Hide & Secret 4: The Lost World is a great-looking HOG with occasionally frustrating puzzles
The Lost World is the newest game from Anarchy Enterprises and the fourth entry in the Hide and Secret series. When The Lost World begins with the revelation that your arch nemesis, Jacques, has stolen an ancient golden relic. On top of that, he has kidnapped Professor Columbia and has escaped to the Lost World, where he intends to sacrifice her to reveal the secret of the relic. The secret is immediately revealed to be the gift of immortality. It is up to you and your team to save the professor and stop Jacque before it is too late.
Unfortunately, your plane crashes and before you can help the professor you must find the rest of your crew. Each member of your crew seems to have an amazing talent for getting into trouble, even after you’ve rescued them. The best is when Lord Rockwood manages to get caught in quicksand…in a location you have been traipsing back and forth across for a large portion of the game. In addition to your friends, you will also be helping out the village chief recover his two lost granddaughters, although he doesn’t seem all that interested in helping search for them.
Hide and Secret 4: The Lost World is a combination of mini-game puzzles, hidden object scenes and inventory puzzles. You will be traveling all over the island on your quest to save the professor so hopefully you brought your hiking boots. If you need an item at one end of the island, you can be almost guaranteed that it will be located as far away as possible. Numerous times during the game, it felt that the puzzles were designed to simply make the game feel longer than it actually was. At one point your torch will be doused by rain and you will have to return the place you initially lit it to light it again. There is no reason for this to happen, other than to add length to the game.
Gameplay in The Lost World is very linear. There are very strict triggers, and if you do not meet them you will find yourself unable to progress until you figure out what it is you are missing. There is a built in hint system (and strategy guide), but it isn’t always that helpful. The hints work within the hidden object scenes only. If you click the hint button outside the hidden object scene you will bring up the strategy guide. The guide will tell you exactly what you need to do, but often time you haven’t done something to trigger what needs to be done. You might be told that you need to find an item in a hidden object scene, but you haven’t done something that is completely unrelated so that scene does not exist yet. It would be nice if the strategy guide had been separate from the hint button and if the hints could have told you where to go to unlock the next part of the game.
The Lost World does have a nice balance between hidden object scenes and puzzles. Some of the puzzles do get repetitive by the end but they are fun nonetheless. There are several different styles of puzzles including jigsaw puzzles, inventory puzzles and a type of code cracking puzzles.
The music in the game fits the mood and doesn’t overpower the gameplay. There are also a lot of atmospheric sounds in the game, such as rain fall. The atmospheric sounds can be louder than the music at times, but they can be turned down separately in the options menu.
There are two modes of play in The Lost World, relaxed and expert. In relaxed mode the hint and skip timer recharges faster and there is no click penalty in the hidden object scenes. In the expert mode the timer takes longer to recharge and if you click too many times the screen goes black from a couple seconds. Otherwise the two modes seem to be identical.
All in all, Hide and Secret: The Lost World is a decent game and worth the purchase if you’re dying to find out what happens next in the series, but it’s not quite in the same league as the very best HOG games on the market.