Category Archives: Hidden Object

Age of Oracles: Tara’s Journey Game Review

Age of Oracles: Tara’s Journey

Game Review by Debbie Winkler

Series: Age of Oracles #1
# of Players: 1
Target Age Group: 8 and up
Average Game Play: 3 – 10 hours
Type of Game: Hidden Object
My Rating: image_thumb83_thumb1_thumb

Synopsis:

Play your way through 22 levels of hidden object adventures in a mystical, magical land.  With only a talking peacock to guide you, find the special objects on each level that will help you develop your magical powers and bring you closer to your destiny.  Packed with fun-filled mini-games and a variety of hidden object scenes to search through, beginner and intermediate gamers will be sure to enjoy this game.

Review:

In Age of Oracles: Tara’s Adventure, you play the part of Tara, a newcomer to a magical world that she is unfamiliar with.  The world is based on the tarot and different cards and characters represent each of the 22 levels in the game.  The scenes with the hidden objects are not particularly mystical, however, but much more practical like apothecary shops, stable yards, exotic zoos, etc.  There is quite a bit of New Age advice that is also included in the game, most of which is very good and quite inspiring.  The graphics are bit old-fashioned, but they work just fine and get the job done.

Each level begins and ends with a mini-game.  The mini-games include jigsaw puzzles, matching, and mahjongg.  All of the mini-games feature the tarot deck.  After you successfully complete the mini-game, you will move to a tarot card scene.  You will interact and “talk” to the person on the card and they will give Age of Oracles Tara's Journeyyou a challenge.  Then a group of objects will appear on the bottom of the screen.  You need to pick up the object and place it directly on top of the identical object on the screen.  The screen will be in gray-scale and the objects you are placing will be in color so it is pretty easy to keep them straight.  After you place all of the objects, you will be moved to a wall of doors.  One – three doors will open up per level.  Click on a glowing door and you will be taken to the hidden object scene.  Each scene has you searching for fifteen objects.  There is a wide variety of scenes, but you will repeat several of the scenes multiple times, though you look for a different object list each time. Some of the objects you find will be placed in your inventory.  After you complete all of the glowing doors, you will be taken to a scene that is related to the tarot card you are working on.  Then you will need to use the objects to solve a puzzle.  Items you can interact with will glow and, if you click on them, they will give you a hint so that you know which object to use.  Helpful tip: sometimes you need to pick up additional objects on the final scene to complete the puzzle.  You don’t always get everything you need from the hidden object scenes.

Age of Oracles: Tara’s Journey is a great hidden object game for beginner or intermediate hidden object gamers.  Most of the item lists you will be searching for are recognizable, unlike other games I have played.  Sometimes there is a bit Age of Oracles Tara's Journey Hidden Object Sceneof confusion when you are looking for a bat (the animal or the baseball?), a bow (archery, bowtie or one you put on a gift?), but these are pretty straightforward.  You have an unlimited number of hints to help you through the levels.  Simply click on the peacock on the left-hand corner and an item on your list will glow.  You cannot select which item on the list you need help with, however, so the hints are most helpful when you have a few difficult-to-find objects left.  The hint recharges relatively quickly so don’t be afraid to use it to help you out on the more challenging/cluttered scenes.  There are no penalties for clicking on the wrong object in the hidden-object scenes so, for you lazy gamers out there, feel free to click away at anything and everything.  Sometimes you can stumble across every item on your list without even reading the list, but that kind of defeats the whole point of playing a hidden-object game, doesn’t it?

I consider myself an advanced hidden-object game player, but I did enjoy this one.  I needed a break and was looking for something fun and lightweight and Age of Oracles: Tara’s Journey definitely fit the bill!  I enjoyed the mini-games and found a few of the hidden-object scenes were more challenging than I Age of Oracles Tara's Journey Select a Doorexpected.  The game begins with fairly easy scenes and progresses to more difficult ones as you continue playing.  The storyline is fairly brief and to the point, which was a bit unfortunate.  I prefer games with a more robust storyline, but if you are looking for some straightforward game play where you don’t have to talk to people or follow a story, this one is for you.  Every time you progress to a new level there is a brief introduction or talking scene.  There is always a “skip intro” button on the bottom right hand side of your screen if you do not want to listen to the talking, which is nice as you can replay the game without listening to the information.  You do not need to listen to any of the story to figure out what you need to do.  If you are looking for a fun, fast hidden-object game that is full of bright, airy rooms to search and nothing scary, Age of Oracles: Tara’s Journey is a good one for you!

Content:

This game contains occult themes and graphics.  Magic, spellcasting, talking animals and other mythical elements are included.  All of the story is communicated through audio so you do not have to read the story.  However, you will need to read the list of objects that you need to find on the hidden-object scenes.  These are written and it is not an option to have them read aloud to you.  Recommended for ages 8 and up.

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Awakening: Moonfell Wood (Awakening #2) Game Review

Awakening: Moonfell Wood

Game Review by Debbie Winkler

Series: Awakening #2
# of Players: 1
Target Age Group: 8 and up
Language: English
Average Game Play: 2 – 8 hours
Type of Game: Adventure, Hidden Object
My Rating: image_thumb84_thumb1_thumb

Synopsis:

Princess Sophia has escaped the castle where she lay slumbering for 100 years, but she still cannot find any other humans!  Sophia ventures into the magical Moonfell Woods to continue her search for her family and encounters the Guardians, who have been waiting for Sophia’s awakening and return.  Solve puzzles, search the scenes and follow the clues to the Witch of the Woods, who holds the key to the location of Sophia’s family.

Review:

This is the second game in the Awakening series  and I enjoyed it just as much as the first one(Awakening: The Dreamless Castle), if not a little bit more.  These games belong more in the adventure genre than in the hidden object genre, in my opinion, but that is definitely a good thing as I am always on the lookout for another great adventure game!  This game picks up where the first one left off, awakening-moonfell-wood-introbut there is a little recap at the beginning for those who did not play the first game.  The story line is simple and is fantasy-based.  Princess Sophia was cursed by a dark figure to sleep for 100 years.  Now Princess Sophia has finally awoken and is looking for her family.  As she travels through the Moonfell Wood, she will uncover clues as to where her family has gone and the true story as to what happened to cause her to sleep for so long.  The story keeps me coming back for more in this game franchise and the graphics make me want to keep playing.  The graphics are beautifully done and seem almost like a fairy tale storybook.

This game is not what I consider challenging (though I did get stuck a few times!), but it is still interesting and engrossing.  Most websites refer to this game as a hidden object game, but there are only a few scenes that are traditional hidden object games.  Throughout the game, you will stumble across a location Awakening-Moonfell-Wood-EN2-awakening-moonfell-wood-2that will give you a list of 12 items that you need to locate within the scene and then you will keep one of the items as a tool to use in your inventory.  Later on in the game, they will show you the shape of the item you need to find (sets of four, another one will appear when you find one) instead of giving you a list.  There are seven magical tarot-like cards that you will need to find 12 awakening-moonfell-wood_screen2hidden objects on each, but you are finding 1 object 12 times (12 jewels, 12 moons, etc.).  I feel that most of the game is spent solving puzzles – and not logic puzzles, though there are some of those – but solving actual puzzle puzzles.  They are not traditional jigsaw puzzles, but there are a lot of items to reassemble and different types of puzzle pieces to put together.  Half of the puzzles have you swapping tiles and rotating pieces to create the picture.  These can be a bit frustrating as you use the same mouse button to rotate the pieces as you do to swap the pieces.  I would be rotating a piece and then accidentally click on a piece near it and it would swap the pieces.  Once you get Awakening Moonfell Wood Square Puzzleused to this, it is not so bad, but it was a minor frustration for me.  The puzzles are mainly squares with square tiles, but there are also some hexagons and triangles.  The other puzzles come in the form of assembling objects with the broken pieces.  A teapot, statues, flowers and other items will need to be put together before you can use them.  The outline of the item is clearly shown and you simply rotate and place the pieces where they belong within the outline.  The best part about the puzzles is that the pieces lock into place when they are placed correctly.  This is true of almost all of the mini games in Awakening: Moonfell Wood.

If you do not like putting puzzles together, than this is not the right game for you.  Almost all of the locations have some sort of puzzle attached to continue to progress.  There are some unique puzzle/logic games that require referring to different charts and maps to assemble and win.  Most of the puzzles are solvable Awakening Moonfell Wood Puzzlewith a bit of time and a willingness to click around until you hit upon the correct sequence.  The key is finding the hint contained in the game to enable you to solve the puzzle you are working on.  If you do not look at a specific item or get a piece of paper with a solution on it, you will not be able to solve the puzzle.  If you have the instructions to beat the puzzle and still are not able to solve it, there is a skip button at the bottom of each puzzle that you can click on after you try to solve the puzzle for a while.  There is no penalty for skipping the puzzles so you can simply play and enjoy the game if you don’t want to deal with these mini games.

To help you play your way through the game, you have a little fairy friend and a journal.  The fairy can give you hints as to where hidden objects are found within the mini games and general directions as to what you need to do to proceed in the game and meet your objectives.  Some of these directions are helpful, others are not.  Keep in mind that the fairy’s advice will vary depending awakening-moonfell-wood-hd-full--screenshot-1on which scene you are standing in.  You may not be able to perform the task that the fairy is giving you hints because you are missing an object or don’t understand the hint.  Try to follow the hint she gives you and, if that doesn’t work, wait for her to recharge and then ask for a hint on another scene to see if it changes.  I found the journal more helpful than the fairy.  The journal has two sections.  One section gives you a list of objectives that you need to perform to beat the game.  These are sometimes really specific (get firewood, feed the bird, etc.) and others are more vague (find the witch, free the guardian, etc.), but they can help give you direction as you progress through the game. awakening-moonfell-wood-3The other portion of the journal will take personal notes as Sophia explores. She will create copies of maps, pictures, and portions of conversations that are helpful.  This was a huge help as the first game made you write down all of the clues you found and now the game keeps track of everything you need for you.  I found myself referring to the journal time and time again, particularly when I was playing mini games and trying to place objects in the correct order or to find the correct glyphs to unlock an item.  Your journal will open up and sparkle when there is new information to be found inside so you can refer to it as often or as infrequently as you wish.

The game is beautifully designed and it was a delight to explore each new location.  There are not very many scenes that you will play through in this game as the designers were quite clever in reusing locations.  Within Moonfell Woods, there are two different sections with a limited number of scenes within Awakening Moonfell Wood Moonlighteach section.  You spend the bulk of your time in the first section of the wood as you figure out what you are doing and try to gather the equipment you need by playing mini games or stumbling across it in your exploring.  Certain tasks can only be performed in the daylight or the moonlight so you will travel through a portal that will take you through day and night.  You interact differently with the scene depending on the sun and the moon.  For example, you can only fish during the day and you can only grow certain flowers in the moonlight.  By having fewer scenes, I felt like the game designers were able to focus on making beautiful details instead of pushing for huge quantities of scenes.  The other nice feature was that the fairy kept you from wasting your time in inactive sections. Once you finish a section, she will pop up and tell you that you don’t need to return and to focus on moving forward.  This was really helpful as I usually spend most of my time wandering aimlessly when I am Awakening Moonfell Woods Sunriseplaying adventure games when I am not sure what to do or where to go.  My only complaint with the game design was the super-picky clicking required. It took me a while to figure out that I was doing the correct thing, but I was clicking just a little too far to the side or below the interactive object.  Basically keep trying if you are sure you are doing the correct thing as you probably are.  There is no penalty for random clicking so you can keep trying all of your inventory items until you hit upon what you need to do.  Also, do not be afraid to click around on the scenes as there are lots of items that you need to pick up that do Awakening Moonfell Wood Waterfallnot seem interactive.  These include pine cones, mushrooms, and more.  Once you pick up one, your inventory will show you how many more you need to find (1 of 8, 1 of 12, etc.) and then you will be on the lookout for them, but it is difficult to find that first item you need.  If you notice that there is more than one of anything on the screen, try clicking on it to see if you can pick it up as you probably can.

If you are looking for a fun adventure-style hidden object game, this is a great series to check out.  It is friendly and relatively forgiving to beginners, but is a fun, laid-back game to play for more experienced gamers.  I love the theme of the game and that the screen is not dark and scary like a lot of the hidden object games out there.  I also loved my little dragon friend!  It was so wonderful to have a reliable heat and light source that I did not need to look for each time – thank you for giving us some permanently helpful items!  I think the quality and the creativity is there in these games and look forward to playing more of them!

Content:

This game is appropriate for viewers of all ages.  There are a few scenes that are a bit gloomy or portraying pictures of  the dark fighting the light, but I do not think that anyone would consider them scary.  This game requires quite a bit of reading to find things, read the objectives and to follow the storyline.  There is no talking during the game so you have to be able to read the conversations to know what is going on and to figure out what you need to do.  Recommended for ages 8 and up.

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Gourmania Game Review

Gourmania

Game Review by Debbie Winkler

Series: Gourmania #1
Creator: Butterfly iSoft
# of Players: 1
Target Age Group: 8 and up
Language: English
Average Game Play: 2 – 10 hours
Type of Game: Hidden Object
My Rating: 4/5 stars

Synopsis:

Do you have what it takes to become a top chef in the culinary world?  Work your way through seven restaurants to earn your place in the cooking showdown.  Serve everything from sandwiches to sushi, ice cream to cocktails and more!  Find the ingredients to fulfill the orders, drag them to the appropriate cooking appliance and earn the money you need to expand.  The faster you serve your customers, the more money you can earn so get moving!

Review:

This is a fun little hidden object game that I recently stumbled across.  Many people will tell you that it is a time management game, but it is all about finding ingredients.  There are seven different restaurants that you will work in with a wide variety of ingredients and recipes.  You Gourmania Map of Restaurantsbegin in a sandwich restaurant, where it is pretty easy to identify and locate the items that you need.  The pizza restaurant was also pretty easy, but the sushi restaurant and some of the cocktail bars have some specialized ingredients that you will have to become familiar with to win.  You have a set amount of time to earn the money you need to pass the goal level or to push yourself and win the expert level.  Wait for customers to come in and place an order.  Instead of requesting a “ham and cheese sandwich” they will ask for “ham, cheese and bread.”  You need to find Gourmania Appliance Shopthese three items to fulfill their order.  The icon of a cutting board and knife will then pop up on that customer’s order.  Drag the ingredient icon to the cutting board at the top of the screen and the game will automatically cut up the ingredients for you.  As you progress to more complex recipes, you will need to find more ingredients and use more of the kitchen appliances at the top of the screen.  When you are finished making the food, the customer will drop money on the counter and all you need to do is click on it to pick it up.  Use the money that you earn to purchase kitchen upgrades in the shop and to purchase more restaurants to build your culinary empire!

Each restaurant will have you play three levels, a bonus level, three more levels and a final bonus level.  The first couple of restaurants will keep the same layout inside.  Ingredients will consistently appear in the same place for all levels.  Later restaurants will change the Gourmania Pizza Restaurantperspective and location of ingredients after you play the first bonus level.  This means that you will need to find all of the ingredients again.  There are multiple icons for all ingredients, but no more than five or so per item.  Fortunately, the ingredients will recharge and pop back up over time if you wait for it.  This happens pretty quickly on the easy levels, but takes quite some time on the later levels.  This makes the later levels more challenging, but not impossible as the ingredients typically only have 2 looks (whole piece of fruit versus cut piece of fruit) or will have been rotated (bottle lying on its side versus standing up).  The bonus levels are a fun Gourmania Bonus Levelsitem matching mini-game that help you unlock new recipes and earn some bonus money.  You will have a row of ingredients on the bottom of the screen that you need to match to their outline on the conveyors at the top of the screen.  There are five conveyors moving in opposite directions (1, 3 and 5 going to the left and 2, 4 going to the right) that will show the blank outline of the ingredient that you need to match to it.  Click on the ingredient on the bottom and drag it to the appropriate outline.  Once all of the items on the conveyor are matched, the row will disappear and a new recipe will be unlocked.  The bonus levels are not timed, but the faster you make matches, the more bonus money you can earn.

I found the first several restaurants to be easy to play and doubled or tripled the amount of money I need to earn to achieve expert level without trying to hard.  This all changed when I hit the sushi restaurant, where I really struggled.  I barely hit the basic goal, let alone the expert goal!  However, after playing them several times each, I was able to achieve the expert level.  The key to winning on the more challenging levels is to take advantage of the bonuses you can get for chaining tasks.  Each bonus is only worth $5 – $20, which may not seem like a lot, but they can really add up!  If you find all of the items on one person’s order in a row, you Gourmania Sandwich Shopwill get a $10 bonus.  You can earn this bonus each time a customer has multiple items on their order.  For example, find the lettuce, tomato, and cucumber for customer #1 and you earn $10.  Find the shrimp, green onions and red caviar for customer #2 and you earn $10.  Then go back and find the white asparagus, onions and mushrooms for customer #1 and you earn another $10.  You can earn more chaining bonuses by running multiple kitchen appliances at the same time.  Find the first wave of ingredients for all three or four customers and then pull the ingredients up to the kitchen appliances at the same time.  You can earn an additional $10 for running three appliances or $20 for running four appliances.  The downside of earning these bonuses is that it takes some time for the appliances to do their work.  There is a status bar that runs around the outside of all of the appliances that will slowly or quickly fill with red as the task is completed.  Purchase upgrades in the store to increase speed or to purchase additional machines.  You will need all of the speed and machines you can get to achieve the expert goal.  The only other chaining bonuses you can get are for picking up money after you have completed an order.  Click on the first customer’s money and you get $0 in bonuses, click on customer #2’s money right afterwards and you get $5 in bonuses, $10 for customer #3, and $15 for customer #4.  This is the most difficult bonus to get as you have to balance a really delicate need between getting the chaining bonuses and clicking on the money right away to clear space for a new customer to come in.  There is a lag time of several seconds between completing a recipe by clicking on a customer’s money and a new customer arriving so you really have to hustle if you want a second or third wave of customers to come in your store before time runs out.

The main challenge of this game lies in identifying the ingredients you need to find.  Some of the food items I was not very familiar with so I had to use a hint button or search around the screen with my mouse (if you hover over an ingredient for a few seconds, the name will pop up) to find them.  It can be really frustrating as some ingredients have very little visual differentiation.  For example, in the ice cream restaurant, you have to know the difference between vanilla ice cream and sweet cream ice cream.  The vanilla ice cream is a creamy ivory color and the sweet cream ice cream is an icy white color.  If you struggle to see the difference between slight gradations of color, then do not play this game as you will get frustrated veryGourmania Bar quickly.  Another fun one was a pickle and a cucumber.  Other items are shown cut open or whole, which can also be a bit confusing.  All of the fruit items you need to find including papaya, starfruit, lemons, limes, guava, melons, etc. will have a whole version and a cut open version.  You will have to experiment with which fruit items are what to find all of them.  Fortunately, there is no penalty for clicking on incorrect items or I never ran into one.  I am not saying that you should click around randomly on the screen, but it is worth your while to try clicking on objects you are not sure of to see if they are some of your more exotic ingredients.

The graphics are not spectacular in this game and the storyline is practically nonexistent, but the game is still fun nonetheless.  I liked that the game was a bit different than most hidden object games out there and appreciated the extra touches the creators put in there to challenge my skills.  Some of the ingredients are hidden pretty well, but most of them are right in front of your face once you find them.  There is a hint button that recharges quickly that you can use to find that last missing ingredient.  Click on the hint button, then click on the ingredient you want to find and it will show you where the nearest ingredient is.  You can use the menu button to restart a level any time during play, change the music/sound settings, or exit out.  So the game itself is pretty simple and can get repetitive (I had to take a break after a while as all of the ingredients started blurring together), but it is fun to play a few levels or a couple of restaurants at a time.  If you are looking for a light-hearted, slightly different hidden object game, give this one a test run.  There are hints of time management game qualities in here and so you will find that it challenges your finding skills in a new and unusual way.

Content:

This game is appropriate for viewers of all ages.  All of the ingredients you need to find are written down in English at the top of the screen.  The tutorial and brief story line are also written in English.  Two of the restaurants are bars so you will be serving a lot of alcoholic drinks.  Recommended for ages 8 and up.

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Behind the Reflection Game Review

Behind the Reflection

Game Review by Debbie Winkler

# of Players: 1
Target Age Group: 8 and up
Language: English
Average Game Play: 2 – 12 hours
Type of Game: Hidden Object
My Rating:4/5 stars

Synopsis:

You play the part of a mother who is desperately looking for her son.  You were both on the way home from shopping when you stopped to rest and your son disappeared.  The old woman inside the house nearby believes that your son was on a moving truck that just left.  You track the truck down to a mysterious mansion where a witch claims that your son is trapped on the other side of the mirror.  Now you are desperately trying to open a portal into the mirrorworld so that you can find your son and bring him back home safely!  To open the portal, you will need to find a variety of objects and play mini-games.  Each master object you unlock will help draw you closer to your ultimate goal, but your life will never be the same again!

Review:

This was a fun hidden-object game with a touch of adventure thrown in.  The storyline was much better than most of those found in hidden-object games and I enjoyed following the adventures while looking for items.  I was not particularly crazy about the graphics.  They are very advanced and so your people move, walk and talk with other characters in the game. It is almost like a low-budget CGI animated feature.  Some of the proportions were off, but the settings were very nicely done and intriguing.  There is a lot of variety as you travel around to the different locations and they were quite imaginative so I did enjoy that part of it.  Also, the music and sound effects were actually quite nice in this game. For once, I was able to leave the music on and not be super annoyed and irritated by its sound while I was playing!  The default settings are quite low and added a nice, mellow touch to the game so that was a plus for me.  The game interface is pretty easy to use and everything loaded smoothly and worked well.  The game cursor is pretty forgiving and the only penalty you get is a temporarily cracked screen if you click around too often without landing on something you are looking for.  There is no time limit and the hint button is rechargeable so don’t worry about rushing through the game.

This hidden-object game differs from the traditional type in that you will need to find a master object to interact with.  When you click on a master object, 3 – 6 bubbles will appear around it that show you objects that you need to find to unlock the master.  For example, you click on the bird and need to find a birdcage, bread crumbs, a hammer and a screwdriver.  The items will all be shown in picture format, which can make finding the items a bit challenging as the objects are rarely in the same position on the screen.  Once you find an item, you will need to take that item and place it in the appropriate bubble.  If you cannot find all of the objects on the screen you are on, move to the next screen and see if you can find objects there.  The key to finding objects in this game is to find all of the master objects first.  If you click on an item that belongs to a master object that you have not yet clicked on, you will not pick it up and have to look for it again later.  If you click on all the master objects on the different locations, you can pick up any and all objects regardless of which master object they belong to.  If you pick up an item that belongs to a master object on the screen you are currently working on, it will remain on your cursor so you know you can place it immediately.  If the item belongs to a different master object on another screen, it will go into your inventory at the bottom of the screen for you to place later.  The items you need to pick up do not always stand out so it can be a bit challenging to remember everything you are looking for while you are wandering around.

There are typically 2 – 3 master objects per screen so it is not too overwhelming.  The master objects are quite easy to find, fortunately, as you will have a grasping hand show up over the correct location.  Just take your cursor and slowly cruise around the screen until you find the items you can interact with.  There are a few traditional hidden-object scenes in this game, however, and they are shown by sparkling stars.  Click on the stars and you will get a list of about 12 items you need to find.  One of the items will be an object you are looking for to complete a master object.  You can also find objects by playing mini games.  These mini games will pop up over items on the screen you are working on.  These locations on the screen will sparkle or show other indications that you can interact with them so it is not difficult to figure out that you need to click on them.  Keep in mind that you do need to have the master object open to play the mini game or you cannot click on the item and play it.  The mini games are a lot of fun in this game and I enjoyed them much more than I usually do.  There is a lot of variety and most of them are not difficult, but they were very creative and it was nice to play something different than usual.  Also, the game will automatically pop up with a “skip” bar that is slowly filling at the bottom of your mini-game screen.  I found that the skip button almost always filled up before I finished playing the mini-game.  I don’t know if I was really slow at finishing these games or if they just didn’t want people to have to wait forever (like some other hidden object games out there that really punish you for not playing mini games!), but it was really nice.  You play games where you move tiles around to get electricity or liquid to move through the pipes, put together puzzles, play matching games, solve mind-benders, play memory games and more.  These mini-games were fresh, unique and really added to my enjoyment of the game.

This game was a lot of fun to play and I really enjoyed myself while I was immersed in this world.  I was totally into the storyline and couldn’t wait to see what was going to happen!  Once I became adjusted to the graphics, I really had nothing to complain about.  They do a very nice job of tutoring you on the game basics in little drips and drabs, but that is only in regards to the main game play.  They do not provide very much, or any, instruction on how to play the mini games so be prepared to click around and figure out what you should do.  If something doesn’t work, try a different tactic.  Remember, you really are not penalized at all in this game so put yourself out there and click around until you find what you are looking for.  If you enjoy hidden-object games and are looking for something a little bit different with some nice fantastical touches, this is a great one to check out!

Content:

This game is appropriate for viewers of all ages.  There is some reading involved to follow the story, get instructions and to find objects on lists.  Recommended for ages 8 and up.

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A Girl in the City Game Review

A Girl in the City

Game Review by Debbie Winkler

# of Players: 1
Target Age Group: 8 and up
Language: English
Average Game Play: 1 – 5 hours
Type of Game: Hidden Object
My Rating: 1.5/5 stars

Synopsis:

You play the part of Laura in this hidden object game.  Laura just graduated and moved to New York City to get a job as a journalist.  Of course, she has a difficult time finding a position doing what she is trained for so she starts working at other jobs to make ends meet.  Her first job is at a pizza parlor so she helps out at the parlor, delivers pizzas and gets more familiar with NYC.  After a nasty crash, Laura will quit that job and move onto another minimum-wage job until she finally gets a job doing what she loves!

Review:

I found this game to be underwhelming, to say the least.  I should have realized as soon as I loaded this game that it would be a bit clunky and old-fashioned as the menu is not very user friendly.  To begin a new game, click on “start new game” and then click on the top option to enter your name.  Then you click on either the standard option, which is untimed, or the timed option on the bottom.  After that, your game will begin.  I selected the timed option as I play a lot of hidden-object games and wanted to make sure that I had a bit of a challenge.  However, I found that the time limit they gave was way too aggressive.  Your first challenge is finding different modes of travel on a NYC map.  You only have 1 minute and 30 seconds to find 8 yellow taxis and 8 pleasure boats.  This does not sound too difficult, of course, but you do have to hunt around to find them.  If you run out of time, as I did the first couple of times, then Laura will come up on the screen and tell you that you have to start over.  You can begin again without a penalty and, once you are more familiar with the screen (on your second, third or fourth time!), it is easier to find the objects in question.  Try and become familiar with this map as you will find yourself revisiting it again in between different locations.  The next challenge is to find neighborhoods (written in large pink letters) and then you have to find street names (written in small black letters).  The quantity and size of the objects you need to find becomes more and more challenging the more times you visit the map so you have to be quick!

One of the most challenging aspects of this game is that they only show 1 – 4 items at a time on the bottom of your screen.  Just when you think you are close to finishing a level, another item pops up for you to find.  And it is rare that you only have to find 1 of any particular item!  You usually have to find multiples of everything on the screen.  Also, even though you have clicked on the last item on the list, make sure that you don’t stop looking as they have a nasty habit of having 1 more item pop up at the very end that you need to click on.  This item will usually pop up in your inventory to be used later.  I cannot tell you how many times I was 1 or 2 seconds away from beating a level only to be foiled by the final item!  These objects are not difficult to find, indeed, they stand out and are quite easily identified.  What makes it very difficult to find these items and pass a level on your first try is that 1) you are not familiar with the scene, 2) you don’t know how many items total you have to find on that scene and 3) you are typically given 1 – 2 minutes to find everything or you have to start all over again.  I will say that, when you are playing the scene again to pass it, it is much easier as you have to find the same items, though they show up in a different order.  If you select the standard game play mode, you do not have to worry about the timer as you can take as much time as you want.  The game does score you based on how quickly you defeat the levels, but if your score doesn’t matter to you (and it really didn’t to me!), then it doesn’t matter if you play the untimed mode or replay the levels on the timed mode.

The graphics were a bit old-fashioned and outdated.  I was not impressed with the styling, layout or colors of the game.  It was not very user friendly and did not draw you into the game.  The menu options are just as clunky as the game itself, though they did let you adjust music, sound effects and brightness.  There are some instructions and tips that pop up at appropriate times that you can scroll through by using the arrows at the bottom of the screen, but I did not always find the information that I needed contained in them.  I remember that I had a difficult time figuring out what to do next several points throughout the game.  You kind of have to click around to find  the next scene you are supposed to play.  For example, after you play the first level of the map game, you need to click on the circle that pops up representing the pizza parlor.  Once you play the first level of the pizza parlor and pick up the pencil (last bonus item), you need to click on the little grey circle that is on the pizza oven so that you play the mini game to progress.  There are several mini games thrown into the game to break up the monotony of finding items.  These are also timed, thank goodness, or I would still be playing!  I never really figured out how to skip through them, but I did run out of time on several of them so I did not get the bonus hints or whatever.  I was just grateful to move on!  They have some puzzle games where you have to move pizzas out of the ovens, put together map delivery routes, delete spam email, etc.  I was pretty good at some of these, but pretty bad at most of them!

This game does give you some clues that you can use to find items, but they are limited.  You only have a certain, undisclosed number per game so I hoarded mine.  I also never knew how many more items I needed to find until the very end and, by then, it was pretty much too late to click on a hint, click on the object you were trying to find and then click on the object itself.  I kept waiting for a really tough level to use them on, but it never really appeared.  The game is pretty forgiving with clicking randomly on the screen, but if you abuse it too much and go overboard, the game will go black for a few seconds and then come back up.  You don’t really have any time to lose so be careful with what you click on so you don’t lose the time.

I feel that this game had a very thin story, older graphics, poorly designed user interface and not very much to recommend it.  I think there are so many hidden-object game options out there that you really need to have something exceptional in this type of game to get me to buy it.  This one did not meet any of my criteria and did not capture my interest for long.  There are so many, better games out there, I cannot imagine you would need to waste your time playing this one.

Content:

This game is appropriate for viewers of all ages.  There is quite a bit of reading at the beginning to teach you how to play the game, though nothing is too different from other hidden object games so you could jump start without reading it.  All of the objects that you need to find are written on the bottom of the screen and some of the challenges involve finding objects that are written on the screen.  Recommended for ages 8 and up.

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Cajun Cop: The French Quarter Caper Game Review

Cajun Cop: The French Quarter Caper

Game Review by Debbie Winkler

# of Players: 1
Target Age Group: 8 and up
Language: English
Average Game Play: 2 – 10 hours
Type of Game: Hidden Object
My Rating: 3.5/5 stars

Synopsis:

“Join the famous Inspector Jacques Lamont as he pursues a dastardly gang of jewel thieves through the streets of the Big Easy in this exciting Hidden Object game! Scour the city of New Orleans for clues, from the haunts of the rich to gritty back alleys, to catch the crooks. Use your keen wits to bring these clever gangsters to justice as they attempt to cover their tracks and escape from Cajun Cop!

  • Perplexing puzzles and minigames
  • Unique atmosphere
  • Catch the jewel thieves!” — Netflix.com

Review:

You play the part of Inspector Jacques Lamont, a police detective in historical New Orleans.  Your latest case involves tracking down a group of jewel thieves, who have already robbed one location and will soon rob more!  On each screen, you will be provided a list of items that you need to find.  Some of the items are hidden behind other, moveable items on the screen.  Some of the items will show up in your inventory for future use.  Sparkling stars will show you when there is another location to search (a break room off or your office, etc.) and a magnifying glass will show you when you can look more closely at an item where there will be another list waiting for you.  You will be searching for items that will help you solve the case and will slowly progress from one crime site to another in your search for the criminals.

This is a fairly standard hidden object game.  You play your way through different locations and screens, finding a list of objects along the way.  The lists are always written and you can see all of the items that you need to find right away.  Every once in a while, you will need to play a mini game, such as find the differences between two rooms, put together a puzzle, solve a riddle, etc.  These mini games are not difficult, but they are a nice little break in the game.  Items have a very similar look to them so, once you have identified what a pistol or a scrap of paper looks like, you should have no difficulty finding it on another screen as it will look much the same.  What they do to make the game a bit more interesting is to change the perspective and type of objects.  For example, when you need to find a knife, you may be looking for a butter knife or a dagger.  Sometimes the knives are shown on the screen with the point up and the handle down so that you are looking down on as if the knife was upright.  Sometimes the knife will be lying flat as we are accustomed to seeing it.  By changing the angle of where the knife is on the screen, they make it a bit more challenging to locate the knives in each screen.

You have two different game options when you begin playing: master detective or rookie cop.  If you select master detective, you will have a rechargeable hint that shows up at the bottom right of your screen.  You can click on the hint whenever you need to, but it does take about a minute or so to charge up so that you can use it again.  If you select the rookie cop level, you will have multiple hints that are available for immediate use that are also rechargeable so you don’t have to wait for help as long.  Other than that, there is really no difference in the game.  The items are not overly challenging to find, but all of the items have the same look to them so you have to filter through all of the garbage on the screen to find what you are looking for.  If you do too much random clicking, you will get 2 minutes added to your total time, but, other than that, there is no penalty.  I ended up getting quite a few penalties as I found that the the game was very particular about where your cursor needed to be for a click to register on the right item.  This was frustrating as I would click on the item that I thought was a baton or a banana or whatever and I would get the error sound, like I had clicked on something that was incorrect.  I would not click on it again, thinking it was the wrong item and would diligently look about on the screen for something else.  When I gave up and used a hint, it would highlight the item I had already clicked on so be very particular with where you point your cursor and what part of the item you click on.

There are one or two items on every screen that will move when you click on them.  These items are shown by an open-hand icon.  When you see the open hand, you can move the item from right to left or up and down, depending on what item it is.  You are not told about these items when you start playing so you may find yourself unable to find a particular item on your list.  If you use a hint, it will highlight the item that you are supposed to move, which is how I found out about the moveable objects.  Other than that, there are really no tricks to the game and you just need to find what is on the list.  There is a nice little story line that accompanies each of your screens and I enjoyed reading about the investigation and new-found clues.  The story is told in a kind of old-fashioned comic strip style and I liked the animation that they used to portray it.  The screens themselves are well illustrated, clear and well colored.  Again, there is nothing particularly imaginative about this game, but it is a solid, enjoyable game in the hidden object genre.

Content:

This game is appropriate for viewers of all ages.  The story deals with jewel thieves, but they do not show the crimes or anything violent.  There is quite a bit of reading involved in this game.  You do not get a lot of direction as to what you are supposed to do in the game, but all of the objects you need to find are written on a list.  The story is all in writing, too, so you need to be able to read well enough to identify the objects you need to find.  Recommended for ages 8 and up.

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Atlantis: Mysteries of Ancient Inventors Game Review

Atlantis: Mysteries of Ancient Inventors

Game Review by Debbie Winkler

# of Players: 1
Target Age Group: 8 and up
Language: English
Average Game Play: 2 – 8 hours
Type of Game: Hidden Object
My Rating: 3.5/5 stars

Synopsis:

“Help Anna follow an ancient map and conquer the obstacles in her way to find the lost treasures of ancient Atlantis! As a young and ambitious archaeologist, Anna discovers a fragment of a mysterious map leading to the underwater kingdom. Dive into Atlantis: Mysteries of Ancient Inventors, and scour awesome Hidden Object scenes to discover secrets that have been protected for centuries.

  • Great graphics
  • Awesome achievements
  • Help Anna find Atlantis! ” — Big Fish Games

Review:

You play the part of Anna, a young explorer who just found an ancient map that leads to the lost city of Atlantis.  You begin the game by gathering all of the equipment and supplies you will need to begin your adventure!  Once equipped, you will travel to different locations to gather information, uncover clues and to draw ever closer to you goal.  Each location has multiple scenes that you will need to search using a variety of techniques.  Most locations are standard hidden object searches with a list of items that you must find on the screen, but they try to mix it up by offering a little bit of variety.  They will also have you search by flashlight to find items, hunt for objects by providing you the silhouette of the items, spot the difference (click on items that don’t match on a split screen in the scene) and do mass searches for 20 items of the same object (papers, compasses, etc.).  These searches are broken up with mini-games including puzzles, word games, word searches, etc.  The storyline is not a super huge part of the game, but it is kind of fun to follow and gives you an excuse to be nosy and explore.

This game is fun and quite easy on the hidden object searching end.  Once again, I found that I struggled more to solve the mini games than to find the hidden objects, which was immensely frustrating.  Fortunately, this game has a skip button for the mini games that you don’t want to struggle to complete so it was relatively easy to pick and choose which games I wanted to play.  There is no penalty for skipping games so you can choose to blitz through all of them if you just want to hunt for the objects.  On the other hand, I found the hidden object searches to be very simple in comparison.  If you just click around on the screen on the items that stand out, you will hit upon most of the items on the list without too much effort.  The only drawback to clicking randomly is that you lose 3 minutes of time if you don’t hit upon anything on the list.  I never would have had this problem if they showed you the entire list of things that you were searching for, but they only show you the top section of the list.  Each time you find an object, a new one pops up at the bottom to take its place until you get to the end of the list.  I find this very frustrating as I like to see everything I am looking for at the same time rather than just little bits and pieces.  You will have to pay attention to your screen and make a mental note of where objects are so that you can find them again later when they finally show up on your list.  If you do get stuck, there is a hint button that charges very rapidly so you can use it as many times as you want to help find items.  The only caveat to this is that there are special items that you need to find that are in “quotation marks” on your item list.  For example, on the first screen you need to find an “electric torch.”  Now, if you are British, you will know that this is a flashlight.  But it is not good enough to just find the flashlight, you have to find the battery and then drag it to the flashlight or vice versa.  Most of these items are pretty straightforward like “mortar and pestle,” but not all of them.  The most frustrating thing about these special objects is that the hint button doesn’t really help you on these special items.  It will show you what the completed object looks like, but not where the pieces can be found.  This really stinks because you can end up stuck on a scene for a very long time with no help in sight!

The graphics are pretty nice in this game and the interface is smooth and easy to follow.  The story is intriguing, but brief and helps move the game along.  There is not really anything special that makes this game stand out, but it is a nice little hidden object game that is fun to play.  I don’t think that I would ever want to go back and play this game again, but it was a fun way to pass a few hours.

Content:

This game is appropriate for viewers of all ages.  There is quite a bit of reading involved to follow the story and to get the basic instructions.  All of the items that you need to find on the traditional hidden object screens are written down so you need to be able to read the item name and then find it.  Recommended for players ages 8 and up.

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Avenue Flo: Special Delivery Game Review

Avenue Flo: Special Delivery

Game Review by Debbie Winkler

Starring: Avenue Flo #2
# of Players: 1
Target Age Group: 8 and up
Language: English
Average Game Play: 2 – 12 hours
Type of Game: Adventure, Hidden Object, Time Management
My Rating: 4/5 stars

Synopsis:

“The DinerTown family is growing! Join Flo and the cast in Avenue Flo: Special Delivery, the sequel to the quirkiest Adventure game ever. Vicky’s due date is fast approaching…and so is the baby shower extravaganza Quinn is planning. Run across town with Flo, collecting missing items for the DinerTown characters in need, in order to save the town’s highly anticipated celebration and become a hero!

  • Quirky situations to solve
  • Challenging puzzles” — Big Fish Games

Review:

It’s Vicky’s Baby Shower and time for Flo to save the day again!  The dogs from the dog show next door to the baby shower have ruined everything!  They will need new decorations, new food, new napkins, etc. to make the baby shower successful.  Flo whips out her trusty list and starts making notes as to what needs to be done.  You, as Flo, will need to make sure that everything on the list gets done.  Unfortunately, what begins as a list of 5 items soon explodes into dozens of items to get done as soon as possible!  You will need to use all of your brain power to successfully play each of the mini games to achieve your goals.

This game is the second one in the Avenue Flo series and is just as much fun.  The creators combine a mix of time management games, hidden object games and a host of other inventive mini games to give you a unique and fun way to play!  For example, the first task I completed off of Flo’s list was to get replacement napkins folded.  Your friend at the baby store selected and folded all of the napkins by hand for this baby shower event.  In order for her to have time to make replacements she will need your help!  First, you need to find 10 packets of baby burp cloths in the shop.  Some of them are in the open, some of them are hidden, and some of them require you to find and use inventory items to locate them.  Once you find all of the burp cloths, you need to take baby photos of 5 babies to give her time to fold the burp cloths to use as napkins.  To take a photo, you have to talk to the parents of the baby and figure out which outfit the baby would like best based on what they enjoy doing and what they are allergic to or do not like.  For example, one kid thinks lumberjacks are cool and likes nature.  So you will look for things with plaid.  Feedback will come that the parent wants something with a dinosaur, then something with a bear, then more green, etc.  You will need to mix and match hats, tops and bottoms until you get an outfit that the baby and the parents like.  That is the whole point of this game.  Everything sounds easy, but nothing is as simple as it appears.  In order to achieve your goals, you will have to go through an increasingly complicated set of steps and trials to get things crossed off of your list  It seems like the more you cross off, the more tasks get added to your list!  You will find yourself serving people in a diner by memorizing what everyone wants and serving them in order, sorting books at the library using conveyor belts, picking up plastic bottles to recycle, repairing laundry machines, and more!  Most of the games are fun, but some of them are frustrating.  This is mainly due to the fact that, since they use so many different game types, they are bound to hit upon a few of your gaming weaknesses and these will drive you crazy!  There is a skip button and it is pretty easy to find help online so you can use those as a crutch if you need to.  I try to look at the ones that are hard for me as an extra challenge and will give it at least 3 tries before I give up, but you will have to decide how much you enjoy playing the games on your own.

For me, I enjoy these Avenue Flo games more than the typical time management games (Diner Dash series) as they combine a real sense of a story and an adventure game along with bits and pieces of all game genres.  If you are looking for something that gives you a taste of all of the different game genres, then you should give this one a try.  Keep in mind that there is a lot of talking involved in this game and it can get a bit frustrating wandering around the city looking for things and remembering where everything is.  It is exactly the same city layout as the first Avenue Flo game so those of you who played that one will remember and have a bit of an advantage over those of you who haven’t played the first one.  You don’t have to play them in order, however, and you shouldn’t let that deter you from playing this one.  The only other drawback to this game is that you have to play each mini game several times before you pass it.  It seems like 5 is the magic number for this game and so you have to play each game 5 times with each repetition getting more and more difficult.  For example, the first time you sort books in the library, you use 2 conveyors and 2 colors.  On the last level, you have 4 colors, 2 trashcans, and 7 conveyors to work through.  This is fun if you are good at the game, torturous if you are bad at the game.  It took me a long time to dress those freaking babies in the right outfit, but I blitzed right through the library challenges!  Anyway, you will have a fun time playing parts of this game and suffer through the others.  Definitely give this one a go if you want to play a fun, easy adventure game or a creative game combination.

Content:

This game is appropriate for viewers of all ages.  There is a lot of reading involved to identify and accomplish the goals to save the baby shower.  Most of the storyline is told verbally and is written on the screen (you can click through the dialogue if you don’t want to listen to the whole thing) so you can listen or read it.  Recommended for ages 8 and up.

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Christmas Wonderland Game Review

Christmas Wonderland

Game Review by Debbie Winkler

# of Players: 1
Target Age Group: 8 and up
Language: English
Average Game Play: 1 – 5 hours
Type of Game: Hidden Object
My Rating: 3.5/5 stars

Synopsis:

This is a solid little hidden object game with a great Christmas theme.  You are trying to help Santa Claus get ready for the big night by cleaning up his workshop, loading his sleigh, getting the reindeer ready, etc.  Then you help him deliver presents to the boys and girls around the world.  While you are doing this, you need to keep your eyes open for the icons that match the 12 Days of Christmas song.  When you have collected all of the pieces of the 12 Days of Christmas and delivered all of the presents – you win!  You have done a good job and can rest for another year.

Review:

This is a fun game, but it is not very difficult.  I finished it in a little over an hour, but you can relax and have fun with it rather than rush through as I did.  You will play a few regular scenes of hidden object findings and then play a fun mini-game like putting together a puzzle, replacing cogs, playing memory or something like that.  There is a skip button that takes a bit of time to charge, but you don’t have to feel like you need to play the mini-games, which was a relief as I am horrible at the sliding puzzles that they had!  I don’t know why, but I always have a difficult time playing these.  The other games were nice and simple and no trouble to solve.

The hidden objects are not too difficult to find, but you do have a rechargeable hint that can help you on your way.  You have 12 items you need to find on each screen, but some of them are multiples.  For example, you will need to find 4 ribbons, 2 gold presents, 3 drummers drumming, etc.  My strategy was to look for the 12 Days of Christmas items first as they have an easily identifiable look and will appear the same on every screen.  Once you click on all of these, it is simple enough to look at the rest of the items on the list and find them.  You can choose to just click around on the screen if you can’t find what you are looking for.  After you click on several incorrect items, your cursor will spin around for a bit and then it is back to normal with no penalties!  This makes this game ideal for younger hidden object players, but they do need to be able to read well enough to figure out what they need to find.

This game has really cute graphics and is the perfect game to play around Christmastime!  I am always on the lookout for some nice holiday games and this one suits the bill nicely.  You can have more than one person looking for items at a time if you sit at the computer together and it is not so difficult that you cannot be chatting while you play.  Santa is there to ask for your help on every screen and a few of his reindeer make appearances too!  If you are looking for a casual, no-stress hidden object game to play in December, you could do much worse than this one!

Content:

This game is appropriate for viewers of all ages.  You need to be able to read to figure out which hidden objects you need to find and to follow the story.  If you have a younger player at home who would like to play, it is best to play with a team and have the older player tell the younger player what to find and maybe “help” them find it.  Recommended for ages 8 and up.

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Ancient Spirits: Columbus’ Legacy Game Review

Ancient Spirits: Columbus’ Legacy

Game Review by Debbie Winkler

Series: Ancient Spirits #1
# of Players: 1
Target Age Group: 10 and up
Language: English
Length: 2 – 8 hours
Type of Game: Hidden Object
My Rating: 4/5 stars

Synopsis:

“Virginia and Professor MacNara have found Christopher Columbus’ missing ship! Though the ship is over 500 years-old, it still looks like it was abandoned only yesterday. Discover a mysterious artifact as you explore the mystical galleon in Ancient Spirits: Columbus’ Legacy and solve a mystical puzzle that transcends time in this fun and exciting Hidden Object game.

  • Fantastic gameplay
  • Mysterious atmosphere
  • Explore Columbus’ ship!” — Big Fish Games

Review:

This is a wonderful hidden object game that has an actual storyline!  You play the part of Virginia, an assistant to a famous archaeologist who is determined to discover the location of Christopher Columbus’ ship.  Many have tried over the years and have failed – or disappeared themselves.  Fortunately, lady luck smiles on you and you find the mysterious vessel, but are quickly plunged into an even greater mystery.  The ship is over 500 years old, but looks brand new!  Also, your professor is murdered shortly after discovery, and then his body disappears.  Clearly, there is something unusual happening on the deserted island where you made your great discovery.  By carefully searching exotic locations, you have the opportunity to uncover the mystery and solve the clues to uncover Columbus’s Legacy!

This is a fairly standard hidden object game, but they elevated it into something a bit more memorable and enjoyable by creating a great storyline to keep your interest.  You will search for 9 – 12 hidden objects per scene, some of which will end up in your backpack as inventory so that you can use them to solve puzzles at other locations.  Most of the items that you will find in these scenes make sense as they are tools, artifacts, food, etc.  I appreciated that there were no jarringly obvious artifacts that we had to find (such as objects that would never be found on a deserted island like cars, high-heeled shoes, technological equipment, etc.) and that the objects all appeared the same.  What I mean by that is the objects were all given approximately the same coloration and were regular sizes.  While it was not difficult to find the objects on the list, they were not extremely obvious so it made finding a few of the items challenging.  You have one tool that will help you find objects that you cannot locate and it charges relatively quickly so you should not have any trouble locating the items on the list. Also, I could find no penalty for clicking on objects randomly on a scene so you can just click away on anything that you could possibly think matches what is on the list.

There are two levels of difficulty that you can play on this game: regular and expert.  If you play the regular level, and I would recommend playing this level first, sparkling stars will show you where you should go next and what objects you need to interact with in a scene. It will not show you where hidden objects are located, but it will sparkle over doors, holes, bridges, etc. so that you know you need to do something there.  Once the sparkles have caught your eye, you can click on that location and then look for whatever they have taken you there for.  Gears will pop up when you need to build or manipulate something to further you on your quest.  You will need to use your inventory quite often to accomplish these tasks and almost always have several items in there so it is not always immediately obvious which object you need to use when.  To solve these puzzles you sometimes need to play a relatively simple mini-game to finish.  For example, to build a bridge, you will first need to click on all of the planks in several different scenes (follow the sparkles and you will be fine!), then you place them where the bridge needs to be built.  After you do that, the planks will turn into different shapes that you will need to put together like a puzzle and then you can cross the bridge.  I thought these mini games were quite simple and did not take a lot of time or effort to solve, which was perfect for me!  I think that they sometimes make the mini game more challenging than the hidden object portions of games and I really don’t like that.  If you don’t want to play the mini games at all, you can simply wait for the skip bar to fill at the upper left hand corner of your screen and click on that with no penalties.

You are not timed on any scene so you can take your time to find the objects and to enjoy the lovely graphics.  Most of the scenes are your standard hidden object scenes with full light and easy visibility, but there are some that will challenge your vision.  You will need to search by flashlight to find objects in some scenes, which can be a bit frustrating as your flashlight only illuminated a relatively small square on your scene so you really have to search to find objects.  You also travel to a ghost scene quite often.  You will travel through a portal that will take you to a scene that is identical to the one you just left, but you need to use special glasses (which you find in one of your first locations) to see and you will notice that all of the colors are different and some of the objects move randomly.  You will also sometimes interact with ghosts there and help them find peace so they can move on.

While this game is not a challenging one, I really enjoyed playing it.  I thought the graphics were very well done and looked beautiful on my screen.  The story line was captivating and I couldn’t wait to see what was going to happen next!  I also felt like there was a good balance between assistance and challenge so that I felt like there were plenty of hints and tips to keep me going if I needed them, but I could get quite a bit done on my own before I had to look for assistance.  There is also a nice variety of objects to search for.  Some scenes simply have you look for a list of objects on a lighted scene, others have you search by flashlight, others have you look for objects by giving you their outlines instead of their names, and other scenes you will need to use your inventory to solve puzzles.  I appreciated the variety and felt like it elevated the game into something a bit more exciting and fun than a regular hidden-object game where you simply search scene after scene after scene.  Definitely take the time to check this one out if you enjoy hidden object games with a touch of adventure game thrown in!

Content:

This game is appropriate for viewers ages 5 and up.  There are a few scenes that show blood and a dead body, but they are brief and nothing is moving so it could simply look like a picture on your screen.  Recommended for players ages 10 and up due to the large amount of reading involved.  Most objects are written on a list so you need to be able to read what you have to find.  Also, if you want to follow the story, you will need to be able to read what is happening.  Keep in mind that all of the hints and tips are only available by reading the text on the screen as well.  I did notice that some of the objects were given British terminology so you might need to be a little create in finding objects or ask someone else what it means (petrol container instead of gas can, etc.).  There are a few mildly frightening sequences that show sudden blackouts and hints of violence, but nothing is shown on screen.

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