There are 4 types of anomalies in the game. Each one adds its own unique challenge to the picture investigation. Researching a picture with an anomaly in it will cost more energy points than researching the same picture without the anomaly. Curse mode always appears in the picture after a successful investigation of an anomaly.
It is possible to banish the anomaly from the picture before you play using special tools you can win in the game. Banishing the anomaly will remove it from the picture and give you rewards. Text mode always appears in the picture after you banish an anomaly from it.
Types of Anomalies
There are currently 4 types of anomalies that can appear in pictures in the game. Each anomaly has its own unique effect designed to make the picture investigation more difficult.
Ghostly MirrorThe symbol for Ghostly mirror is a mirror with a face pushing out of it in the top left hand corner of the photo of a picture. When the Ghostly Mirror is in a picture, the game is played very much like text mode. You must find the items listed in the brown banner at the bottom of the screen within a 5 minute time limit. The difference is all the words are printed backwards (in it's 'mirror image'), so you must first figure out what the word is before searching for the items. The regular tools, talismans and artefacts can be used as normal when investigating a picture with the Ghostly Mirror anomaly. Lanterns and Torches may not be used. The Mystic Mirror item is used to banish Ghostly Mirror from a picture.
The symbol for Mystic Smoke is a cauldron with black smoke coming out in the top left hand corner of the photo of a picture. When Mystic Smoke is in a picture, the game is played very much like text mode. You must find all the items listed in the brown banner at the bottom of the screen within a 5 minute time limit. The difference is clouds of black smoke move across the screen obstructing your view of the picture. The regular tools, talismans and artefacts can be used as normal when investigating a picture with the Mystic Smoke anomaly. Lanterns and Torches may not be used. The Magical Lantern item is used to banish Mystic Smoke from a picture.
The symbol for Lost Time is a fast spinning clock in the top left hand corner of the photo of a picture. When Lost Time is in a picture, the game is played exactly like text mode. You must find all the items listed in the brown banner at the bottom of the screen within a certain time limit. The difference is that the timer itself counts down twice as fast as normal. Like all anomalies, you are initially given 5 minutes to complete a picture with the Lost Time Anomaly, but since this timer counts down twice as fast as normal (2 seconds on the timer pass for every 1 second of real time), it actually takes only 2 minutes and 30 seconds* for the timer to run out. This means that investigating a picture with Lost Time is basically investigating a picture in Text mode but you get 30 fewer seconds to play (Text mode gives 3 minutes to find the objects, the Lost Time anomaly gives only 2 minutes 30 seconds) and the investigation costs you more energy points. The regular tools, talismans and artefacts can be used as normal when investigating a picture with the Lost Time anomaly. Lanterns and Torches may not be used. The Hand Fan item is used to banish Lost Time from a picture.
- Note that originally, the Lost Time anomaly's timer counted down slightly slower,so players had 3 minutes and 20 seconds to complete the puzzle. This meant that players received an extra 20 seconds to play the picture over regular Text mode, which gives 3 minutes, rather than having a reduced amount of time. This has now been fixed, and the Lost Time anomaly gives less time than Text mode overall.
The symbol for Scrolleater is torn parchment flapping along the bottom of the photo of a picture. When Scrolleater is in a picture, the game is played very much like text mode. You must find all the items listed in the brown banner at the bottom of the screen within a 5 minute time limit. The difference is only one item appears on the list at a time. The regular tools, talismans and artefacts can be used as normal when investigating a picture with the Scrolleater anomaly. Lanterns and Torches may not be used. The Holy Water item is used to banish Scrolleater from a picture.
Investigating Pictures with AnomaliesWhen a picture has an anomaly in it, you will see a symbol representing the anomaly in the photo of the picture on your Home Desktop. Pressing a picture will bring up the research window for that picture. A blown up version of the anomaly symbol will appear in the photo of the picture in the research window.
As you open the window you will see the energy required to investigate the picture increase from the normal amount required to play. This is a percentage increase, so the more energy points that picture requires, the bigger the increase you will see. The more advanced a picture's level is, the more energy points it normally takes to play, so the more energy points will be added if an anomaly is present.
In addition to costing more energy points, pictures with anomalies in them will also award additional experience points and coins for successful investigations. The extra experience points and coins earned are listed after '+' signs next to the normal amount awarded in the research window.
If you look through the 'Can be found' list (directly above the green 'Research' button) for the picture, you will find additional items are available to be won for a successful investigation of a picture with an anomaly in it than can normally be found in that picture. These include collection items such as those for the Poker Counters collection and the Voodoo Doll collection, which give high rewards when combined. These additional items can only be won by successfully investigating or banishing anomalies.
To investigate the picture with the anomaly in it, simply press the green 'Research' button. Every anomaly gives 5 minutes to play the picture (as opposed to the standard 3 minutes for Text and Silhouette modes).
After you successfully investigate the picture with the anomaly in it, you will be given a random set of items from the 'Can be found' list as a reward, in addition to the experience points and coins listed in the research window before the investigation. The next mode in that picture will be Curse mode (unless another anomaly appears there before you play).
When you open the Research Window for a picture with an anomaly in it you are given the option to either investigate the picture with the anomaly present, or banish the anomaly from the picture.
In the Research Window for a picture with an anomaly in it, the scene level progress bar will be replaced with a 'Banish' button. To banish an anomaly simply press the Banish button. If you do not have the right item to banish the anomaly in your inventory you will be offered to buy it with crystals. If you do have the right item to banish the anomaly in your inventory, the anomaly will be removed from the picture and you will be given a random set of items from the 'Can be found' list as a reward. You will not be rewarded the experience points and coins listed in the research window. You can then choose to investigate the picture without the anomaly or to close the Research Window and play a different picture or puzzle.
The next mode in that picture will be Text mode (unless another anomaly appears there before you play).
Below is a list of the anomalies currently available in the game, the item required to banish that anomaly, the pictures where that item can be found, collections that reward that item when combined, and awards that reward that item when achieved. See the List of Collections and List of Awards for more details. Banishing items can also be bought in the shop for crystals.
|Anomaly||Banishing item||Pictures that reward item||Collections that reward item||Awards that reward item|
|Ghostly Mirror||Mystic Mirror||Throne Room||Circus Artists; Hunting Traps; Ouija Board; Cornelius's Diary; International Postage; Silver Setting||'A Light in the Dark'; 'Daredevil'; 'Braveheart'|
|Mystic Smoke||Magical Lantern||Joy Cafe||Engineering Aids; Different Cheeses; Paranormal Investigation; Overhead Projector; Lullaby Music; Potion of the Future;||'Dispeller'; 'Gorged on Gifts'; 'Guardian'; 'Protector'; 'Warden'|
|Lost Time||Hand Fan||Venice||Tools of Talent; Royal Assembly; Insects in Amber; Essential Oil Burners; Prophetic Objects; Cornelius's Personal Belongings; Potion of the Past;||'Banisher'; 'Parts-Collector'; 'Sticky Situation'; 'Bloodhound'|
|Scrolleater||Holy Water||Mayan Temple||Autographs of the Celebrities; Magic Crystals; Lost Notes; Eastern Sweets; Crime Scene; Earth's Wealth||'Gorged on Gifts'; 'Double Vision'; 'Twin Time'; 'Doppelganger'|
You can also obtain Anomaly banishing items from the Magic Cube Desktop Award which could be won as part of the Harvest Festival Timed Challenges (September 2016) and gives out 1 banishing item every 12 hours or 2 banishing items if charged by a Visiting Friend.
Anomalies and "Curse" Mode
Curse mode is unique in the picture modes available in the game, as it does not appear in normal rotation as you play a picture. The only way to get Curse mode in a picture is to successfully investigate that picture when it has an anomaly in it.
The next mode to appear in that picture will be the Curse mode (symbol black 'Cba' on white background). The Ghostly Mirror anomaly does not count as a Curse mode for quests, even though the game is identical to Curse mode to play.
Hints and Tips
Quests to Dispel, Dissipate, Scatter and Banish an anomaly
As of the Valentines Update (February 2014-present) if a quest asks you to dispel, dissipate, or scatter an anomaly, both researching the picture with the anomaly present and banishing the anomaly will complete the quest. Most quests cannot be completed on the first try, so you may have to banish or play the picture with the anomaly present more than once to win the item the quest is asking for. In the case of quests that ask to banish an anomaly from a picture, both banishing the anomaly and playing that picture in text mode may reward the quest item. If in doubt, use the 'Show Hints' option in the quest box (open by pressing the quest icon on your quest list on the left hand side of your Home Desktop) and follow the blue arrow that appears to the picture. If the arrow points to the 'Research' button, investigate the picture with the anomaly in place, and if the blue arrow points to the 'Banish' button then banish the anomaly.
If you are playing a version of the game prior to the Valentines Update then if a quest asks you to banish an anomaly from a picture, use the 'Banish' button in the research window. But if the quest uses any other word than 'Banish' you should investigate the picture with the anomaly in place in order to be in with a chance of winning the item the quest is asking for.
It is not possible to force a certain anomaly to appear in a certain picture at a certain time. If you are not playing any pictures at all, no new anomalies will be triggered in your game. In normal conditions, Anomalies should potentially appear in Pictures in any game mode, including Curse mode, however recent updates have introduced problems to the game, restricting what game modes Pictures can be in that allow Anomalies to appear.
If you are playing a version of the game prior to the Valentines Update or after the Halloween2014 update, then if ANY anomaly appears in the picture you need a certain anomaly in, you have the option to leave it there, and continue to play a wide range of different pictures. The anomaly will rotate through the different anomaly types over a period of a couple of days. So it will eventually change into the anomaly you need. If you are playing the Valentines, Tavern or Treasure Island Update versions of the game, this does not work as consistently, and it is better to banish the wrong anomaly and keep playing a wide variety of pictures until the right anomaly type appears in the picture.
Text Mode and Anomalies (Celebration by the Bonfire Update)
A major change with Anomalies was introduced to the game by the Celebration by the Bonfire Update (June, 2016). Anomalies can currently only appear in Pictures that are in Text mode. This makes anomalies rarer in the game, but can be taken advantage of by players trying to force an anomaly into a particular Picture by just leaving that picture in Text mode and waiting for an anomaly to infect it by playing other pictures. You can then Banish or Play the anomaly depending on your requirements.
Night Mode and Anomalies (2014 Christmas Update)
*This glitch is now superceded by the much bigger Anomalies and Text mode glitch introduced by the Celebration by the Bonfire Update.
There is a glitch in the Christmas 2014 update that means that anomalies cannot appear in pictures that are in Night mode. If you need an anomaly to appear in a certain picture for a quest then make sure it is not in Night mode or none will appear. You can use this glitch to your advantage to reduce the number of options for locations for new anomalies to appear in. Do this by leaving pictures you do not need anomalies in in Night mode, so new anomalies cannot go into those pictures, increasing the odds that the anomaly will appear in the picture you do want it in.