It seems just about anyone can make a hidden object game. Grab a bunch of clip art, spread it randomly around the screen, and let players pick up the pieces. But in our view, to make a really good hidden object game, you need a meaningful story and lots of variety. Mushroom Age provides gamers with both.
You play as Vera, a young woman who is on the verge of getting married when her fiancÃ©e disappears from his science lab. After picking up a cell phone time machine (a portable version of Bill and Ted’s excellent phone booth), you’ll travel across time to the Jurassic Age, Stone Age, ancient Greece, and the distant future, where Earth is ruled by mushrooms.
Get him to the Greek.
In each of the game’s 21 scenes, you’ll have a variety of tasks. These include hidden object puzzles, where you have to scan the scene for specific items from a list, and more traditional puzzles. The hidden object scenes, thankfully, don’t clutter the screen with random junk like in similar games. For example, Socrates’ house will contain traditional Greek ceramics and clothing.
Meanwhile, the regular puzzles range from variations of Mah-Jongg and Chinese Checkers to jigsaw puzzles and Hangman. These do a great job of mixing up the gameplay, and you’ll always be eager to discover what’s next. One complaint is that you have unlimited hints for the hidden object scenes, but rarely for the other puzzles, which can become frustrating if you’re ever stuck.
Thanks for clearing that up.
Each scene is also introduced by some of the most unusual game characters we’ve seen. They’re all quite bizarre and hilarious, like a grave-digging robot who temporarily becomes a despot in ancient Greece. Some are familiar from history, like Socrates and Nostradamus, and others are very unique. They all tend to have extremely goofy voices as well, which may entertain some players, but we found it grating after a while.
As far as hidden object games go, it doesn’t get much better than Mushroom Age. Like our previous favorite Nick Chase, Mushroom Age combines a fascinating story, interesting characters, top-notch production values, and quality puzzles with a great deal of variety. This is a game that’s not afraid to be original.