Hannah Harlow is looking for the next designing superstar to feature on her TV show – this could be your big break! Not only do you have a great eye, but you also have an uncanny knack for turning yard sale trash into eye-catching treasures. You’ve got to get some designs together to impress Hannah, but a cranky tycoon’s plan to shut down local yard sales for good could ruin your dreams in Yard Sale Hidden Treasures: Lucky Junction.
So begins Yard Sale Hidden Treasures: Lucky Junction, a wonderfully goofy hidden object game sure to put a grin on your face. You start off just trying to get some great examples of your design prowess to show off to Hannah, but soon you’ll be putting on your gumshoes to investigate the secret that’s driving Ebenezer Von Snobb’s perpetual bad mood. Both goals will require you to prowl the local yard sales, assembling what to the untrained eye looks like nothing but random junk, but in your hands becomes fabulous furniture, light fixtures, and objets d’art.
Each segment of the game starts with one of your neighbors asking you to fix up a specific room in their homes. R. Master the clown has a baby on the way and needs a new nursery, for example, while Sandy the beach bum is tired of her bungalow’s boring vibe. As you scope out the rooms they want revamped, you assemble a list of items you want to assemble – a new bed, an area rug, a chair – including how many pieces each item will take to complete.
Then, it’s off to the sales to prowl for the bits and bobs you’ll need to put everything together. Here’s where your designer’s eye really shows its creative spark; a collection of hand fans, a bamboo pole, and an old motor will come together to make a charming ceiling fan, while a stuffed monkey and an old fishbowl are reimagined as a kooky lamp. Don’t worry if you’re not the inventive type – you don’t have to figure out what goes with what, you just have to find the objects on your list.
The hidden object segments are fairly typical, and those used to checking items off a list will be able to jump right in without difficulty. What makes Lucky Junction a joy is its whimsical cast of characters and tongue in cheek humor. There’s Rick Hoffen, the British pilot who lives in an airplane, Trish Thrasher, the hard rocker with a stage in her front yard, and S. Keymo whose home is – you guessed it – an igloo. Even Von Snobb, who comes in every so often to threaten you with grave misfortune, is a hoot, especially once you start to learn his deep, dark secret. They’re all drawn with a larger-than-life cartoon style that makes feel lively and vibrant, despite the fact that they never move.
The game breaks up the hidden object segments with variations on the searching theme. Your neighbors will frequently ask you to find a specific kind of object – tools for Rick Hoffen, penguins for S. Keymo – and you’ll have to jump from yard to yard to find them all. Though sometimes you simply have to find them all, in some cases you’ll have to locate them in a specific order by matching the particular item to its silhouette in your list. It’s a little frustrating at times, but it does increase the challenge somewhat. Your reward for finding the missing items is usually the final piece you need to complete your hot design, which means it’s time to start decorating.
This is where Lucky Junction stumbles a bit. The furniture-assembly mini games, where you’ll do things like refinish wood or screw together a table, require little more skill than dragging your mouse back and forth as quickly as possible. While it’s fun to see how the random bits of junk you collected from the yard sales comes together as nifty new furniture, the actual act of putting them together isn’t all that exciting or challenging. It’s kind of amusing the first few times you do it, but starts to feel like a chore before too long.
Don’t let that scare you off, though. Yard Sale Hidden Treasures: Lucky Junction is great fun, and pretty long, too, especially once you unlock Tour Mode by finishing the game.