There’s nothing particularly Boston about the vampires in Nocturnal: Boston Nightfall. They don’t appear to be Red Sox fans, or members of that ancient vampire clan, the Kennedys. Instead, they just sort of wander the streets at night, so crazed with bloodlust that they see soccer balls in the sky and rocking horses in the sides of buildings. Yep, must be another hidden object game.
Now where did we leave those car keys?
Like in any of the zillion other hidden object games that have flooded the App Store, your primary goal is to intensely scan detailed images for a list of other, smaller items. These are never where you expect them to be, and the screen is cluttered with distractions, like dice in a car’s headlight, or trout on the pavement.
Between rounds, you’re given a comic book-driven storyline about a young woman who awakens to find herself bleeding on an apartment staircase, having been attacked by a creature of the night. The identity of her mysterious supernatural companions do get revealed by the end of the game, but the story is told in a very clunky way. The comic segments are unique, though, and often end on interesting cliffhangers.
The biggest problem with Nocturnal is that the hidden object gameplay is very simple, with only eight items on each screen and an unlimited amount of time. While the instructions said that your score could be penalized for clicking around randomly, we found that it usually didn’t lower our score at all. Plus, an abundance of “hints” which simply reveal the objects made the main game too easy.
You can also earn more hints by playing through three types of minigames, which are variations of Mastermind, Simon, and matching pairs of cards. The Mastermind game is also too easy, because you’re told exactly which colors in which position are correct or incorrect, meaning you can guess every just time by laying down a row of blue, a row of green, and so on.
We think we’ve cracked the code.
Nocturnal: Boston Nightfall isn’t a terrible game, but it is too easy and the story doesn’t make much sense. While hidden object games are all basically the same, this one didn’t add much to make us take notice, except for the minigames and comic cutscenes. Nocturnal isn’t exceptional enough to last, so approach buying it with caution.