I have had some ups and downs with the Treasure Seekers series – the first game was fun, the second I criticized for lacking direction, and I loved the third game on all levels. So how will the latest entry fare? Let’s take a look!
The next installment in the popular hidden object franchise, Treasure Seekers, is here! Stop a potential catastrophe and save the world in this breathtaking game. This time, the adventure will take you not only around the world but through time as well! Nelly has been kidnapped by nemesis, Totenkraft. Now it’s up to Tom to rescue his sister. With new powerful devices, such as the Ring of Time and the X-Glass, Nelly and Tom will dive into their most exciting adventure yet! Is Totenkraft really as evil as they previously thought? The answer lies in the clues and puzzles Totenkraft has left. Are you up for the challenge?
4 Heart-stopping chapters
45 Thrilling levels
2 Game modes – casual and advanced
Game Center Support
iPhone 4 Retina Display support
iOS 4+ multitasking support
The first comment I have to make is that while I reviewed the iPad version of all previous Treasure Seekers games, for this game I am reviewing the iPhone version. That is a harder task, as every hidden object game I have played on the iPod Touch or PSP or Android phone has made me want to play it on the iPad: the screen real estate is more friendly to the eyes searching for small objects, and removing the need to constantly zoom in, pan around, zoom out and so on makes the gameplay more enjoyable.
That said, I have certainly enjoyed hidden object games on the iPod Touch and PSP. It really speaks to the design of the game when it translates from the original PC version (which is true for most hidden object games) down to a smartphone screen.
The premise is that based on her demonstrated skills – and penchant for messing up his plans – Totenkraft has kidnapped Nelly right after she interprets Mayan hieroglyphics and discovers that the world will end in 2012. Now it is up to her impulsive brother Tom to rescue her and lead the effort to stop Totenkraft and his evil plans! These plans revolve around the Holy Grail and the scope includes preventing the end of the world. Oh, and finding a canteen in a room … and a camera … and two bolts. And so on.
The core gameplay is identical to the previous games in the series: hidden objects, multiple locations, and puzzles. Also the same are the difficulty levels of casual and advanced. And as before, even with Advanced mode there are enough helpers that you won’t struggle too badly.
Most of what happens and how you make progress is very similar to previous games in the series: you encounter a new area, and soon are presented with a challenge – getting through a door, activating a power source, and so on. Of course, there are missing items you need to find, and suddenly a container opens up with required elements displayed as rings around the container. You hunt around for those objects and then you get part of what you need.
Sometimes you will enter a room with a more traditional ‘object list’ of items to find, including objects that require multiple items to make up a single object. Every area will force you to solve a puzzle in order to get through to progress to the next area. These puzzles are always challenging but never terribly difficult. If you want you can simply guess your way through them, but that takes away the fun! The puzzles are either logic-based or clue-based – and the clues are always located around the area where you need to solve the puzzle.
There are a couple of new items you will use in this game, the X-Glass and the Ring of Time. The X-Glass is similar to what was seen in Spirit of Wandering, but it is used sparingly here and actually enhances gameplay. As for the Ring of Time, it is a clever gimmick that is really no different from other scene-change mechanisms (think the map in Special Enquiry Detail), but again it is cleverly implemented and ties perfectly with the time-oriented theme of the game.
I have always loved the graphics and style of the Treasure Seekers games, and this one is no exception: we are taken to locations including Paris, Jerusalem, Scotland and Mexico and have to look through numerous rooms and puzzle screens. And they all look great. The rooms are full of detail yet the items are distinct enough to never feel cheaply hidden; there are few animations but they are all well done; the cutscenes are fluid and do a great job telling the story; and the music was pleasant enough that I always left my iPad sound up a notch (I mostly game in silence on the iPad).
I had a single issue playing the game: I was working in a room and apparently had finished, but hadn’t noticed and quit out to the main menu. The next time I came in the game knew I had finished the room, but since I hadn’t explicitly taken the key item given at the end of the room it wasn’t in my inventory, so I couldn’t proceed. Fortunately you can ‘restart area’ which takes you to the beginning of the level. That worked great for me and was quick and painless.
The great thing about games like this is that you aren’t stuck playing them in order. Sure, it helps if you are tracking the story, but really the story is just a wrapper around the fun game. That said, G5 already gave away the original Treasure Seekers for free and has had great sales on the other games in the series, so if you are a hidden object fan you should already have played the rest of the games, so you know you will love this game. And if you haven’t played any others yet, you won’t lose out jumping in with this game – it is a load of fun and will occupy about 3 or so hours of your time.
Here is a trailer for Treasure Seekers IV: The Time Has Come:
Review: Treasure Seekers IV: The Time Has Come
Where to Buy: iTunes App Store (iPad version)
Price: $4.99 (iPad version is $6.99)
What I Like: Loads of challenging puzzles; Great variety of locations and challenges; Interesting Story with old and new characters; Detailed visuals; Excellent controls
What Needs Improvement: Mandatory ‘pick up’ requirement for key objects caused an issue.
Source: Review code provided by publisher