What would you do if your boss was kidnapped? What if there was no one else who wanted to help him? That’s Amanda’s dilemma in Superior Save, a hidden object game that sends you on an unorthodox rescue mission.
At work one morning, Amanda gets a call from her boss who pleads, "Help, I’ve been kidnapped!" Exasperated, she heads out to find his maid. After learning very little information, she decides to have a look around his house. Okay, I must interject – why doesn’t she call the police from the start? You would think that would be a normal reaction if someone calls to tell you they’ve been kidnapped. She does eventually stroll down to the police department, but they refuse to investigate unless Amanda can provide evidence of a crime. The characters in this game are oddly apathetic, and don’t seem very concerned about each other, which is a bit strange. None the less, the story background is interesting, although it isn’t expanded on in great detail, and there are some notable plot holes.
As with all hidden object games, your goal is to find all the hidden objects on your list. There aren’t many instructions given, which shouldn’t be a problem for experienced players, but it might confuse those new to the genre.
Rounds are untimed (with the exception of the mini-games), and you get unlimited recharging hints to help you out. Unlike many other games, this hint system is flexible, allowing you to choose which item on your list you’d like help finding. If you make too many random clicks, you’ll be warned, but there is no penalty.
Objects are camouflaged naturally in the scenes, with some color blending on certain objects. Occasionally, an object is resized so that a typically small object (like a pen or a stamp) might appear quite big. In general, most objects are fairly large and easy to find. Many objects are plainly visible, while a few are nearly transparent and impossible to spot. There is usually a good mix of each in every scene, but on the whole it’s easy to find what you need.
It’s fair to say this is a straight forward, traditional hidden object game, where the focus is on finding objects and not on solving puzzles. However, there are simple inventory puzzles in every scene. These generally involve finding a hidden object on your list and putting it somewhere logical in the scene, like placing a light bulb in a chandelier, or coffee grinds in the coffee maker.
The game also includes minigames, but you can skip these if you choose. One involves rearranging parked cars so that one car can exit the front gate. Another has you matching stamps in a game of memory, and yet another has you reconnecting fuses to set off fireworks. These seem loosely connected to the plot, and are your typical and somewhat predictable HOG minigames.
In Superior Save‘s favor, the graphics are clear and crisp, and most of the hidden objects look like they should. There are subtle animations in each scene, like steam coming up from a tea kettle or an animated cat wagging his tail, which make the environments seem more life-like. Each scene also has its own sound effects, like a buzz saw in the garage, or traffic in the street. The animated cartoon cutscenes are fun to watch, and they tell the quirky story without the use of many words.
Now for the downside. You can expect between 2-3 hours of game play, which is on the short side, though not uncommon for a hidden object game. The replay value is questionable once you’ve won.
When you compare Superior Save to other hidden object games, it’s easy to sit on the fence. The game play is smooth, and the graphics are appealing, but it lacks the depth and challenge of some longer and more involved games like Romance of Rome or Reincarnations: Awakening. It may appeal to new players and those who want a low pressure game, but experienced players might not feel as challenged.