Carrie opens her father’s compass and an old man appears. He turns Carrie into a ghost, explaining that she will get her body back after she finds the treasures with the magical compass. Together with her sister, Diana, Carrie must sail to ten locales in ten days to find the treasures in 10 Days under the Sea.
10 Days under the Sea resembles the recently released Amazing Adventures Around the World. Both are hidden object games. Both have mini-games (most hidden object games do). Both call for finding pieces of an item. Both involve traveling around the world. In this game, you travel through Egypt, China, Great Barrier Reef, Spain, and other exotic places. Unfortunately, as you travel from country to country, there’s little to distinguish the location other than through the music.
Each of the nine locations has five levels for finding hidden objects making a total of 45 levels plus one more for the tenth and final destination. You can play the five levels in any order and receive five hints each day. You can earn more hints by discovering one of four artifacts or catching a hint-fish. In some scenes, fish swim freely while you seek objects and occasionally a hint-fish swims across the screen with a "?" to indicate it’s a hint-fish. Fish sometimes annoy, so you can blow the horn to scare them off for a little peace. (Or, feed them fish food to draw in more fish in hopes of finding the hint-fish.)
Artifacts randomly appear after you find an object to give you special hints. The magic lamp artifact glows its brightest when you’re close to the hidden object. The treasure hunter artifact beeps like crazy when it reaches a hidden object. Drop old Flint’s bomb any place on the level where it explodes and sends all found objects flying into the chest. Poseidon’s Net – the most powerful artifact – takes little effort. Just click to use it and it picks up a hidden object every time.
Though five hints feels like plenty, these artifacts come in handy because many of the objects in 10 Days under the Sea don’t look anything like you expect. So count on hearing yourself saying, "That was a dog?" "That was not a chest?" "You call that a wreath – looks more like an ornament to me!"
For example, one of the objects you need to find in a scene is a tower. Well, the scene has many towers including one that looks like the Leaning Tower of Pisa (and that’s not what you need). The game uses "racket" for an object that looks exactly like a ping pong paddle. On the bright side, even if some of the objects and their names confuse, the hint system will be more than enough to take care of them.
For something different and original, you can go photohunting to capture 30 different fish in the sea. The motivation comes in trying to take five star photos, which is not so easy when fish swim away at the click of a mouse. Ambush them to get your best shot.
Take a break from the game at any time to look through your photo album to see the species of fish you capture on film. You can trash the bad shots to improve your photo album rating and lock your favorites so the game doesn’t delete them. This part of the game would be the only reason you’d play it again. Otherwise, the game offers little motivation to play it again with objects appearing in the same places every time.
After finding the hidden objects in all five levels, you play any one of four mini-games to win a part of the magic compass and then move on to the next location. Mini-games include the infamous "find a pair" game where you find matching pairs based on memory. "Tags" requires swapping pieces to put a scene together.
The music puzzle works like Simon where the game lights up different pieces along with playing a note and you play them back in the same order. Those who don’t like Simon will be happy to know it’s not difficult. Then there’s puzzle with lights where you flip the switches until all the pieces light up. You can skip the mini-games, but you’ll lose a hint in the next round leaving you with four hints.
The hand-drawn scenes tell a chapter of the story between each locale. The story doesn’t overwhelm you with complexities or a lot of text. Sometimes you want to move on to the next scene and not spend 10 minutes reading the story, so the short chapters are perfect.
10 Days under the Sea doesn’t grip like some of the summer’s hit hidden object games. However, its relaxing look and feel and music will attract those who simply want to have fun playing a game. You go to the beach to relax, not to swim as fast as possible. If there’s such a thing as a beach for hidden object games, 10 Days under the Sea is the one.