Being a huge fan of Hidden Object games and knowing that Game Insight are one of the top iOS developers out there, I was extremely excited about the release of Hidden Land HD, their latest game released exclusively on iPad. The fact that it follows the same route and it’s a freemium game was one of the bonuses, so I had to install this new title. You can read below my opinion about Hidden Land HD!
The start is pretty chaotic: there’s a brief tutorial getting you through all the game’s mechanics (which, by the way, are not extremely complicated) and the Hidden Object game basics, and you’re left with the ability to time travel, basically just an excuse for the developers to offer you more hidden object scenes. I’ll take that!
Unfortunately, once the tutorial is over, the chaos does not end and it will probably never end in Hidden Land HD. It’s extremely difficult to follow the game’s story as you get quest after quest after quest and everything gets even more confusing. At one point I was completing a scene and I was getting congratulated from completing quests I didn’t even knew were there. I won’t complain about some free XP and energy, but things should be tuned down a little bit – having 10 quests pending, all of them asking a silly little thing for me… well, that is confusing and a bit pointless!
Add to all that confusion the fact that you keep traveling from past to future and from future to past to complete a scene (which asks you to find three objects), then you’re on the move again to find three more objects… and you end up waiting more at the loading screen instead of playing. And I’m not here to watch the graphics, I am here to find myself some hidden objects!
Don’t get me wrong: the hidden object scenes in Hidden Land HD are really nicely done, and the fact that the position of the objects changes adds up to the challenge, but we only have to find a very small number of items every time we play, making things a bit pointless. Challenge me with finding 20 items and then I’ll feel I’m playing. Having to find just 3 or 5 or 6 seems nothing but a waste of time…
The hidden object scenes in the game also offer you a lot of boosts and bonuses: you can use “power-ups” that reveal one of the items you’re looking for, you can use a magnet to complete the level instantly, you can use a torch to search through the dark… a lot of things that add to the diversity and have the potential to help you in case you really need some help. Or you can do what I do – which is play together with my wife – and you’ll stack up the bonuses, since 2 pairs of eyes are a lot better than one.
Apart from the hidden object part of the game, we also have a minor city building element in which we build structures to gain tokens that we can spend on Slots to earn various goodies to use in game. This is, in my opinion, completely useless, but if you are looking for a few extra free goodies, then this is a feature you’ll like.
Actually, it is pretty interesting to see that Game Insight is offering a lot of stuff for free: from premium currency to all sort of items and boosts, I got them all from start and when my energy was finally drained completely, I was already level 10.
All in all, Hidden Land HD is a game with a ton of potential, with great graphics and some interesting mechanics, but it is pulled back by the chaos that dominates the game. You will always be confused, traveling from past to present, completing scenes for items you might or might not need and generally not knowing exactly what you’re doing. If you are extremely patient with the game and give it a chance and try to find your way through all that chaos, then you can get your fair share of fun. But there are better hidden object games out there!
iTunes link: Hidden Land HD