4 ElementsBeyond endless seas, an ancient fairytale kingdom is in trouble. A land once full of life has become a lifeless desert. Restore power to four magic books so that peace and prosperity may return. An adorable fairy will aid you in this perilous journey as you encounter dragons, knights, and various creatures. Collect 16 mysterious cards while encountering explosive bonuses. Can you turn the tides and restore the 4 Elements in this enchanting Puzzle game? 4 Elements is not a traditional Hidden Object Game, in fact it is actually a matching game creating a path from a start to a finish location. There are four major areas to travel through and to get into each area you mus complete a hidden object puzzle. Throughout the play of the game there are find the difference puzzles that must be completed. Some are difficult, but there is a hint system throughout.Where there are Hidden Object Puzzles, the objects are in pieces and you only have a picture of the whole, but the pieces are easily recognized. Additionally the fully assembled objects are used within the Hidden Object Puzzle, a plus in my opinion.Although the game is not a AHOPG, is has all elements of one although the focus is on the matching puzzles.The back story is a simple one and is engaging. When the game is completed the story comes to a successful close.The graphics are excellent and the animation is extremely smooth. The genre is well defines and the graphics are well used in the story as well as the game play.The music is not repetitiously insufferable, and works well with the game play. The sound effects are engaging and also work well with game play. There is voice over in some areas and the acting is adequate and even enjoyable.The game is family friendly and I recommend highly.
A Gypsy's Tale: The Tower of SecretsBreak a dangerous curse that is engulfing an ancient tower in A Gypsy’s Tale, an entertaining Hidden Object game! After being hired by a monk, it’s up to Reylin of Winderalth to travel deep into the wilderness, into a mysterious maze. Avoid nasty traps and solve clever puzzles as you help Reylin attempt to stop the curse from spreading. Can you outsmart the Tower of Secrets and save the day? The Tower of Secrets was a delightful AHOPG which fit my criteria pretty closely.This was primarily a HOG and for the most part is quite well done. When you need to collect some items, you are given a visual list to collect the item your looking for, but the hidden objects often have little to do with the actual object. There is a fair amount of character interaction which follows the back story with humor.The objects you collect are used from your inventory to progress through the game and the story which I like. Additionally when the game end is reached, so is the story, again a positive point.The back story initially seems simple, but in time and with some foretelling moments, not all is as it seems. There is a nice twist which you should see coming. The characters are fun and have just enough quirkinessThe graphics are excellent and the animation is extremely smooth. The genre is well defined and the graphics are well used in the story as well as the game play.The music is not repetitiously insufferable, and works well with the game play. The sound effects are engaging and also work well with game play. There is voice over in some areas and the acting is adequate and even enjoyable.The game is family friendly and I recommend highly.
Abra AcademyWanda has always wanted to be a witch. She and her friends have made it all the way to Abra Academy™, and they need your help to graduate! Guide Wanda through various rooms in Abra Academy™ and aid her in finding hidden objects. Each room will put her witching skills to the test. The more items she finds, the faster she can graduate. Start your studies at Abra Academy™! Abra Academy was an early AHOPG and although not as sophisticated as later games, it pretty much clears the mark on my criteria..This was primarily a HOG and it is quite well done. Hidden objects have little to do with the story line and there are many outside the period and story genre. There are really no items to be used to further game play, you just complete each section and move on to the next. There is a map that informs you where to go and how many objects you need to collect.The back story is very thin, but interesting and the story ends when the game does.The graphics are excellent and the animation is extremely smooth. The genre is well defined with the graphics which are well used in the story also. Actually the graphics help make this game worth while.The music is not repetitiously insufferable, and works well with the game play. The sound effects are engaging and also work well with game play. The game is family friendly and I recommend it, although the appeal may be towards younger girls and the young at heart. Even us old male fogies can enjoy playing it.
Abra Academy: Returning CastThere have been several strange attacks on Abra Academy™. It seems that some unknown creatures have broken into the campus and are causing havoc! The children are frightened and the monsters are creating a huge mess. Wanda and her friends have been called in to investigate the attacks and find a way to stop them. Abra Academy: The Returning Cast is pretty much a follow up to its predecessor..This is an HOG and it is a reasonable sequel. Again hidden objects have little to do with the story line and there are many outside the period and story genre. There are really no items to be used to further game play, you just complete each section and move on to the next. There is a map that informs you where to go and how many objects you need to collect.The back story is still very thin, but interesting and the story ends when the game does.The graphics are excellent and the animation is extremely smooth. The genre is well defined with the graphics which are well used in the story also. Again the graphics help make this game worth while.The music is not repetitiously insufferable, and works well with the game play. The sound effects are engaging and also work well with game play. The game is family friendly and I recommend it, the appeal may still be towards younger girls and the young at heart. Even so I still enjoyed playing it.
Adventure Chronicles: The Search for Lost Treasure1st Runner-Up Best Hidden Object Game of 2008!A few months have passed since Susan`s ordeal in the museum, and she`s been in no hurry to greet danger again. But when a prized notebook arrives at her office from an anonymous source, both her interest, and her suspicions are raised. The information contained within is too valuable to ignore. Soon she`s off traveling the world, solving puzzles and tracking down mysterious clues in search of the most renown treasures of history and legend. Adventure Chronicles: The Search for Lost TreasureThe back story in this game is intriguing and it was fun to follow. It added sufficiently that this was not just a run of the mill HOG.The hidden object game aspect was sophisticated, although some items were definitely too difficult to find without the item finder. Items that were hidden from view often required an action on the player’s part, but these were well defined and you always had the “tool” to use to find the object. In the game play you needed to find specific objects and this was well defined also. There were bonus objects to find, and some times as a player you would forget to look for them, the system of notification could have been a little better. The graphics were adequate and the animation is smooth. Though there was a depth of richness missing in the graphics, that held well to the genre and fit within the story telling.The music is not repetitiously insufferable, and works well with the game play. The sound effects are engaging and also work well with game play. There is voice over narration which adds a nice dimension to the game play, and the acting is adequate.The game is family friendly and I recommend it, the appeal is towards girls at any age. Even so I still enjoyed playing it.
Mystery Case Files: Return to RavenhearstWINNER! Best Game of 2008!Emma`s soul is free. But her ghost has delivered a dire warning: evil still lurks in Ravenhearst Manor. Big Fish Games Studios takes you deep inside the cursed estate in Mystery Case Files: Return to Ravenhearst ™, the thrilling sequel. Experience Ravenhearst`s spectral halls as never before with new immersive adventure-style gameplay and an epic original soundtrack. Feel the floorboards creak as you move from room to room solving puzzles and seeking out clues in over 150 detailed scenes.This is about as good as an AHOPG game can get. Younger children may not be the appropriate audience, but fro Pre-teens on up this is an excellent game. Within the mystery case files franchise this is the best of the series to the date of its publication. The franchise starts out with “Huntsville, which is pretty much a map and a bunch of petty crimes that imply that in this backwater metropolis there is a crime syndicate. What makes the first one work is a collection of quirky characters and an off balance sense of humor.The franchise has been stepping up the game play ever since Huntsville and they have all been well done. The original Ravenhearst was a little dark, and Madame Fate followed with the same dark tone, but Return to Ravenhearst, though a dark story, it has a more positive ending and I have played it multiple times.The graphics are excellent, and the games are varied and enjoyable to play. The background music fits the genre very well and is playable through out the entire game. The sound effects work well within the game play.It is a dark story, but the major bad dude is dealt with, and the foreshadowing of a story to follow does not diminish the plot line.Highly recommended.
Agatha Christie - Death on the NileHercule Poirot investigates a thrilling murder mystery and must find hidden clues, interrogate suspects, and much more in Agatha Christie's Death on the Nile. Uncover clues and evidence directly tied to the story. When you have enough evidence, question the passengers in the salon and discover the identity of the real murderer! The graphics are exceptional and fit with the period. The structure of the game is easy to follow, and the back story, well it is Agatha Christie’s Death on the Nile with her most successful character, Hercule Poirot. What is not to like. Of course if you have read the book, or seen the movie with David Suchet or even Peter Ustinov, then the solution to the mystery is already known to you and enjoyment may be in seeing how the game fairs with the story, and the movies.You have an opportunity to play detective to follow the clues and play the game. This is an excellent AHOPG game and you have the various rooms aboard the ship to explore and interact with the characters, and solve each of the puzzles as they are placed before you.The music is adequate, and the sound effects fall into the not irritating classification. The game follows the story close enough that it should give you an appetite for Dame Agatha, if you are a mystery buff and have yet to try her out. This is a fun way to begin.This is a family friendly game and though younger children may not get the plot or the story details older children will and it is a great way to introduce them into the mystery genre if they aren’t already familiar with it.
Echoes of the Past: Royal House of StoneHaving made an incredible journey in time, you’ll find yourself in the medieval kingdom of Orion. Reveal an ancient curse and save the kingdom and its inhabitants. The last prince of Orion is waiting for your help! Open the weird locks and explore every room of the castle in Echoes of the Past: Royal House of Stone. You will meet the castle’s inhabitants and learn the horrible mystery of the royal family in this exciting Hidden Object Adventure game.Wandering around in castles and haunted houses trying to solve a mystery seems pretty typical for a lot of AHOPG. This is no different except it is very well done. You are pitted against a witch and your task is to find out who she is and how to defeat her. While you travel through the castle you come upon stone statues and as you solve each puzzle for a particular statue, you get another piece of the story and you travel through your quest to defeat the wicked witch.The puzzles are typical but with unique presentation and rich graphics, they are fun to play and solve. The story line and characters have depth and the story is fun to follow. The castle is not commonplace and the rooms offer a rich background to the game play.Music and sound effects are well done and add to the richness of game play.I highly recommend this game for all ages and it is family friendly.
Nightfall Mysteries: Curse of the OperaTake on the role of a lowly stagehand in an opera company tasked with solving a deadly mystery! The Opera troupe is invited by the reclusive Count Vladd Vansig III to his small hamlet to perform a special Opera for him. Strangely, there are no villagers to speak of except for the Count and his caretaker. Over the course of the night, people go missing and are killed! Use your Hidden Object skills to find out the identity of the killer and escape the village alive in Nightfall Mysteries – Curse of the Opera! It takes more that a family to raise a child, it takes a village. Here is a spooky tale that is perfect for an AHOPG and it is well told. Don’t be too sure as to who are the good guys and who are the bad guys. As a stage manager you are entrapped in a mystery that goes beyond the tiny opera company you are there to support.You travel throughout a small hamlet in search of a story that has chills and thrills and as you solve puzzles you unravel a dark story that leaves you wondering just who the guilty players are.Rich graphics, great music and sound, and a perplexing story, well worth the price of admission.A caution for younger players, the story has a dark past, and you may consider it too intense. Preteens will enjoy it and it is truly fun to follow the story while playing the game.I highly recommend it.
Alice in Wonderland Explore a new world as you meet your favorite characters, and hunt for clues to free Alice and decide the fate of Wonderland! An abandoned house holds the key to the secrets of Wonderland! Hidden Objects and tantalizing puzzles abound as you journey beyond imagination. Meet the Mad Hatter, Cheshire Cat and many others as you try to save the day in Alice in Wonderland! This is not Disney’s Alice in Wonderland. The game is still family friendly, but no singing flowers and a darker view of Wonderland. It seems a number of little girls have gone missing and it is up to you the player to rescue them. The same characters are present, but they have a slightly twisted nature and each seems to have a problem for you to solve. It isn’t a dream but a journey into another dimension. Find the children and save them from the queen (?).The game is beautifully displayed and graphically eerie and beautiful at the same time. The music is haunting and the sound effects are true to the genre. Most of the mini games are well done and add a fun touch to the game play. At times it is not clear where you are to go or what you are to do and you find yourself moving from room to room to determine your next move. At times this can be frustrating, but if you don’t mind being a little lost at time, the this might be perfect for you. There is a foreshadowed twist at the end of the game and it is well done.For those looking for a Disney movie, watch the Disney movie, but if you can take your Alice slightly upside down then enjoy. I do recommend this game.
Midnight Mysteries: Salem Witch TrialsThe famed writer Nathaniel Hawthorne has died during a freak snow storm, and his ghost has come to you, asking for help. Travel back and forth in time from the scene of the author’s demise to the 17th century, where a town is going mad with rumors of witchcraft and a woman is facing the gallows. Unravel the secrets of Salem’s accused witches and solve the death of Hawthorne in Midnight Mysteries: Salem Witch Trials, a fun Hidden Object game. This franchise takes you on a journey with famous writers of The United States past. In this game you travel back to the past of Nathaniel Hawthorn and learn about how a famous American writer is tied to the Salem witch trials. The story line is a mixture of history and legend as you seek to free the spirit of Hawthorne. You jump between times as you unravel the riddles of his familial past with his involvement with early US politics. You travel through grave yards, early American villages and even into the oval office of the White House. This is not just a trip through history, there are dark secrets and fascinating characters to interact with.Presented in rich graphics, haunting music and interesting sound effects this AHOPG is a delight to play, and you may find yourself looking up some historical information to see how much does the story stray from recorded history. This is fully family friendly and a fascinating glimpse into the life and history of Nathaniel Hawthorne.I highly recommend this game, in fact the series to date has been excellent.
Nightfall Mysteries: Asylum ConspiracyHelp Christine explore the spooky Ashburg Asylum and find her missing grandfather in this dark Hidden Object game! Travel to the eerie grounds of Ashburg and work your way through spine-chilling locations. Solve unique puzzles to progress deeper into the asylum, and closer to Christine’s grandfather. Meet interesting characters, unravel a mystery, and uncover an evil plot in Nightfall Mysteries: Asylum Conspiracy! A young girl in search of her grandfather arrives at a spooky asylum and discover more than she of you as the game player could imagine. Our heroine wanders a spooky, haunted (?), house and discovers a mad scientist hatching a terrible plan that she must stop. In her search she comes across a patient who could be be mad or dangerous, or simply innocent. There is a detective who may be mad with grief in search of his wifes killer. Then there is a little girl who is literally old beyond her years and her brother.Just when you think you have it figured out, Grandpa drops a bomb and a conspiracy is born.This is an excellent AHOPG game that should be fun for all, with the understanding that this may not be appropriate for very young children. Great graphics, music and sound. The mini game are fun and challenging with the ability to skip in necessary.If you have not played Curse of the Opera before this game, I recommend that you do, for the full effect of the story line, though it is not necessary to enjoy the game.
Azada ®Trapped in a haunted room by his great-uncle, the adventurous Titus has asked you to help release him from the magical spell. To do this, you must solve the most mysterious puzzles of Azada. Crack the series of puzzles and fill in the missing pages of the enchanted book to free Titus from his prison. This game is about the puzzles. The Graphics are great, the animation acceptable, the music adequate and the sound effects do the job. The puzzles are timed, and varied and for the most part they can be completed within the first pass, but should you run out of time, you get to return the beginning of the current level and start anew. The story is thin, maybe anorexic. It is interesting, but it is more a challenge that a story. It contains the essence of a plot, and in a way it is a mystery that unfolds before you as you play the game, but it is more like a puzzle than a story.All the elements provided in the description are in the story, just nothing else, really. As I said in the beginning, this game is about the puzzles, and they are clever, entertaining and I can recommend the game, but if you are not a puzzle person, if you want plot, characters and some action you will not find it here.The game is family friendly and younger players may want support of older players, but you who are clever, may want to have played through before you act as a mentor, especially if you haven’t played the game before.
Camelia's LocketBegin your voyage aboard an old ship in the pirate seas. Much like Zuma, this Marble Popper encircles you with a chain of colored balls to blow away. Click on a ball to grab it, and aim the cursor to fire. Keep in mind that combos greatly increase the points you receive for destroying groups. Explore the world of Camelia`s Locket by creating vibrant colorful chains. Definitely not an HOG, kind of a Zuma, but aboard a pirate ship in the Caribbean following the search for Camelia’s Locket and revenge on a bunch of bad guys. You encounter trains of ships and booty in search of the next prize and as you collect treasure you have the ability to purchase more unique weapons from the local trader.The graphics are cute, there is that word again, and fun. This is a pirate adventure that appeals to both sexes of the younger variety, though girl’s may edge the demographics on boys. But don’t think they have shortchanged on ghosties and other things that go splash in the night. Additionally there are plenty of Args to go around.The music and sound effects are definitely genre specific and a delight while playing though a lower sound level in time may be preferred.Family friendly and a fun trip on one or more of the seven seas. Enjoy me hearties.
Caribbean TreasuresEnjoy an unforgettable time vacationing on beautiful Caribbean islands, while searching for ancient gold that is protected by powerful forces that you have to control. Magnificent graphics, perfectly matched music, and energizing gameplay help to draw you in to help untangle a mystery. Contains more than 100 levels of fun packed with unique features and bonus levels. Caribbean Treasures is a frustrating game. It is a match three game by swapping images. There are images with highlighted backgrounds, and these need to be cleared to move forward to the next level. There are various patterns of background and the images are tropical in nature, though not necessarily natural in design or structure. A clam shell looks a lot like a cream puff, and the others, though colorful are definitely abstract in design.Additional challenges are chains and locks and of course there is a timer. If you fail you must go back several levels and start anew. On way to over come this event is to replay the board before the timer runs out. There are to power ups or special tools to help over come the more difficult boards. The music is light and breezy and in small doses, enjoyable. The game is addicting, part of it frustrating charm and when you succeed in getting to the final level a more difficult element is added which makes getting through all levels at this second phase impossible. That is okay, once through the full set of levels, you can go back a a new player and replay it.Graphics are adequate and it can be played when one is in a mindless mode. Younger players will find it frustrating so I don’t recommend it for younger players.Abandon hope all ye who enter here.
Brunhilda and the Dark CrystalEmbark upon an epic quest to save the Magic Realm in this delightful Hidden Object Adventure game. Help Brunhilda explore a mystical world blooming with magic and humor. Visit the flying university, talk to the dragons , and crash a flying broom in Brunhilda and the Dark Crystal! Join forces with a friendly demon companion and master minigames as you journey deeper into the Magic Realm and save the day! So here you are a normal New York girl on your way to visit your aunt. You are suppose to run an errand for her and when you get to her apartment the bag you are suppose to pick up is on a chair, but there is one odd thing about it... There is a small demon sitting in the bag and according to him, you are late.Thus begins Brunhilda’s quest that takes he into a rat hole, where she discovers a whole new world, not unlike living in New York. But the adventure is just beginning, because there is another magical realm that she is bound for, where she will have to save the world from magical disaster.With a unique set of graphics that are reminiscent of old time animators and a strange sense of humor, Brunhilda in on a quest that brings her in touch with nasty fairies, a friendly dragon, a sarcastic slightly cute, in a demonic way, demon, and a witch bent on becoming all powerful.The hog portion of the game is lacking in clarity on image, the other games are unique and fun, the game is a little talkie, but the characters are fun, and the game is very entertaining. If your youngsters can take fairies that have gone bad, then this is a family friendly game and I can highly recommend it.
VampirevilleThe government will soon obtain the right to sell Malgrey Castle because no heir has claimed the property for 100 years. All of the appraisers that were sent by your boss have gone crazy, including one of your close colleagues. Now it’s your turn! Unlock the secrets of this property using your Hidden Object skills. Appraise the old fashioned property, and figure out what caused the other real estate agents to go crazy in Vampireville! If you are looking for a traditional tale about evil bloodsucking vampires, then this is not your cup of tea. Welcome to a haunted house, castle, what else and meet the the family that lives there. It is a fascinating story with a wry sense of humor and a fascinating implementation of AHOPG game play.The graphics are rich and detailed and lend themselves well to the game play and the story. You get to spend a night in a spooky place, with some spooky people (?) and a butler who seems just a little out of touch.Just how much does you boss know, and there are some disturbingly attractive ladies here, who may have designs on your future.A young child warning, but the family should this tale into the supernatural world of Nosferatu.I do recommend this game, if only because I think the children of the night sometime get a bad rap.
Cindy's Travels: Flooded KingdomA massive flood of junk has inundated Cindy’s magical world, and she needs your help to save the Flooded Kingdom! Cindy has found the Miracle Mirror in the castle, and will travel throughout the land using this mysterious item to clean up the mess. Help bring Cindy’s world back to its former beauty! Addicting Match 3 gameplay, impressive power-ups, and clever minigames await in Cindy’s Travels: Flooded Kingdom! Cindy’s Travels is not an HOG. Its appeal is probably to a younger group and is included because I did buy and play it. It is a match game with power-ups and there are some puzzles with a hidden object element but it does not fall under the my description of an AHOPG. Nonetheless I am reviewing it here.There is a simple and I hate to use the word, but “cute” back story. There is a lot of “garbage flooding the kingdom, and it is her job to clear it out and track down who is responsible for the calamity. She travels the kingdom clearing out the garbage, because that is the only way she can get from one place to another.She encounter a collection of “cute” (sigh) characters that are slightly a bubble off plumb as she searches for the culprit. Along the way she aids a number of the characters in their own problems.The mechanics of the game are easy to understand, and although sometimes it is frustrating clearing the garbage, the game can be set to a level that makes success fairly easy.The graphics are (yeah, there is that word) cute and well done. The music is adequate and non annoying and the sound effects work within the genre of the game. The game has a wry sense of humor that will appeal to older players and youngsters alike.The game is mildly addicting and children may have to be reminded to get away from the computer upon occasions. The game is family friendly and I recommend it.
There must be a compelling back story. There should be intriguing characters, an interesting plot line, and something unique about the story. Additionally it should be complete within the game, though an opening for additional adventures can certainly be alluded to or set up, but the current story should be completed.The hidden object part of the game should be clever, without hiding ninety percent of the object being looked for. Looking for object parts to complete a whole is okay as long as the player is familiar with and comfortable with the mechanism for completing the object. Objects should be within the structure of the background and be relationally sized to the background. If silhouettes are provided they should be accurate to the object and should not be taken or shown from a different angles. Additionally one or two of the objects acquired should be used within the adventure game format. Items should also be within the genre of the game, if one is in the wild west, a howitzer would be inappropriate. Time travel games are an exception, but then the object should be used within the adventure game structure, for example removing it from the inappropriate time period. Additional puzzles should be relevant to the adventure game and the genre of the story line. They should be skippable, but the solution should be available, or at least clues to the solution should be made available. How the puzzle is played and how to solve it should also be clear to the player.Graphics should be compelling and viewable and pleasant, not necessarily pleasing but rich, and well done. Most games do well in this area. Some games use retouched photographs, these can be exceptional, but some developers seem to have relied too much on the photo giving the scene a cheapness, and it lowers the quality of the game, and I will indicate where I find this. Items strewn about to simply add a difficulty to game play reduces the quality of the game.Finally there is music and ambient sounds. When well done music can add to the gaming experience, but repetitious ditties can be annoying. The same can be said for sound effects. Voice overs and acting also add or detract from game play depending upon quality of the voice over and/or the actors.The above is the criteria I use in reviewing casual games. I am providing space for others to express relevant comments. Please provide your own commentary with a valid email address, which will not be published unless requested. Frivolous statements will be posted, and comments with invalid email address will not be posted. No email information will be provided to others without expressed permission.
Online Games4 ElementsDeath on the NileAzadaSudokuPharaoh’s Tomb