Big Finish Games has released a demo of Three Cards to Dead Time, the follow-up to its debut hidden object game Three Cards to Midnight. We played through the entire demo, which covers the Prologue and Chapter 1 of the 7-chapter (plus Finale) game, so that we could bring you this preview.

Three Cards to Dead Time picks up several months after the events of Three Cards to Midnight, as main character Jess Silloway continues to come to terms with her unique ability to sense the psychic energy stored in objects and form mental pictures of past events and people. With the help of a few friends and associates, Jess continues to explore her unique heritage as she tries to figure out who the strange ghostly woman is who keeps appearing to her.

Like the first game, the story unfolds in a non-linear fashion, where you choose scene for Jess to revisit by flipping over certain Tarot cards. Also like the first game, Three Cards to Dead Time features innovative hidden object gameplay mechanics that revolve around using logic to identify specific objects in the scene rather than just searching for random items on a list. For example, we were asked to find "objects that cause phobias," such as a spider, snake, and hypodermic needle; and "objects that float," which included a balloon, a feather, and a life jacket.

Another interesting gameplay type, called Connections, involved filling in connected boxes with words that all relate to each other, such as Groom and Bride; or Lion, Tin Man and Scarecrow (all of whom are characters from the Wizard of Oz).

The game offers three levels of difficulty: Easy, where you only have to find some of the items; Challenge, the standard mode where you must find all of the items on the list; and Gamer mode, where there are extra items to find.

You get a limited number of incorrect guesses per scene, and if you use all of them up you’ll have to restart the room. You also have a limited number of hints per scene that can be used to reveal the locations of items. You can earn additional hints by earning enough points through finding items. Using a hint forms a small circle around an item, which proved a little hard to see and disappears after only a few seconds. Let’s hope this gets tweaked before the final version of the game is released to make the hint circle a little longer lasting and easier to make out.

Other than that quibble, though, the game looks like it’s shaping up to be a worthy follow-up to Three Cards to Midnight, with the same innovative gameplay and above average storytelling.

According to developer Big Finish Games, Three Cards to Dead Time will launch in December for the PC. In the meantime, check out some screenshots, watch a teaser video trailer, or chat about the game in our forum.