Imagine you’re trekking through the Amazon in search of a hidden temple lost in time. Now imagine you’re trekking through the Amazon in search of the same hidden temple, picking up hot dogs and house cats hidden in the environment. Now you’re thinking in terms of Amazon: Hidden Expedition, one of our favorite hidden object games.
What Amazon: Hidden Expedition does best is carefully place each object you have to find into the environment. Everything is blended together so well that you wouldn’t once think the objects were carelessly pasted in, even when you pick them up. This attention to detail makes Big Fish Games the masters of this genre, and we wouldn’t expect any less from them on this front.
Like playing: “I spy with my little eye”, only better.
Most scenes in Amazon contain three things for you to find: the listed objects, journal entries, and beetles. Listed objects are the hot dogs, house cats, and other random junk that doesn’t belong in the jungle. Journal entries tell the story of the adventurer you are searching for, and include pictures and text that can give you hints to the puzzles. Each picture also has five hidden beetles, and you’re awarded with a free hint if you can find them all.
We were a little disappointed to see that many of the hidden objects repeat across levels. Although the image itself always changes, it’s easy to eventually get sick of searching for lizards and muffins.
One aspect of the hidden object portion of this game that we loved was using items we found to uncover others on the list. For example, at one point you need to find a wrench, use it to pull down a wooden plank, and use the plank as a bridge to access the next area.
You can find hidden objects in all sorts of orientations.
Puzzle levels play a big role in Amazon: Hidden Expedition. Often you’ll be faced with a puzzle and no instructions. These force you to be creative, look for clues in recent journal entries, and try out various combinations. If you get completely stuck, there is an option to use hints to auto-complete the puzzle.
After beating a level, you can go back and replay it. The list of items is randomly generated with whatever is in the picture, except for the necessary items that are used to progress in the game. This, along with OpenFeint integration, gives you a reason to go back and replay your favorite scenes more than once.
Amazon: Hidden Expedition is a universal app, so it works in native resolution for both the iPad and iPhone. The only difference between the two is that the iPad version has an exclusive multiplayer mode where two people face off on a single device to try and find all the objects first.
Several hours of gameplay are available in Amazon: Hidden Expedition. Buying it is a no-brainer for fans of the genre and a good first dip for anyone else. Plus, you only need to buy it once to have it work natively on every iDevice you own.