The Da Vinci Code

A mix of devious puzzles and pretty paintings

The gameplay's not all looking at trinkets and guessing about their deeper meanings; there's a bit of button mashing during action sequences, like opening a window in a frantic escape from the Louvre, and you may find yourself in hand-to-hand combat from time to time. The simple, press-the-button-sequence mechanics mean the demands on your reflexes are light; the resulting fight plays out cinematically, adjusting animations based on whether you connect with a punch or pressed the button late. We like what we saw.

Still, The Da Vinci Code is mostly a cerebral game of exploration, and can be played entirely as a stealth adventure if you prefer. Pick up objects, throw them across the room and distract your enemy with the clatter of metal on stone, then sneak by without taking any damage. Gamers more attracted by head-scratchers than head-bashers will likely enjoy that flexibility. And while the game is based on the book and not the movie, its same-day release on May 17 is no coincidence. Then again, as the twisted mystery of The Da Vinci Code will likely show, there's no such thing as coincidence.