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This review is from: Hidden Objects: Mystery Stories (Nintendo DS) (Video Game)
I play a LOT of these "hidden item" games, because I don't have the attention span for anything more involved than that. This one has some really great features, and some things that are a little weird.
First of all, even though this looks like a kids' game, it's definitely not targeted at small children. For one, there's a whole subplot involving the heroine trying to bone her scuba-diving instructor, or something like that. There's also an entire level where the "hidden objects" consist of bras and thongs. I am not making this up. The humor is a bit more grownup than other games, like, say, Mystery Case Files: MillionHeir or Mystery P.I. Portrait of a Thief, two of my other favorite puzzle-y games.
As other folks have noted, there are some rather amusing language differences, too. (examples: football instead of soccer ball; catapult instead of slingshot; torch instead of flashlight.) Also, on a not at all relevant but creepy note, the default username it inserts when you start a new game is the same as my first name. This is slightly less creepy than Trace Memory, where you scan your "fingerprint" to reveal a character that has the same birthday and ethnic makeup as me, but it's still a little weird. :P
The graphics are a bit of a downer, just because they're even more pixelated than you'd think, which can make finding certain small objects surprisingly difficult. I also find the game is a little picky about tapping on hidden objects--you have to hit them in exactly the right way or it doesn't register. I also wish the hints were better-planned. There are two types of hints: one that tells you specifically where an object is, and another that pauses the countdown clock so you have more time to look for stuff. The problem is, if you're playing in "relaxed" mode, where you have basically forever to look, the pause-type hints are pretty much useless. I kinda wish the game would give you hints depending on the mode you're in.
But, there are a LOT of pluses to this game. For one, the gameplay is ridiculously long. For another, the variety of puzzles is AWESOME. (Although I really hate the "sound" ones, where you have to find an object based on the noise it makes, but that's because I'm hearing-impaired and thus have issues with anything that relies solely on a sound cue.) The music really annoyed me at first, but quickly grew on me and now I kinda love it. The replay value is also pretty high, since there's such a variety of puzzles and the game itself is pretty long.
So overall, while there are some definite things I wish were different, I enjoy playing this game and would recommend it, as long as you keep in mind some of the issues mentioned above.
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Showing 1-3 of 3 posts in this discussion
Initial post: Sep 18, 2011 8:22:29 AM PDT
Nancy P says:
Thank you very much for this review. My granddaughter and I like to play hidden pictures games on the DS - but this is obviously not suitable for her. I really appreciate the heads up.
Posted on Nov 24, 2011 5:16:22 AM PST
S. Padmanabhan says:
Hello, Just bought this game and am struggling to use the hints. How do I get an hint? It said I have to tap on the sun hidden in each page but when I do that, nothing happens. Please help. (cos I cant proceed without finding the 3rd scroll on a level)
In reply to an earlier post on Mar 4, 2012 7:01:42 PM PST
In each or nearly each of the hidden object scenes, look for a sun symbol and click on it. They go into the Search Help Bonus box in the lower left-hand corner of the top screen. It has the magnifying glass and Y button. When you need help finding an object, press the Y button and it makes blue sparkles appear around the area where the object is. :)
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