So many things to find, it's no wonder everyone in the neighborhood is having a yard sale.
Yard Sale: Hidden Treasures is a new take on Yard Sale Hidden Treasures: Sunnyville, designed for casual play on Facebook as well as Zynga's own website. The game takes the hidden object concept to extreme levels, dropping you in neighborhoods filled with people who want to sell their junk and giving you a nice empty yard to fill with the "treasures" you gather!
It all begins with a few innocent trips to Sunnyville, a town that houses a vampire and a sea captain, among other unique residents. By accepting missions from folks you can hop right into their backyard, looking through crowded areas to find the items listed on the left side of the screen. Simply click to pick up an object, and if you grab several in quick succession you'll pull in a nice combo multiplier. After each scene you'll walk away with a few items and leave behind a happy neighbor!
You'll probably find yourself stumped from time to time as you look for that third eyeball in the graveyard, but Yard Sale gives you two different types of hints to unleash: golden stars and premium stars. The former are unlimited in number and recharge over time. Simply click and it will reveal the location of a random item on the screen. Premium stars work a little differently. They're limited, for starters, but they also allow you to find specific items by clicking on the star next to the object's name. You can recharge premium stars by spending sunny coins or lucky bucks, but they're fairly expensive, so don't be too quick to reach for that little "plus" button!
Outside of the hidden object scenes, Yard Sale gives you plenty of things to do, the most pleasing of which is setting up and organizing your own yard. Your home is a quaint little fenced-in lawn that can be decorated however you please using items scavenged from yard sales or bought in the store. It's a nice feature that gives actual meaning to the hidden object scenes, plus it's really rather fun! You'll also run across the occasional mini-game in Yard Sale, adding yet another diversion that will keep you playing longer than you originally intended.
Like many freemium games, Yard Sale: Hidden Treasures limits your daily activities using a number of virtual currencies that can be refilled by spending cash. In this case you have energy, lucky bucks, and sunny coins to keep track of, the latter of which are essentially two versions of the same currency used just about any time you want to buy something. As for energy, almost every other action you perform, such as accepting missions or working with blueprints, consumes a few bolts, so if you don't keep a good stockpile going you'll be stuck rearranging your furniture all day. You pick up small packages of these currencies both as time passes and by completing missions, so as long as you're not trying for a marathon gaming session, you won't be too limited in your activities.
On the flip side, Yard Sale does fall victim to a few common hidden object traps, the most prevalent of which is how unfairly the items are hidden. Expect all sorts of tricks to come across your screen, from unusually scaled items to opaque, obscured, and almost unrecognizable pieces. The challenge level isn't too high, so you'll never really get stuck, but it is a bit of a letdown to see a game take the easy way out, especially when it isn't very realistic considering the setting.
Yard Sale: Hidden Treasures is an object hunter's dream, not to mention a blast for anyone who adores collecting trinkets and arranging them neatly at the end of the day. There's a lot of scene repetition and the freemium aspects limit your play time to short bursts, but if you get your kicks by spotting items in densely populated scenes, Yard Sale is a pretty good diversion.
- Straightforward gameplay with few non-integrated gameplay gimmicks. Good use of supplementary elements like blueprints, mini-games, and arranging your yard.
- Microtransactions are a bit overboard. Scenes are repeated too frequently, especially at the beginning of the game.