As far as hidden object games go, Cassandra’s Journey: The Legacy of Nostradamus delivers one of the more entertaining spins on the popular casual game category. While it doesn’t really bring anything new to the genre, it’s a highly polished and fun diversion, with many mini-games to keep things fresh and a story you might actually be interested in.
Cassandra’s Journey: The Legacy of Nostradamus lets you slip into the role of a young apprentice, Cassandra, who’d like to follow in her late grandmother’s fortune-telling footsteps. Except Cassandra relies heavily on a magical ring to help solve the mysteries presented to her. Too bad she lost it. At the start of the game a woman enters Cassandra’s office and pleads for her help in locating her missing brother. Without giving too much away, Cassandra discovers she is a lot more talented in the ways of mysticism than she previously thought, thanks to the help of Nostradamus’s spirit.
As with most of these hidden object games, affectionately referred to as “HOGs,” you’ll begin with a messy indoor or outdoor scene – such as an office or park, respectively – and you must search for and click items listed on the screen. At the start of the game they’ll be words, such as “pouch” or “cone,” but later on might be a silhouette of an item or a grouped theme (“find 20 old trinkets”) or a riddle to solve such as “Hit to and fro with a tail of feather, a ball to withstand any type of weather” (the answer is a badminton birdie). When you see the item on the screen, you’ll click it, which causes it to disappear and be scratched off your list. You only have a few minutes to solve each screen, plus if you click incorrectly too many times on an item it shaves off 30 seconds from the clock.
If you need a hint you can ask for one in three ways: give you the answer by illuminating the hard-to-find item; highlight a portion of the screen where the item can be found; or highlight the mouse cursor when you get close to it. You can replenish these hints by finding and clicking on various gems hidden throughout each level, and then purchasing more hint types (the more direct the hint, the more it’ll cost you).
Unlike most other hidden object games, the items you’ll need to find are usually tied to the theme and story, which is refreshing. HOG fans know all too well about hunting for hotdogs, underwater or a tank in a tool shed!
Every other level, the game offers a different kind of mini-game to play, which is also tied to the story. These challenge Cassandra to inch closer towards her goal, such as completing a three-in-a-row coin puzzle game (to piece together a key that will open up a box), trying to find the difference between three near-identical photos (to hunt for clues), competing a word search game with words from grandma’s will and a solitaire game offered by Nostradamus (and having to find playing cards strewn throughout a level, too). We enjoyed these mini-games more than the ones you typically find in hidden object games.
Play well and you can unlock three kinds of fortune-telling exercises available from the main menu: by cards (the first to be unlocked), by stars or by magical crystal. Some might get a kick out of these, for certain, but frankly I wasn’t one of them. Cute, sure, but I’d rather see a second game type instead. But these diversions sure fit the theme, which is nice.
Cassandra’s Journey: The Legacy of Nostradamus gets a lot right, but it’s not perfect. For one, not all clicks were registered when I made them. In one instance, I was looking for a “butterfly,” so I clicked on one on the back of a chair. To my surprise, however, small red dots appeared, which meant it was incorrect. I clicked a second time — this time dead on the butterfly — but alas, I received the same error notification. Not sure what to do, I clicked for a Hint, which showed the butterfly was on the same chair I was clicking on! Sigh.
Other minor issues are the items are in the same place if you play the game again (so why bother?) and some confusing items to find, such as an “insulated bottle,” which was a thermos. No worries, as this didn’t sour the game at all.
Overall, hidden object fans will certainly be interested enough in the developing story and interesting characters to keep you clicking until the very end of Cassandra’s magical journey. If you get stuck, however click here for Gamezebo’s official walkthrough.