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iPhone: Hidden Object Games - What do you care about?

04-08-2009, 06:10 PM
Joined: Jan 2009
Posts: 881
Hidden Object Games - What do you care about?


I'm working on the design for a hidden object game. Five locations around the world.

What I'm interested in, if you play these games, is what you care about? What features? Style of art etc...

Examples of these games include:

"Everest: Hidden Expedition", "Little Shop of Treasures", and "National Geographic: Herod's Lost Tomb."

Thank you,

William Volk
CEO, PlayScreen

A late game is only late until it ships. A bad game is bad until the end of time.

- Shigeru Miyamoto
04-08-2009, 06:35 PM
Joined: Dec 2008
Location: Upstate NY/USA
Posts: 2,404
It will need a zoom in feature. All search item games should have this and those that do not haven't done well. I've got a few and can say it's something that's needed for this type of game. Yours might be different but for most search item games a zoom in feature is needed.

04-08-2009, 07:02 PM
Joined: Nov 2008
Location: Houston, TX
Posts: 735
Hidden object games are my favorites. I agree that a sharp and clear zoom in feature is a must have. I prefer to play these games in untimed mode so please make that an option. I also like the mini games between levels but don't make them too hard. Their main purpose is just to provide a break from the intensity of trying to find the hidden objects.

Please make sure that there is good contrast in your pictures. Herod's Lost Tomb had a lot of gray scenes and it was difficult to see the objects sometimes.
04-08-2009, 07:05 PM
Joined: Oct 2008
Location: United States of America
Posts: 2,210
Can't stress this one enough what spiffyone said. All the hidden object games I play on my mac I refuse to buy ones that are 800x600 and only buy ones that are 1024x768. I never ever will play them full screen as it distorts the image. On the iphone yes give us a decent zoom level two or three times but never distort the image. Make sure the image when maxed zoom is the actual size of the image. Can You See What I See? Dream Machine on PC/Mac let's you zoom in on each of 4 sections of screen with no distortion. So that might be a nice idea to have on the iphone. Overview then double tap to zoom in on four sections of the screen.

Besides that just great artwork. There is one game I have yet to see on the iphone.

Originally Posted by spiffyone View Post

1. If there is a zoom function, I appreciate the art doesn't get too blurry. There should also, naturally, be an option to pan the image.
04-09-2009, 02:50 AM
Joined: Jan 2009
Posts: 881
Thank you, these are great ideas.

A late game is only late until it ships. A bad game is bad until the end of time.

- Shigeru Miyamoto
04-09-2009, 06:22 AM
Joined: Feb 2009
Location: Las Vegas, NV, USA
Posts: 2,404
I have about every find-the-hidden-object game, so say hello to your future customer

- Untimed mode for sure.
- Easy to understand object names
- Tons of things to find!
- Some atmosphere! I love it when some of the things in the background move.

Don't check this site or private messages often.
04-09-2009, 06:32 AM
Joined: Dec 2008
Location: England
Posts: 1,817
Originally Posted by spiffyone View Post
10. Above all else, make it clear what the player has to find. Hidden Treasures is, IMHO, a great hidden item game. But it's a British game, apparently, and the terminology for things are very different (ice lolly apparently means popsicle, for instance). So try to make each tailored for whatever region to which you'll be selling.
Originally Posted by GatorDeb View Post
- Easy to understand object names

Please have an option for American English and British English. Don't just have one version of English.

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04-09-2009, 06:47 AM
Joined: Dec 2008
Posts: 160
I quite enjoy the occasional hidden object game. I agree with spiffyone, that some kind of story helps me stick with the game.

I particularly enjoyed one which had a game show theme. You had to find hidden objects to win money towards exotic destinations.
04-09-2009, 07:35 AM
Joined: Dec 2008
Location: Indiana, USA
Posts: 4,023
I think everyone has done a pretty good job of covering the basics. I will add my +1 to the zoom feature, though I really appreciated Stone Of Destiny because I was able to grab a lot of the objects without zooming, which I think is a testament to good item boundaries (not the term I'm looking for, but I'm drawing a blank at the moment).

Storyline is a must, because without it there's not much separating one hidden object game from another. Again I point out Stone Of Destiny, and also Ravenhearst on the PC. It's nice having something tying the individual scenes together.

Mini-games are cool, but they should either be relatively easy to solve or skipable without penalty. Ravenhearst is an example where I felt this was implemented poorly. The mini-games were nonsensical, which I realize had to do with the plot, but they often became frustrating and forced me to replay hidden object parts of the game because I couldn't complete the mini-games. And above all, please do not do the "find the differences" type mini-game. It's way over done and annoying.

Eric Pankoke
Mobile Games Reviewer: Rusty Sabre, TouchMyApps
Blog: iPhone Life
Twitter: RustySabre
04-09-2009, 08:18 AM
Joined: Mar 2009
Posts: 158
Wow, Spiffyone pretty much covered everything that I look for.

The one thing I would add are "mystery" objects. Yard sale had stars hidden that added time. A HO game on the xbox 360 where you chased villians had several calling cards the villians left that added time, score, or additional hints. I like these unlisted objects.

A no hint mode would be nice. I know you can do this with any HO game but if the hint button is there I usually use it. Maybe add this to the modes (timed, relaxed, timed no hints, relaxed no hints).

Yard sale has a find all objects mode (Sunnyville tour) when you complete the story mode. I really enjoyed that.

Looking forward to what you come up with, I've always been a fan of these and look forward to more.