The Secrets of Da Vinci: The Forbidden Manuscript

aka: Da Vinci Experience, Los Secretos de Da Vinci: El Manuscrito Prohibido, Secrets of Da Vinci HD, The Secrets Of Da Vinci: Le Manuscrit Interdit, The Secrets of Da Vinci: Das verbotene Manuskript, The Secrets of Da Vinci: Il Manoscritto Proibito, The Secrets of Da Vinci: Tajemství Mistra Leonarda Zapovězený Rukopis, The Secrets of Da Vinci: Zakazany Manuskrypt
Moby ID: 22209
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The Secrets of Da Vinci: The Forbidden Manuscript is an adventure game which takes place in Italy in 1522, 3 years after Leonardo Da Vinci's death. It is not the same as the action/adventure game titled after the movie, The Da Vinci Code, but an entirely different game.

The artist and inventor Da Vinci bequeathed all of his technical notes to his student and scholarly companion, Francesco Melzi. You play the role of Melzi's apprentice, Valdo, who is sent to Da Vinci's home to find his secret notebook. Once gaining entrance to Da Vinci's residence, there are many obstacles in his way including the artist's own inventions and the puzzles that go along with them.

Using a point-and-click interface, explore the estate of Leonardo Da Vinci which is replicated on-screen in 3D. Meet and converse with the current resident of the manor and the grounds keeper. Consultations and historical documents from the Chateau du Clos Lucé (formerly the Manoir du Cloux) assisted the developers in depicting the estate and grounds with historical accuracy.

Puzzles are based on the actual works of DaVinci and are a mixed variety of mechanical, scientific and alchemic. Most require simple logic and deduction but some are triggered by discovering the correct clue. Solving puzzles inside Valdo's interactive journal is necessary as well.

The game is divided into 4 Chapters (days). There are several different endings possible depending upon decisions you make during the last portions of the game.


  • Тайна да Винчи: Потерянный манускрипт - Russian spelling
  • 达芬奇的秘密:被禁的手稿 - Chinese spelling (simplified)

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Credits (Windows version)

48 People (41 developers, 7 thanks) · View all

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Average score: 71% (based on 28 ratings)


Average score: 3.4 out of 5 (based on 11 ratings with 1 reviews)

Similar to a Jules Verne adventure

The Good
I must admit that I didn't really like Forbidden Manuscript as much as I thought I would. However, a few good points are worth mentioning in this section.

The renaissance representation is fantastic and makes you feel as if you are really part of that era as you explore. The graphics of the house and grounds are wonderfully realistic. Fires crackle in the fireplaces, birds sing in the trees and the brook babbles along as it winds its way through the grounds. The music is unusual and well-orchestrated. Players are rewarded when a milestone is reached with special tunes.

The Bad
The story didn't capture my imagination. I found it to be slow and somewhat boring at times. Those feelings were intensified by overly long screen loads. (Click .. wait, wait, wait - even while simply walking around the house)

The journal gives too little information. Puzzle clues are vague and elusive. In fact, the majority of the "real" puzzles are solved by trial and error. You must conform to the strict linear nature of the gameplay. If you vary, you'll be stuck without any idea of your next action. Add to this .. pixel-hunting, wandering around in the dark, endless backtracking between locations, and the feeling of "busy work" while completing tasks.

There are NPCs with whom you can talk and interact with .. but ONLY TWO. They both come across exactly like their graphic depictions - stiff and lacking emotion.

While there are multiple ways to solve some of the puzzles, you are limited in that area by your "good" or "bad" nature. The personality "meter" measures all of your deeds .. thus if you're too "good" you won't be able to lie or steal. The meter can be adjusted by sacrificing points (and I could care less about points in adventure games other than to record progress). Ultimately the meter was a lame attempt to give the game replay value, in my opinion.

The Bottom Line
Secrets of Da Vinci: The Forbidden Manuscript offers gamers a very small glimpse into the life and times of Leonardo Da Vinci. Gameplay can be compared to the Jules Verne adventures with the exception of non-player character interaction.

Players are first challenged to find Da Vinci's study. Then, after meeting the current mistress of the house, the "lovely" Marie Babou, more exploration becomes available. The player learns how to make everyday items (ink and gunpowder, for instance) by mixing up ingredients found nearby. Repairs to things around the house are necessary to progress - like fixing the garden fountain and a broken bridge. Everyday tools from the time need to be used to accomplish some tasks (a saw, drill, mortar and pestle etc.)

One inventive gameplay object is Valdo's journal. While it records notes, it also contains puzzles making interaction with the pages possible (and necessary). The game also features a points system to record progress as well as a "good/bad" personality meter.

As an "architect to the King of France", cut scenes feature conversations with the king and Leonardo. These cut scenes provide a slight break in the otherwise dull story.

Overall, this weekend excursion was forgotten the minute I uninstalled it. If you go into it without too many expectations, you might find it more enjoyable than I did. Still, it's worth waiting for it to appear in a bargain bin.

Windows · by Jeanne (75931) · 2007


Subject By Date
Compatibility with Windows 8 Belboz (6512) Jun 3, 2014


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  • MobyGames ID: 22209
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Contributors to this Entry

Game added by Jeanne.

iPad added by Wilfried de Kerchove de Denterghem. Windows Mobile added by Kabushi. Macintosh added by Zeppin.

Additional contributors: Unicorn Lynx, lobo rojo, Sciere, Ghost Pirate, UV, DarkDante, formercontrib, COBRA-COBRETTI, Zeppin, Klaster_1.

Game added April 27, 2006. Last modified March 12, 2024.