Shards of Time is one of the most dense hidden object games I can recall playing, and yet I didn’t tire of playing it to the extent I had expected. By ‘dense’ I mean that it often felt that completing a single hidden object scene would spawn another scene plus a puzzle, and doing those would add more … and so on.
Similar to most genre games, you start with a cutscene that establishes your character and the motivation for whatever is happening next. In this case you learn that you are part of a secret group with magical power called ‘Keepers’. You need to reassemble a powerful amulet to fight the evil powers – and in order to do this you need to travel to three locations … and hunt for hidden stuff.
The hidden object scenes often come about because someone needs something in order to help you out. In this way the game is like the beginning of an RPG in which you are completing fetch quest after fetch quest to make progress. People you meet engage your character in fun dialogue, and provide some context for what is happening.
The hidden object scenes alternate between finding from a list and ‘find X number of Y objects’. Neither are overly difficult because the graphics and contrast work well to locate objects and the touch recognition is finely tuned. The game worked well on Retina iPad as well as iPad Mini.
Type of app: Hidden Object Puzzle Adventure (HOPA) game
Platform/where to buy: iPad (iPhone version here); available in the App Store
Developer: Candy Grill / G5 Entertainment
What would you do, if you could control magic?
After her beloved aunt Matilda becomes ill, Lisa learns that Matilda is one of the “Keepers”, a hugely secret group that controls magic. Travel in time through the Wild West, the Magic East and present China, solving immersive puzzles and overcoming unbelievable challenges. Find and assemble the powerful amulet to fight Chaos and heal Lisa’s dying aunt.
TRY IT FREE, THEN UNLOCK THE FULL ADVENTURE FROM WITHIN THE GAME!
? 80 Arduous and thrilling levels
? 58 Exciting achievements to earn
? 16 Unique and witty characters
? 13 Fascinating mini-games to play
? 8 Captivating comics
? New iPad Retina Display Support
? Game Center Support
Ease of use/Overall performance: If you are a fan of hidden object scenes, rejoice – this is a game for you. If you just complete them to advance the story, perhaps you should check out the free trial before buying.
Would use again/recommend?: Possibly … I found the puzzles and hidden object scenes fun, challenging and engaging throughout. But there isn’t all that much else to cohesively bind the experience and make it compelling. With so many good genre games with solid stories, this ‘character-lite’ experience doesn’t stack up favorably.
Suggested changes/wish list for updates: Nothing.
Price:($0.99 for iPhone)