The idea is a clever one: take popular casual game mechanics and add a historical component and you’ve got The History Channel: Lost Worlds, an educational title that, while not really offering anything new, proves to be an enjoyable collection of puzzle games.

Upon launching The History Channel: Lost Worlds, players will be able to select from a few different unearthed ruins to explore, including the Mesomaerica levels with an emphasis on Mayan culture, Rome during its heyday and my personal favorite, ancient Egypt, with plenty of related scenery and info on the pyramids, hieroglyphics, and so forth. A couple of grayed-out locations hint at future areas to play through.

There’s no story to speak of, but the games are all tied together by theme (such a Egypt), and there is interesting information given before each scene. Regardless of which location you choose, Lost Worlds is basically four games in one, each of which will be familiar to casual players:


  • A "hidden object" game, where players will see a list of items to find in a busy scene – such as a blender, pliers, baseball mit and baby’s nuk (pacifier) – and you must look carefully on the screen and click all of the items listed before the time runs out. Don’t ask me why you’re hunting for a blender against a 19th century Mayan scene,


    because I don’t have an answer for you.


  • A "spot the difference" game, where you look at two side-by-side, nearly identical photos, but a half-dozen little things will be different, such as a green bead on one mask on the left side and a blue bead on the mask on the right side. Use your mouse to click all of the differences on the right photo to win the level.



  • "Reconstruct" is a jigsaw-like game, where you must reconstruct a scene with puzzle pieces, sometimes by rotating them by clicking the right-mouse button. You may be building a pyramid by selecting the correct piece, rotating it twice so it’s right-side-up and placing it on the silhouette of the same shape.



  • "Trivia" is the final game mode, where players will read a question related to the part of the world you’re at (and point in time) and you can select from 1 of 4 multiple choice answers. This game mode seemed to be less common than the other three, which was fine by me.


    Each area offers 20 levels to play (totalling 60 in all). Bonus timer points are awarded if you play fast enough, which adds points to your overall total. You can ask for a couple of hints at any time when you need some help.

    Production values are relatively high, with impressive visuals and good music. It takes about two or three hours to play through each world, so there’s enough gameplay to justify the price tag, and if you rack up enough points there’s a secret bonus round at the end of each theme.

    The History Channel: Lost Worlds proved fun for a while but doesn’t add anything new to any of these game types. It can be fun for a while, and challenging, especially as you don’t know which game type is coming next, but in the end it’s an average – yet attractive – game collection that folds in historical info and imagery.