Type of app: Hidden Object Puzzle Adventure (HOPA) game
Platform/where to buy: iPad; available in the Mac App Store
Developer: Orchid Games / G5 Entertainment
Despite weekly releases of hidden object, strategy and adventure games G5 continues to put out amazing quality games as well as a great quantity.When I reviewed Spirit Walkers Curse of the Cypress Witch for the iPad, I thoroughly enjoyed the experience. Now they have ported it to the Mac, and it looks to be a great translation of this significant and interesting plot wrapped around a hidden object adventure. Let’s take a look!
Here are some of the features:
– 32 Gorgeous hidden object scenes
– Nearly 20 ingenious puzzles
– Eerie, engaging atmosphere
– Intriguing storyline
– Astonishing 3D graphics
Major features: The story of Spirit Walkers Curse of the Cypress Witch centers around four young women heading out on an adventure to investigate the legend of a ghost trapped in a tree attacking hikers. You play as Maylynn, who is skeptical but goes along with her friends. Soon things turn serious as a ghost of a woman appears and then one of your friends is critically injured. You manage to free your friend, and get to a safe place (as part of the game, of course). The ghost reappears and explains the situation, who she is and how the friend was hurt … and that you need to get involved in this cross-dimensional struggle if your friend has any hope of survival!
Spirit Walkers Curse of the Cypress Witch is nominally an HOPA (hidden object puzzle adventure), but in reality it is much more of an adventure game with elements of puzzle and hidden object genres. The gameplay bends all three genres without feeling forced. In terms of moving around you tap on locations that will take you from location to location. But within each area you need to explore – tap to talk to people, tap on items or oddities you spot around the scene to see what might be significant.
The great thing about the exploration is that it feels free and open, but you are actually being guided through the plot similar to most every other hidden object game. Each area has puzzles, free-search objects, and specific ‘find the objects’ scenes.
Ease of use/Overall performance: The hidden object portion of the game is challenging but never frustrating – and best yet it is done in a non-traditional ‘silhouette’ format. Some objects are simple to find, others take a while. But I never found myself just clicking like a madman out of frustration, nor was I clicking on what I thought was correct and then used a hint to discover I was off by a pixel.
Puzzles are similarly well-balanced – you are frequently tasked with finding objects in order to solve a puzzle and being turned away if everything isn’t in place yet. These multi-stage puzzles are a blast and remind me of many successful PC adventure games more than most hidden object games.
But the thing I haven’t mentioned yet is the best part of the game – dimensional travel. I don’t want to give away too much, but as noted in the press release description, you are tasked to travel in time and dimension in order to unravel the complete mystery. This is neither a gimmick nor an afterthought. You have to cross dimensions to solve puzzles, and the way the game presents the changes and interactions is well thought out and makes sense.
The degree to which the game feels like a cohesive and integrated story with compelling gameplay makes the time slip away as you play. It is an immensely enjoyable experience, and while it is sad to have it end there is no letdown from an abrupt or unfinished ending. For a casual game in a genre based around short and thin experiences, Spirit Walkers Curse of the Cypress Witch stands out for having been thoughtfully put together in a way that give you a solid story, excellent gameplay, and a flow that carries from start to finish and leaves you satisfied.
Would use again/recommend?: Definitely! The game has an interesting story, great visuals, as well as a great integration of time and dimensions. Also, Spirit Walkers Curse of the Cypress Witch features challenging puzzles and evolving gameplay that made it a joy to pick up and play again.
Suggested changes/wish list for updates: Nothing
Price: Free download through the Mac App Store with a $6.99 in-app purchase.
Source: Publisher provided review code
Here is the trailer: