Jodie Drake is a cliché-filled romp best-suited to die-hard HOG fans.
Jodie Drake: World in Peril stars Jodie Drake, a female Indiana Jones of sorts, that travels the world taking pictures of treasure and artifacts, rather than collecting them for study or to sell. However, with a rushed storyline and mostly boring gameplay, you’re likely to give up on her adventure before seeing it through.
Jodie Drake is a star photographer – a world traveler, capable of solving puzzles and entering ancient tombs better than anyone else. She is hired as a freelance photographer for one of the most prestigious travel magazines in the world, and is then sent out to worldwide locations to explore temples and discover the secrets these never-before-seen locations hold.
Each location in the game (Egypt, Greece, India, etc.) comprises a different chapter in the game, with six chapters being available in all (each of which lasts around 20 minutes). Chapters are made up of a variety of tasks, none of which seem to be connected, that include the basic hidden object scenes (find items shown on a list) or puzzles (jigsaw puzzles, weight shifting puzzles, mazes and so on). As you go along, however, Jodie realizes that something isn’t quite right with her new employer, as all of the locations she searches seem to contain matching symbols that lead her to believe he wants more than just great photos.
This is where the game actually holds true to its name, as the world is finally placed into peril after five full chapters have been completed. All of the gameplay leading up to this is haphazardly thrown together. Jodie consistently makes references to notes that she has been given, but we’re never allowed to read, and she is told to travel to the far reaches of the world with no reasoning as to why. She knows things about these locations that she couldn’t possibly know realistically (“I need to collect pieces of broken glass tubing to continue” – but how do you know that?), with all of this combined causing a real lack of continuity in the entire experience (made worse by the few grammatical or spelling errors that are present).
While the puzzle levels in each location function fine, and do offer a bit of honest challenge, even if being repetitive in the process, the hidden object gameplay actually has a lot of problems. The graphics are muddy in many scenes, making details hard to spot, especially in scenes where all you’re given is a collage of silhouettes – no details, no hint as to the size of the object, its orientation or its color. At least with a worded list, you have a better idea of what you’re looking for, but when most of these silhouettes are symbols that are native to the game, it is a much more difficult proposition than it should be.
It’s a shame that Jodie Drake: World in Peril suffers as it does, as the storyline is one that could have been far more interesting and enveloping if it was just expanded, rather than being presented as the cliché-filled romp that it is. What makes this more disappointing is that the theme of the title is actually fairly different for the genre, rather than taking us to another gloomy mansion or Victorian-era city. However, unless you’re a hardcore fan of hidden object games, the lackluster gameplay here just isn’t enough to make the game worth a purchase.