I guess I grew up spending a lot of time in dentists' and orthodontists' offices as a kid. Of course the staple magazine for “we under the age of Time magazine” was good old Highlights. While the comics were overly juvenile and somewhat ignorable (Timebertoes and Goofus & Gallant), the one thing that stood out every time were the hidden objects puzzles that every issue contained. I eagerly devoured these puzzle pages looking for both the listed objects and those that weren’t on the list too.
Then I grew up (sorta) and pretty much put hidden objects and Highlights behind me. But having a child changes things and brings back old memories. Because of the reintroduction of Highlights into my life, I’ve even caught myself peeking at my daughter's copies of the magazine in my adult incarnation. She's seen me looking once or twice and expressed interest in what I was doing. So we’ve spent some very happy hours working these puzzles together.
But once a month fixes aren’t enough for true fans such as us. Luckily, hidden objects puzzle games are prolifically produced for iOS devices and we’ve taken a look at a lot of them. There have been some wonderful games that we’ve spent in the vicinity of fifteen hours playing. There are others that we didn’t get beyond the first screen. Without further ado, here are our choices for the Top 5 Hidden Objects Games.
This game is a lot of fun particularly if you’re a fan of hardboiled mysteries and tough as nails protagonists. Nick Chase is a somewhat disgraced detective on the hunt for a manuscript penned by none other than Leonardo DaVinci. Through a series of puzzles and the collection of hidden objects, players move the story forward to find the manuscript. The cut scenes in Nick Chase are really fun and play out like an old Dick Tracy comic. Though the story appears, at least at first glance, to take place in the 40s, there are elements that make you wonder. Some of the puzzles are a bit obscure to figure out but with time and patience, it can be done.
For Anglophiles, Buckingham Palace is a lot of fun. Players are taken in and around the grounds of London’s most famous royal residence and are charged with finding objects that, ultimately, lead to the resolution of the mystery. Developers have added a lot of historical tidbits about each locale so it’s not just a fun game but is actually informative and instructional. The only caveat I have is that some of the objects are things that are very common to England and might be lesser-known in the US. That, however, is a small issue.
This one drove my daughter insane but I thoroughly enjoyed it. The game takes players to Mount Everest where they are put on a team and are in competition with three other teams to scale Mount Everest first to discover a treasure. But it’s not just a straight climb to the top. There is a mysterious and much faster route to the top. To find it, players have to travel around the globe, searching in South America, Mexico, India, China, Nepal and other exotic locales for clues to find the secret route. What makes the game so compelling is that there is a small graphic at the bottom showing how quickly each team is finding the clues on each screen. You have to force yourself NOT to look!
We bought this one about a week before Halloween and it was perfectly suited to the season. It’s creepy and dark with graphics to match. The terrific thing about Sleepy Hollow is that there is an actual story in between all of the hidden objects screens. All of the main characters from Irving’s classic story are brought to life with a creepy look at their motivations included. We had tons of fun with this one and it’s well worth the time for any hidden objects fan.
Namco’s Mishap takes first place for sheer entertainment and fun. It’s a ghostly romp through an old Hollywood mystery with nods to famous movies and movie stars. The descriptions of the ghosts that must be captured are a crack up and imaginative to boot. There are tons of objects squirreled away in plain sight and funky 50s era music to accompany each chapter of the game. It’s worth every penny and more and we can only hope that the creative minds behind Mishap create more awesome hidden objects adventures.