It’s time to take a trip to one of North America’s national parks! Vacation Adventures: Park Ranger 5 is a combination hidden object and mini-game collection created to celebrate the U.S. National Park’s centennial. You’ll sift through dozens of crowded woodland and forestry service scenes as you work to get the word out about the anniversary, all while protecting the wildlife and preserving a piece of nature everyone can enjoy.
Park Ranger 5 features a really basic set-up that was most likely designed for young players. There’s no adventure or exploration portion of the game, just hidden object scenes displayed one after another. Each one has a small list of items at the bottom of the screen. Find and click the listed objects and they’re replaced by new items. Repeat until you’ve saved the day! Occasionally you’ll need to zoom in and investigate certain portions of the scene to know what’s going on, but otherwise it’s straightforward item hunting, plain and simple.
After each hidden object scene you’ll push the story forward by completing a short mini-game. These fall under the usual suspects of jigsaw puzzles, tile turning games, and the like, nothing that will take you more than half a second to recognize and start solving. There’s not all that much variety to be had, unfortunately, which sometimes makes these interludes feel a bit forced.
Park Ranger 5 makes sure you never get stuck, with two types of hint buttons available during hidden object scenes. The first sends a sparkle to a random item whenever you click it. The second, known as Mega Hints, highlights all of the available objects for several seconds, giving you the chance to hop to it and click several targets in a row. Puzzles between HOG scenes also have a generous skip button that’s available after a few minutes.
Rounding out Vacation Adventures’ main features, you’ll earn points while you play that can be used to purchase items in the souvenir shop. It’s basically like a real forestry service shelf of gadgets and oddities, just a simple wall of collectibles that serve no purpose other than to let your inner completionist out to play.
Vacation Adventures: Park Ranger 5 is a very basic, very straightforward game. It’s designed to deliver the bare minimum and nothing more. If you walk into the experience hoping for a powerful story paired with an epic romp through dozens of national forests, you won’t find much to keep you entertained. However, if you just want to turn the outside world off, stare at some nice photorealistic national parks scenes, and solve a few quick puzzles, Vacation Adventures is just what the park ranger ordered.