Lost Lands: The Golden Curse feels like a game bridging the gap between regular and distinctly casual Hidden Object games, and more conventional adventure games. It offers the usual bevy of simple puzzles and hidden object scenes, but it also provides you with more inventory based challenges. It’s those sequences that have you thinking more laterally, and more in a manner in which suits a regular adventure game. While Lost Lands: The Golden Curse isn’t particularly long, you’ll still feel like there’s enough to sink your teeth into here.
The game is part of the Lost Land series of titles, but it’s not entirely essential for you to have played earlier installments. Granted, the storyline is going to make more sense if you do, but you can get by without that assistance. The entire world is at risk, due to stone demon statues coming out to destroy humanity. An ancient curse is also an issue, and plays an important part throughout the game. Because of that, you can’t touch anything gold, which frequently plays a role in terms of what you can and can’t do while playing. Various scenes push the story along, but it’s going to be the puzzles you have to solve that keep you interested.
Much of your time with Lost Lands: The Golden Curse will have you reaching a new area on the map, with a mission to move on to the next one. You generally have to solve various small puzzles to be able to go on ahead. There’s a certain amount of backtracking here admittedly, which artificially inflates the length of the game, but it’s reasonably logical in terms of what it expects of you. Frequently, you have to combine some items to make a more effective piece of equipment. For instance, you might have a broken pick axe, but soon end up finding a pick axe handle that can be combined with it. Lost Lands: The Golden Curse highlights what can be combined and when, so you’re never left in the dark for too long. There’s always a handy hints button at the ready too, which simplifies the process even further.
It’s nice to see such logical thinking playing a valuable part here,. Coming across a snake and appreciating it needs to be baited and trapped required various steps to complete, but it all makes sense as you gradually figure things out. Rarely did I feel like I was expected to switch to a bizarre sense of logic that some games like to throw in.
Besides the inventory based puzzles, there are also some mini-games to tackle. These are fairly functional, such as a jigsaw puzzle where you piece together a message, but they can also be quite challenging. Rearranging shapes or orbs in order to uncover a secret can require some head scratching for a time, but again you can always hit the skip button if you want.
There are a small selection of Hidden Object scenes too, and these are quite different from the usual way of doing things. Rather than simply working your way through a list of the usual items, you have to deal with silhouettes and combining items to unlock other items. It’s not hugely challenging exactly, but it offers enough variety so as to feel suitably different from the usual method. It also means such scenes take much longer to complete, but that works out quite well as it’s fun to actually figure things out, rather than simply clear a checklist of stuff.
Lost Lands: The Golden Curse proved to be a cut above the usual bunch of casual adventure games. It made me think in a way that such games within the genre don’t always do. That means it wasn’t quite as relaxing as some, but for those who want a bit more bite to their Hidden Object games, this one’s worth checking out.