No, not that “Twilight”

Even though the “scary” hidden object game has been overdone, there are still plenty of great games released in this subgenre every year. Unfortunately, for every great game, we’re also given tons of duds, and Twilight School is one such disappointment.

Twilight School follows Lily, a girl who was raised to believe her mother died when she was a child, only to discover that her mother was actually abducted and taken to a dark world (an alternate version of reality). In order to save her mother, Lily must travel to the Twilight School and complete a series of rituals in order to gain access to the dark world and save her mother once and for all. This storyline could have actually been entertaining if more effort had been placed in fleshing out the details, but instead, it’s a choppy, rushed mess.

Twilight School

Lily seems to have multiple personalities, as one moment she’s more concerned with her makeup and clothing than her mother, and the next, she’s a crying child screaming for “Mommy.” There’s no flow or consistency in the storyline, as players are simply forced to go on repeated fetch quests to gather ingredients to complete the final ritual. Navigation is handled entirely through fast-travel (which is a good thing), but this also reduces the time between the game’s many (too many) hidden object scenes.

Each scene has fine graphics, but they all suffer from some awful hidden object naming. A “cup” on the list may actually be a “trophy” in the scene, while a “whisk” is actually a “feather duster” as two examples. On the game’s easier of two difficulty settings, players can use the hint meter to find these incorrectly named objects, but that doesn’t excuse the developers from having the wrong names in the first place. There are also some grammar issues with the dialog, as words may be missing altogether from sentences.

The one bright point in Twilight School comes from some of its puzzles. While some puzzles are slow moving and typical, like pipe rotation or jigsaw puzzles, there are also some truly unique ones. You may need to move your mouse to rotate stars to form final constellations, as one example, or use your mouse to line up the trajectory of a basketball shot in the gym. These are refreshing and actually fun to complete.

Twilight School

Unfortunately, unique puzzles aren’t enough to save a game that’s laughable right from the beginning. The severity of the situation never really seems to hit Lily, as she’s forced to act like a normal student due to the “bad guys” looking out for her, and no one (teachers included) seem to really care that their lives are being placed in danger by helping her. The game’s few positives, like fun puzzles or fast-travel, give a sense that the developers knew what to include to create a great game, but for whatever reason, they never followed through on any of that potential. Even the game’s storyline could have been more believable, had there only been more to it, rather than rushing us through like we’re on a time limit. In the hands of another developer, perhaps Twilight School would be one to recommend, but in its current state, it’s a game to avoid.