“ Genre: Puzzle / CD-ROM for Windows Vista / Windows XP / Universal, suitable for all / Release Date: 2009-10-10 / Published by Avanquest Software „
I have enjoyed playing many of the Hidden Objects games but some are terrible and some are too easy and this game is a mixture of the two.
~~ The Game ~~
The concept of this game is to find missing items and try and make sure you do it quickly. The game is centred on Buckingham Palace and you instantly think the game is done with a British type theme.
The objects on the game though unfortunately are American based and this will become evident as you play the game. Some items are going to be different to what you need to find as the American terms are used rather than the English ones.
The game has a story but it is hard to follow and you have scenes to visit which have objects missing. All the scenes are very mixed up with objects scattered everywhere to make it difficult for you to find the items you require.
As you search for the items on the list you soon become aware that the game is fairly easy to complete. The scenes are done to represent various rooms in Buckingham Palace.
When you visit a room your actually given information on that room and sometimes a bit of history as well which is nice to see. The rooms have other things taking part as well. Each scene has 15 items to find and they are big and small.
Do not assume a piano is going to be easy to find as it might be small and hidden in a picture or it could be an ant you need to find and it is hidden in background and looks enormous.
You're told if you find crowns in scenes you get reward credits. You get two crowns in every scene and they are worth 5 reward credits. You use these credits if you're struggling to find items on the list.
You can spend credits in a few ways and the first is to find the item directly, the second is to show what the item looks like and finally the last option is to show a silhouette of the item. All are worth various credit amounts ranging from 1-5 credits each.
The game continues further because once you have solved all the scenes you are given a puzzle. This is not a mini game but another scene which requires you to unlock something. As you visit scenes you get to keep some items in an inventory. These items are then used by you to solve a problem.
It might be you have glue and sticks and need to use them somehow to open a chest of some kind. This is just another way to keep you as the player interested because trust me by level 5 your be turning the game off due to boredom.
~~ Hints, Inventory and Items ~~
The hints or credits as this game refers to them as are seriously helpful. In previous games they show you a highlighted area and just say look there. The problem would always be the highlighted area was huge so you still had issues to find the items.
The way this game has done the hints is clever but in theory pointless. You use 1 credit and your given a silhouette this shows you the shape of the object and size. You can pick for 3 credits the exact image with colour and every detail.
This option is basically giving you the entire item for 3 credits and then you just have to find it. The thing is the scenes are so easy to find items that revealing the picture for 3 credits actually assists you very well.
5 credits the game reveals where the item is and for me that is not needed in this game. The scenes are crowded but they have so many open spaces you can easily find the items you require without for
The inventory is used as a way to store items for a bigger problem at the end of each chapter. The inventory contains items that are on the search list on each scene. The game will just pick the items you need and add them to the inventory.
When it comes to using the items in the inventory it is not that difficult. The extra scenes will reveal one object like a fire place or a chest with something hidden inside. You have just 3 items to use most of the time to open or find the missing items. To be fair this is far too easy and to solve.
Items on this game unfortunately are going to be easier to find as you go through the palace. You tend to revisit the same rooms over and over again and the items you require to find seem to pop up all the time. This generates problems because eventually you can find all 15 objects within seconds.
It sort of makes the purpose of the game silly and far too easy. If they actually moved items around the scene from time to time it would give you problems when looking for items but the game fails to do this.
~~ My Experience ~~
I played this game for about an hour and I ended up stopping because I found myself completely bored because the game did not offer anything exciting.
On the first scene your told about how the items you collect can be used later but you're not told what for. The items that you pick at each scene are added to your inventory list if you need them for later on.
I found myself finding items with such ease that it became far too easy. The first thought was me thinking because it was the first scene that it must just be letting me in gentle and showing me how easy it can be before it would get more difficult.
I was wrong the game continued in this same fashion throughout and it became in my view too easy to solve the problems and to find the items. As I was going through the game the one part I did enjoy was seeing the various descriptions about each room.
I think that added so much more to the game because it gave us an insight into what Buckingham Palace had and the history so that is a nice idea for the game. The items I was finding though were getting easy to find purely because I was revisiting the same rooms over again.
You sometimes have 4 rooms to visit in each chapter and it was hard to try and look interested when you visit the same room for the third time and the items on the search list still seem the same as before.
I found the inventory items easy to use to solve any problem I was given. Some problems did require a few minutes of my time but it was nothing major where I struggled to work it out for myself.
I found parts of the game very odd and the odd parts were why the game was so easy to take part in and what is difficult about the game? In my view the game offers very little to get worked up about or to even want to purchase it.
~~ Graphics and Game Play ~~
The game has good game play you click on an item and it disappears instantly and the good thing is if you find 10 items on the list and click them one at a time they disappear within seconds.
The game play is good when it comes to using the inventory items to solve the other puzzles in the game so overall the game play is quick and it seems to not even lock up on me which is great.
The graphics on the other hand are rather poor in some ways. The items you need to look for are easy to identify but sometimes when you pick them your left wondering if the item they wanted you to find is the one you found.
A perfect example was a microphone the game wanted me to find and I accidentally clicked on another area of the game when moving my mouse. I clicked on an object which seemed more like a mobile phone yet the game registered this was a microphone.
I found the graphics colourful but the scenes seemed so open the game was assisting you in finding the items.
~~ Final Thoughts ~~
I found this game in a charity shop on a disc and it cost me 50p. To be fair that is a price which I begrudge paying now because the game will never be completed by me.
The game is so easy that is makes it pointless playing because the items are easy to find. Having a clock there to time you is another silly thing to have as you will never run out of a time.
I do like the addition of history used throughout which is nice but this game is never difficult and if you want a game easy to complete this is definitely the one to choose.