‘Lost Souls: The Enchanted’ Paintings HD for iPad Review

Imagine receiving a mysterious package with a pleasant painting inside that your child finds captivating. He asks to hang it in his room, but then the next day you awake to find you child gone. It is the nightmare for any parent, and it is the opening scene of the newly released Lost Souls: Enchanted Paintings HD from G5 Entertainment. Let’s take a look and see how this hidden object game plays out!

The Hype:
Rescue a missing boy and immerse yourself in this breathtaking adventure!
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When a mysterious painting of a spooky old castle appears on the doorstep of Bella’s house, her happy and peaceful life crumbles to dust. Her child disappears suddenly and all police and FBI efforts to find him are in vain. Bella’s only option is to enlist the help of some otherworldly friends. Join Bella as she travels through enchanted paintings, exploring the worlds within them. Pick up items you might need to solve brain-twisting puzzles and rescue Bella’s son in this amazing hidden-object adventure!

Standard Edition:

? 44 Levels
? 25 Locations
? 25 Mini-games
? Game Center Support
? New iPad Retina Display Support

Collector’s Edition:

? 9 Extra locations
? 4 Extra mini-games
? In-depth Strategy Guide

The Reality:

The first thing you will notice when you start Lost Souls: Enchanted Paintings (Lost Souls from here on) is that the visuals aer enhanced for the new iPad Retina display. What does this mean? It means that everything looks gorgeous … but it also means that the game is HUGE, with the initial download taking up about 1.3GB on my iPad.

The mother’s name is Bella, and she doesn’t just discover her child gone, but instead that he is now the image in the mysterious painting! So now Bella needs to enter the painting in order to get her son back. But of course there is a problem – after being trapped, his painting has been torn to pieces by an evil sorcerer. Now Bella has to visit a bunch of other enchanted paintings where the parts are scattered!

Each enchanted painting has part of her son’s painting – but also a problem. And as you might guess, in order to get the part … you need to solve their problem! It might be something like the sorcerer scattered the sources of light and power throughout the land so there is darkness looming. Before you can complete the area you need to deliver the power sources – which of course means dealing with a host of other issues!

As with most games in the hidden object genre, you will be tasked with different locations in each painting where you simply need to find some hidden objects from a list. Given the Retina screen and the visual design of the game, that is a pleasure to explore. Similar to Letters From Nowhere 1 & 2, as you uncover objects you open new areas in a given location, which gives the feeling of evolving gameplay – it isn’t as deep or satisfying here, but still works for the flow of the game.

Aside from the standard hidden object gameplay, there are a number of puzzles and mini-games you need to deal with to advance through the locations. The good thing about these is that they flow naturally out of the circumstances in any area – in other words, they don’t feel random or forced, but instead make sense based on what you were already doing.

The level of difficulty is fairly low and consistent throughout all of the areas, so I was never frustrated or stumped – but I was always engaged and challenged. Aside from the massive size, my other complaint is that after an intriguing setup the game feels somewhat formulaic. Of course that is true of all games in the genre, but aside from the visual differences in each location the flow feels very similar from place to place. The way I dealt with that was not to play more than one location per game session. In that way I kept the game feeling more enjoyable and less repetitive.

Something new G5 is doing is introducing ‘Collector’s Editions’ for iOS games similar to how you can buy Standard and Collector’s Editions of games on a site like BigFish games. For the extra couple of dollars you gain added locations, more mini-games and a strategy guide. My advice would be to try the free version, and if you are enjoying it jump right to the collector’s edition for te maximum experience. But if you don’t, at least buying the added content for the standard version is no more than just buying the collector’s edition itself.

Overall Lost Souls: Enchanted Paintings HD is a solid entry in the hidden object genre that reflects all of the advances made in the genre on the iPad over the last couple of years, as well as making solid use of the Retina screen. A year ago (before Special Enquiry Detail and Letters from Nowhere) this would have been my favorite genre game, but now it is just a fun game in the crowded genre. Still, for fans of hidden object adventures, this offers plenty of challenges and loads of content for a reasonable price.

Here is the trailer for Lost Souls: Enchanted Paintings HD:

Review: Lost Souls: Enchanted Paintings HD

Where to Buy: iTunes App Store for the iPhone and iPad

Price: Free with full-game unlock via in-app purchase: $2.99/$4.99 iPhone or $4.99 / $6.99 iPad for Standard / Collector’s editions

What I Like: Interesting story; great visuals; varied worlds to explore; challenging puzzles; evolving gameplay

What Needs Improvement: Download is HUGE; somewhat formulaic after promising start.

Source: Publisher provided review code

Categories: Gaming, Reviews

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