What do you get when you cross the wildly popular hidden object game (HOG) genre with one of the most beloved ball-busting franchises in casual gaming history? The answer is Luxor Adventures, the latest from Mumbo Jumbo that does a great job fusing the two types of play together, as well as folding in a good story, a myriad of mini-games and high production values.
In this highly enjoyable digital download, players join John Swift and Jane Graham as the duo travels through the past to keep history intact — and put an end to the evil Seth Hisster from altering history to suit his thirst for power. I’m purposely trying to be vague here, but I don’t want to ruin the entertaining (yet far-fetched) story, told via animated cut-scene sequences. In a nutshell, however, you must pop around different time periods and recover the items that don’t belong, such as a videogame controller found in an ancient Egyptian tomb or a vinyl record during the Italian Renaissance. This is funny, actually, as many Gamezebo readers know one of my beefs with HOGs is when the items you’re searching for have nothing to do with the environment or story (like a hotdog in a shipwreck). I was ready to bash Luxor Adventures in this respect until I realized it was part of the tale!
The main gameplay will be familiar to HOG fans: Scour a busy environment and click on all the items listed at the bottom of the screen. Some items are given as hints, such as "Japanese weapon" (nunchuks) or "Puck’s enemy" (hockey stick). One or two puzzles per level require that you find two related items and perform a simple task, such as inserting batteries in a flashlight or placing a nozzle on a spray can. Every level also has two orbs to find — collect eight and you’ll play a ball-blasting match-3 game of Luxor — plus find two Ankhs per level, which go toward unlocking more game modes from the main menu (see below).
There is a clock counting down per level, though you have ample time to find everything. That said, there are many objects to look for in the scene compared to most other HOGs, and some of them can be well-hidden. Thankfully, there’s a Hint button you can click to reveal hard-to-find objects.
This game is also highly replayable, as you’ll be asked to find different objects per scene each time (I tested this by starting the game as three different players).
Every four levels or so you’ll play a Luxor game. If you haven’t played one of these arcade diversions before, it’s very similar to Zuma, whereby a number of colored balls snake out onto the screen in a given pattern and you must shoot a ball towards it; when three or more of the same colored ball touch, they explore. To complete the level, you must destroy all the balls before it reaches it end.
Other mini-games are also available, such as a "spot the differences" challenge (look at two pictures and use the mouse to click what’s different between them), as well as jigsaw puzzles, logic games, Match-3 boards (think Bejeweled), sliding tiles, card games, and other fun head-scratchers.
It would be remiss not to mention the excellent production values of Luxor Adventures, from the special effects and animated sequences to the great music and detailed artwork
And if you stick with the game and collect many Ankhs, you’ll unlock three new game modes: a Match-3 game (30 Ankhs), Luxor Classic (60 Ankhs) and Endless Seek-and-Find Mode (90 Ankhs). Competitive types might also like the scoring system (points awarded per level, and a bonus if no hints are used) as well as a global high score list.
Overall, Luxor Adventures is one of the more polished, fun and challenging HOGs we’ve played over the past few months. The value proposition is also high given the fact you get multiple game types (and individual modes) in one package, too. Be sure to download the free trial to start saving the world…one click at a time.