Find hidden objects for fun, prizes, and your grandpa’s life!

One look at Millionaire Manor: The Hidden Object Show, and I thought I was in for an eyeroll-inducing nightmare of shlock and absurdity. A maniacal host has captured your grandpa, locked him in a giant birdcage, and will only release him if you manage to win a nefarious gameshow. Ridiculous, right? Well, yes, but beneath that wacky premise lies an immaculately polished HOG experience with inventive new game modes and slick design.

Your grandpop isn’t the only prisoner, either; the evil gameshow host (complete with top hat, of course) has locked up a bunch of other folks, too, but he’s nothing if not fair. If you manage to make it through all of the hidden object rounds he throws your way, he’ll release them all. You must make it through several “freedom” rounds for each victim, though some rounds double and even triple up on the object searches. Once you’ve completed the requisite number of rounds, your host makes good on his promise, and you move on to the next prisoner.

 The Hidden Object Show

Before you begin a freedom round, you spin the wheel to find out what kind of round you’ll be playing. At first, you only have a few types available to you – the typical list-style, spot-the difference, and silhouettes. The levels themselves are absolutely stunning, with an impressive amount of stuff crammed into a location without it feeling forced or artificial. Granted, there’s really no reason for there to be antique Greek statuary in the bathroom, and I’m not entirely sure I understand why the desk drawer in the bedroom needs a padlock, but the art is all so well done that I’m convinced there’s a very good reason for everything to be exactly where it is.

The words “Bonus Round” will appear periodically while you’re working on a hidden object scene; if you’re quick enough to click them, you’ll be taken to – yes, you guessed it – a bonus round where you have mere seconds to snag as many chip pieces as you can. Put together enough pieces and you can earn hints, skips, multiplier and unlock chips, all of which are essential not only to progress, but to make sure you have a good time.

Once you’ve assembled an unlock chip, you’ll have access to another game type on the wheel – and there are some really fun ones. For one, you’ll have to combine a pair of items to make something new – click the eggs and the frying pan to make “fried eggs” or the toy solider and the UFO to make “abducted soldier.” In another, you’ll have to first find every letter of the alphabet hidden in the scene before you can find the items those letters spell out. In my personal favorite, Riddles, you’ll need to deduce the items in question from the phrasse you’re given. “He’s waiting for a kiss from a princess” can of course only be a frong, and “The gold standard for light-weights”? That would be a feather.

 The Hidden Object Show

Not all of the game modes succeed, however. Focus, in which the screen is blurred out, forcing you to peer through a small lens, grows tiresome very quickly, but that’s where those skip chips you’ve been collecting come in. Before you spin the wheel, you can place a skip chip on any mode you’d rather avoid. This won’t help you in double and triple rounds, where the game master chooses for you, but it cuts down on needless fun-sapping pretty well.

Millionaire Manor: The Hidden Object Show is a HOG-lover’s dream come true. It focuses on the hidden object searches, but mixes them game styles so well that you feel like you’re playing a brand new game. The art is multilayered enough to still provide challenge even after you’ve played several rounds in the same location. Other games that strip the gameplay down to nothing but searches often feel sparse when compared with their more story-heavy cousins, but The Hidden Object Show 3 is overflowing with things to do. Just don’t ask about the parting gifts for losing contestants.