What Do I Look For in A Good HO GameSep 18, 2015 | 1 Votes by Aethyna 10 rate Being a fan of hidden object games, it can be hard to find a hidden object game that I vehemently dislike. However, there are certain features in hidden object games that I’ve noticed are essential to make a hidden object game a good one. So, here are these features!
Being a fan of hidden object games, it can be hard to find a hidden object game that I vehemently dislike. However, there are certain features in hidden object games that I’ve noticed are essential to make a hidden object game a good one. So, here are these features!
First and foremost, I enjoy the classic hidden object games where you’ll get word lists for every scene that you play. However, after awhile, it can get pretty boring. Therefore, I would say that having many different scene modes are essential in keeping things interesting, and of course, the more the merrier! Games like The Panic Room: House of Secrets and Mystery Manor: Hidden Adventure not only offers plenty of scene modes, they also provide exciting anomalies or phenomenon to mess up the scenes, making the scenes so much more unpredictable, challenging and fun!
Though, at times, it even doesn’t have to be something as drastic. For some games, they only feature word lists but the tweak the list from time to time by putting in vague phrases or riddles like “What gets wetter the more it dries?” (Hint: It is a part of your toiletries) In these cases, you’ll need to solve the riddle first before you can actually find the item in the scene. It’s a pretty unique and fun approach to the usual word list mode.
Furthermore, some hidden object games have the unfortunate habit of forcing players to revisit a scene repeatedly for no particular reason (a valid reason here would be “to move the storyline along”). I believe that a good hidden object game shouldn’t include unnecessary revisiting of scenes. I mean, I've enjoyed a scene, yes, but I do not intent to play it consecutively for merely getting stars. Unfortunately, although I do enjoy detective-type hidden object games (mainly because of the thrill and the amusement that I can play as a detective), many of these games fall in this category. Getting stars to be able to “interrogate” someone or “analyze” a particularly important piece of evidence can be really frustrating.
And, alright if the developers just have to make a player repeat a scene for no reason, at least change things up by switching the locations of the hidden objects like what Mirrors of Albion does, or change how the player view the same scene, such as inverting it. They can even do like what the game, Mystery of Mortlake Mansion did…by creating a “shadow version” of the original scene. At least that would make the chore of visiting a scene repeatedly not that much of a problem anymore.
Of course, there are the interesting and brain-teasing puzzles that some hidden object games are so fond of. I myself enjoy a well-developed puzzle, but if those puzzles are just there as fillers, then the puzzles may not be as appealing to me. Also, don’t you just feel annoyed when you are thrown puzzles after puzzles with little hidden object scenes in between? There’s a reason why I’m playing a “hidden object game” and not a “puzzle game”. Thus, for me, I’d say that a good hidden object game should have more hidden object scenes than puzzles or at least let them be 50:50. The puzzles should also be something fun and challenging, and not just something to fill in the gaps between hidden object scenes. Naturally, repeating the same puzzle type over and over again is a big no-no as well.
Some good hidden object games also offer addition features like Gardens of Time where you get to decorate your own virtual garden with the proceeds you get from playing scenes. Strictly speaking though, this feature is merely an added bonus, but it’s a very attractive bonus at that. After all, who wouldn’t want to get an entire island to decorate like what you can do in Pearl’s Peril. You can even help a poor old farmer upgrade his barn in Barn Yarn or own your first virtual aquarium in Aquascapes. Of course, there are other games that add other features instead, such as completing collectibles to earn free boosters like The Secret Society. Those are pretty fun too.
Well, these are all the criteria that I believe a good hidden object game should have. Do bear in mind that it may not be all encompassing, but it includes the major points that I personally think a good hidden object games should have. Do let me know what you think and what else I could add to the article!