
With the Oculus, you can find Leonardo’s hidden messages throughout Italy and, hopefully, track him down and reunite with him before your foes do. Functionally speaking, the setup takes you through some awesome sets spanning church tombs, Italian villas, and ancient cities, all beautifully rendered and filled to the brim with puzzles to solve.
It’s not an overtly spooky game, but some of the areas are perfectly matched to a spooky fall atmosphere, making HoDV3 a solid choice for spooky season gaming. In typical point-and-click fashion, you travel around to new areas. You roll through a cycle of finding a thing, doing a thing, finding another thing, doing another thing, and eventually solving that area’s final puzzle, allowing you to move on to the next one.
It’s not revolutionary, but it’s hard not to be delighted and intrigued every time you find a new item and get to figure out what it goes to. The puzzles themselves are often based on da Vinci’s real inventions or schematics, adding a ton of enlightenment flavor to the experience. I also love the less realistic touches, like the fact that the Oculus Perpetua can take you into brief instances of other times, allowing you to change your current environment by messing with other times.
I do, however, have a couple of complaints about HoDV3. The first, which is also true of its predecessors, is that the game’s UI is sometimes incredibly obscure. You might logically know that you’re supposed to pull a lever to move some machinery as part of a puzzle, but you can’t figure out what you’re supposed to swipe, drag, or tap to make that action happen. It’s a small issue, but it happens enough to become frustrating over time.
My other petty gripe with the game is that the hint system, which is generally a much-appreciated feature, will display hint text boxes for much longer than you want them to stick around, to the point that you’re ready to continue with a puzzle but can’t because the hint box is blocking your view. The addition of a simple X button to close out the text boxes would have easily solved this.
That being said, it’s great that the hint system offers a three-tiered progression, initially giving you a slight nudge and eventually telling you precisely what you’re supposed to do if you’re totally lost. It’s also nice that you can go back and click on hints again if you forgot what they told you.
The House of Da Vinci 3 is a worthy successor and a solid final installment to wrap up a great series. At $5.99, it’s a little pricier than your average mobile game, but the high-quality look and feel justify the price tag. If you’re a fan of The Room series and haven’t yet given House of Da Vinci a shot yet, you really should try these games out. You’ll love them!
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A lifelong gamer, Mogan has had a controller in hand since the PlayStation 1 ruled the world and Neopets seemed eternal. She loves to play new and old games alike, especially if it's something weird and charming. Puzzlers, JRPGs, adventure, and rhythm games are her favorites.