Developer: Selectsoft
Price: $2.99
Version Reviewed: 1.0
Device Reviewed On: iPad 2

Graphics / Sound Rating: ★★☆☆☆
Game Controls Rating: ★★★☆☆
Gameplay Rating: ★★☆☆☆
Replay Value Rating: ★½☆☆☆

Overall Rating: ★★☆☆☆

Secret Journeys: Cities of the World HD is dull. That’s almost all that anyone needs to know about it. While other Hidden Object games spice things up by adding an interesting, if derivative, storyline or including different puzzle types, Secret Journeys: Cities of the World HD brings it all back to its most basic of components. It’s uninspired and, while there’s nothing crucially wrong with what it offers, it’s tough to recommend within an already very busy genre.

There’s no storyline to speak of here. While there is structure in the form of a screen that demonstrates that players are moving between Venice, Mumbai, Beijing and Nairobi, there’s no real sense of scale or progression. It all just means that the scenes used are different from the last, while the key aim never changes: finding random objects amongst the scenery.

These objects are, fortunately, randomized, so that each session is different from the last, a saving grace for the title. But, they don’t tie into the theme of the level or anything remotely as interesting as that. Instead, players will be looking for objects such as matches or forks amongst beautiful scenery that could have been used so much better. This form of gameplay is divided into two types of lists: one involving words while the other uses silhouettes of the objects. The latter being significantly easier than the former to solve.

Difficulty is here in abundance which, admittedly, makes a change for a genre that is so dependent on being very casual. Choose the timed mode of the game and a restrictive timer is offered, along with a limited number of hints that can be used. This is one of the better parts of Secret Journeys: Cities of the World HD as it encourages players to try harder, instead of relying upon hints and advice. Points are deducted for mistapping, also, but there’s a missed opportunity in the case of no online score boards.

One other game type exists within Secret Journeys: Cities of the World HD, a sliding tile puzzle game, but it’s not quite enough to lift the title from its mediocrity. There’s nothing crucially wrong with Secret Journeys: Cities of the World HD exactly, it’s just all too uninteresting to really grab players away from the likes of Big Fish Games’ selection.

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