World Mysteries brings HOG gameplay to Facebook, with a hint of repetitiveness
Vostu’s World Mysteries joins an ever-growing library of hidden object games on Facebook, but unfortunately it offers little that truly stands out. From looking for clues in cluttered locals to decorating a personalized virtual space, nothing is particularly unique here.
You take on the role of a person set on discovering the mysterious circumstances regarding your uncle’s disappearance. Loosely presented through basic quests, you work your way through various locales searching for clues that may point you in the right direction. As the game progresses, you eventually unlock new mysteries to explore, with each one offering more hidden object puzzles for a grand total of 28. Broken up into "cases," each case requires you to earn certain items in order to unlock the next.
As far as each puzzle works itself, it’s all standard. You are given a mess of a room with the sole objective of finding whatever doodads are listed at the bottom. Based on the expedience of finding these items, combos can be built up and points and coins are awarded at the end. In order to aide in this task, two clue powers are also available, including a magnifying glass that zooms in one random object and a buyable (with virtual currency) snapshot, that highlights a set of random list items for a short time.
With the coins that are earned from each puzzle, you can buy decorations for your virtual space. Centered around a somewhat Victorian-style mansion, the décor placed boosts a stat dubbed "Mystery Points," which will unlock more puzzles within the case you are currently playing. On average, there are five puzzles per case. That said, such a mechanic is nothing that hasn’t been done before and truthfully, the decorative aspect feels weak. Sure there are a lot of items, but World Mysteries currently lacks any buyable items, like walls or flooring, that create a cohesiveness to the virtual space. Currently, even the high level spaces feel like collections of independent objects rather than one stylized mansion hosting the player’s personal touch. That said, there are items that can be found as you expand your space, and you can uncover nicer items (like a piano) that can be repaired with the help of friends to grant periodic rewards.
One of the bigger downsides to the game is the painful repetitiveness of it. It’s actually not uncommon for Facebook-based hidden-object games, but you have to frequently replay the same level over and over again in order to progress further in the game. Granted, the hidden objects you will be searching for change each time you repeat the puzzle, but it does get tiresome after a short while.
It’s also worth noting that some of the hidden object aspects of the game can be quite obnoxious. In many cases, the items being asked for are very nondescript. For example, a puzzle might ask for "olive oil" and in the picture it is just a plain bottle of yellowish-green liquid. The only way to realize that it’s "olive oil" is if one of the hints point it out. Additionally, many objects are annoyingly hard to find. This isn’t a situation where they blend in, hiding in plain sight, like they are supposed to. But rather, they are difficult to find because they are either very small, or only the tiniest portion of it is visible. An example here is finding a toaster, except it is located behind three other things with only the edge poking out. There is nothing visible to say that "this is a toaster." On top of all of this, many items are not blended with the environment very well at all with white borderlines from where they were Photoshopped still clearly visible.
All in all, World Mysteries just isn’t anything special. While it does offer new hidden object puzzles to fans of the genre, they just don’t feel as well crafted as they should be and from hints to decorative elements, everything has been done before almost verbatim. On top of all this, it becomes tiresome to replay the same levels over and over again in order to progress and feels like such an artificial way to increase longevity.
- Offers new puzzles and environments for fans of the genre. Decorative elements unlock new puzzles rather than just being there for the sake of being there.
- In order to progress in the game, the same puzzles must be played several times. None of the mechanics are particularly interesting or fresh feeling. Difficulty in the hidden object puzzles is obnoxious rather than challenging.