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November 7, 2013

Artifex Mundi masters the art of hidden-object games

With an attention to detail displayed on every screen, Artifex Mundi crafts highly engaging puzzle-based adventure games that appeal to casual gamers worldwide.

The Poland-based company has found its niche, and perhaps like one of the detectives in their games, they are following a trail that is leading to great success in the Windows Phone Store, as you can see in this video interview from Nokia Developer:


But things were not always easy.

They began with dreams of developing big games for PC play, but business circumstances led them down a slightly different path, initially developing a casual game for another company. Then, for a while, they were doing work for U.S.-based Big Fish Games.

In 2010 they were ready to start work on their own self-funded game, and produced “Enigmatis: the Ghosts of Maple Creek” which was a hit, making it possible for them to continue to develop their own games.

“From that point it was clear that this was the way to go and so we started developing similar hidden object puzzle, adventure games,” says Tomasz Grudziński, CEO of Artifex Mundi.

Perhaps not surprisingly, Artifex Mundi launches its games on all possible platforms. “We choose to develop for Windows Phone 8 after our great success on Windows 8,” says Kamil Urbanek, CTO at Artifex.

“All of the Lumia devices are strong enough to handle our games, so we don’t have to [worry] about performance,” says Kamil. “The quality of the screen and the responsive touch is very good, so the game experience on Lumia devices is at a very high level.”


Artifex Mundi has four games in the Windows Phone Store today, including free trials that give gamers a chance to play for an hour.

“The games are generally sold through in-app purchase,” says Tomasz. “We give the player the first hour of game play for free. They can test if the game is worth purchasing, and then we just have to make a good app.” The free time with the game is proving to be a convincing argument for taking that next step to pay for the full version.

Tomasz’s personal favorite is “Enigmatis”, which is the last game where he was part of the development process. This detective-style game features an “evidence wall” where you collect evidence during the game, and then connect the clues to solve the mystery.


The company’s most successful game to date is “Nightmares from the Deep: The Cursed Heart”, but all four games perform well. Together, they have over one million downloads, and have sold over 40,000 copies. All of the games have a dark and sometimes spooky theme, adding to the sense of mystery that draws players forward through the story.

Artifex Mundi has two development studios, one in Zabrze and the other in Krakow, as well as a business development office in the United States.

The company launches its games in many different languages, including the major European languages, Portuguese for the Brazilian market, and Chinese. Currently, the most popular market for their games happens to be in China.

What’s next for Artifex Mundi?

“We are currently launching a bunch of new games, and we will surely launch them on Windows Phone.” This includes a sequel for Nightmares from the Deep to end the trilogy, as well as a sequel to Enigmatis.

They expect to launch a new game every three months or so, which should keep all of the hidden-object adventure fans out there busy for a very long time.

If you want to learn more, check out the Artifex Mundi website. You can also sign up to be a beta tester for them, and try their games ahead of general release.