The Mystery of the Druids is an old school point-and-click adventure game with some 3D elements added for some good measure. The plot of the story is that many weird and mysterious murders have been committed around London for a few months, you play Brent Halligan, the detective that has been assigned to this case to try and solve them. Your boss has no faith in you, the whole system has been overrun by paperwork and your colleagues hate you, can it get any worse?

The game starts you off in the chiefs office, he gives you a rundown of the case and hands you the case folder with all of the evidence gathered over the past few months and sends you on your way. Unfortunately like many real life crimes this is not an easy one and as the title suggests theres some druids hanging around causing some mischief.

The game is in the old Monkey Island Style, while you have no verb bar you are shown what actions can be taken by moving your mouse over objects on the screen, the cursor will then change to an appropriate icon such as a speech bubble for talking or a magnifying glass for investigating. Speech is controlled in the normal adventure game manner by a series of options at the bottom of the screen. Your inventory is stored in a hidden panel, which is revealed when you move the mouse to the bottom of the screen.

The game does have some quirks when it comes down to speaking to characters, many times you will end up with the same dialogue lines over and over again until you either choose the right combination or perform a vital action elsewhere. The game does not indicate in any way what you are required to do to get the right answer out of a character, it just leaves you alone to try and figure it out, which isn't always the easiest of things to do.

Don't get me wrong, most of the puzzles are not actually that hard to figure out, unlike many adventure games most of the puzzles are geared towards real life situations and it won't take a mensa genius to figure them out. However there are times when you just don't have a clue and seem to be going nowhere fast!

The game is divided into two main parts, the Present and the Past. The Present is where you start off and is where most of the discovering is done as to why the murders are occurring and who is doing it. The past is where you will end up in a mission to stop the whole process from starting. I would say a little more but it would spoil it for you as I think the story is very good and well written.

The game uses 2D pre-rendered backgrounds, which are very nicely detailed and animated, the characters however are 3D models and are made of up to 1000 polygons which for most of the time animate smoothly and integrate reasonably well into the backgrounds. While the backgrounds are very well detailed the game does load them very quickly and while I have heard some reports of people seeing the backgrounds overlap as the character moves between the scenes, I didn't actually come across this or many other visual glitches which have been reported (we got the UK retail version to review).

The game did however come into some trouble during the character interaction or while there were 2 characters on screen very close up, it seemed to slow down quite a bit at times and the mouse movement was very jerky, however this did not detract from the gameplay that much and it was probably just this bloody computer or the settings I played the game on.

The speech one of the good parts of the game, while the speech is meant to be properly lip-synced I didn't really pay that much attention to it but overall the speech adds much to the game and I didn't incur and speech problems. It is possible to cut the conversations short by pressing the esc key, this will skip the current line of conversation and move it to the next line. This is a welcome addition as most of the time you end up covering the same dialogue parts over and over to find the right one.

Overall The Mystery of the Druids is a very good adventure game. I do recommend it to anyone who likes this type of game and is a must for any die hard adventure fans. While it does have some shortcomings such as the very dodgy music and hard gameplay, the game does do more than enough to overcome them and I can see why it was a huge hit over in Germany when it was released.