If time isn’t on your side these days, here’s the “quick and dirty” on Between the Worlds: it’s a blasé hidden object game that suffers from many annoying shortcomings.

If you’re the type of person who needs more details, however, keep on reading for a deeper look at this flawed puzzler.

The concept behind Between the Worlds is hard to swallow, but it has to do with the city of Los Angeles struck by a crime wave. You play as a seasoned male or female detective (you choose one or the other at the start of the game) tapped by the County Sherriff to help solve the crimes. Not sure why you’re needed to find objects strewn around streets and homes – such as a cucumber, TV remote, saxophone, butterfly and corkscrew, for example – but apparently this is savvy police work! Oh, and then things get even weirder when you meet a sorcerer who is behind the mayhem and he wants to use his magic to control the city. Sigh. I told you it was bad. As a male detective, you also have a busty assistant, Lea, who gives you some background info when you need her. Girl detectives get the cute Alex.

Let’s forgive the lame story for a moment and talk about the game-play. Like many hidden object games you must scour a messy scene and look for items listed within a predetermined amount of time. When you see these items poking out of the mess, click them and they’re removed from your list until you’ve found every one. Click incorrectly too many times and you lose 60 seconds off the clock. You can also have up to five hints per each of the 32 levels, which can reveal hard-to-find items.

The first issue with this game is that multiple items that fall under the same name can be found on the level. Therefore, in many instances the item listed was clicked but it turned out to the wrong one: first it was “cigar” (there were many of them on the screen), then it was “candy” (there were four different pieces of candy to find), the third time it was “seagull” (two seagulls flying near the boat), the fourth time was a clock (two clocks in this particular scene) and the fifth was a pair of glasses (two pairs existed). This is just unfair.

The second problem lies in the fact many items are hidden behind other ones, so only a little bit is showing. A black and white soccer ball was so obstructed I didn’t find it until I completely combed the screen multiple times. This will certainly aggravate players.

The third beef is that you’re encouraged to open some items on the screen so you can collect up to 16 pieces of an amulet. Problem is, there were many items that should be opened – such as a suitcase, trunk and teapot with lid – but when you click on it you received the error sound and perhaps lost time off the clock. What gives? You’re also supposed to collect coulombs, whatever that is, but appears to be some kind of gem (tried to Google it and came up empty).

Every few levels players can partake in one of nine different mini-games (called “Wizard’s Traps”) and three bonus levels (such as a Galaga-like shooting game with the wizard’s wand). These separate diversions are usually puzzle-based, such as mazes, logic and memory games, and some jigsaw puzzles with rotatable pieces. If you get stuck, though, you can’t reset the puzzle (you just have to lose on purpose before trying again), nor can you continue playing the game if you don’t solve it because you can’t click to bypass the mini-games (as you can other hidden object games).

As you can tell, I wasn’t a fan of Between the Worlds, but if you think I was too tough on the game, download the free trial and give it a spin for yourself. Instead, we’d recommend downloading other hidden object games such as Samantha Swift and the Hidden Roses of Athena, Wizard’s Pen or Cassandra’s Journey: The Legacy of Nostradamus.