Classic Adventures: The Great Gatsby adapts famous F. Scott Fitzgerald novel.
Stories in hidden object games are often unoriginal and badly written (and voice-acted), so it’s understandable why some players run for the Skip button. In Classic Adventures: The Great Gatsby, an upcoming hidden object game from I-play based on F. Scott Fitzgerald’s famous novel, you’ll probably want to soak up every last word of dialog.
You play Nick Carraway, a young man who returns from fighting in the Great War and moves to a “nouveau riche” area of New York in the summer of 1922. His neighbor is a mysterious millionaire named Jay Gatsby. Other prominent characters include the rich dilettante Tom Buchanan and his pampered wife Daisy, and Daisy’s golf pro friend Jordan Baker.
Reason number one not to skip the story is, of course, that it’s based on what’s widely acknowledged to be one of the greatest novels of the 20th century. And as far as we were able to see from the preview demo I-play provided – complete with crisp hand-drawn graphics, an authentic 1920s soundtrack and engaging voice-acting – the developers have done a solid job of bringing that story to life in game form.
Reason number two not to skip the story is that you can earn points by letting each cutscene run its course. Let me explain that in more detail because it’s the game’s first big twist. Every story sequence is “playable,” meaning that there are even hidden objects to search for within the cutscenes. At the beginning of the scene you’ll see a goal, like “find five clocks.” Then as the scene plays out, you’ll have to watch for clocks and click on them to earn points. Doing so is strictly optional, but you’ll want those points to spend later on.
This might sound awkward but it was all quite seamless in the demo, as I searched for the objects while Nick’s voice narrated overtop of the scene. The only downside I can see is that there are no subtitles for these… how could there be when your eyes would need to be in two places at once? Unfortunately, though, this is going to leave hard of hearing gamers (or those who just prefer to play with the sound off) in the lurch.
The main gameplay is more typical, involving searching scenes for various objects from a list. Finding these objects advances the story. After you find a certain number of them, you’ll hear the characters speak. There are subtitles for this part of the game.
Aside from finding objects, each scene has an optional diversion in the form of a secret word. By finding letters you can fill in parts of the word until you’re ready to guess what it is. Guessing correctly earns more points.
These “points” that I’ve been going on about can be used to buy dozens of different furniture, plants, artwork, pets and other decor for your library, which also serves as a trophy room for the awards you earn in the game for achieving certain feats.
The Great Gatsby is also one of the first PC download games to integrate Facebook Connect. When I earned my first trophy, the game asked me if I wanted to share the news with my Facebook friends through something called I-Play Game Share. The way it works is that whenever you earn a trophy it will post a bulletin to your News feed on Facebook. This is purely optional: you can opt out and never be prompted again.
The Great Gatsby is launching on June 15 for PC. Sign up for an Alert if you’d like to follow this game and be notified when we post our full review.