Developer: G5 Entertainment
Price: $1.99
Version Reviewed: 1.0
Device Reviewed On: iPad 2

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

Overall Rating: ★★½☆☆

Shards of Time is quite a “by the numbers” Hidden Object game. While it is moderately enjoyable, it lacks any real imagination to help it stand out from the crowd. It’s a title that’s more appropriate for those looking for their next Hidden Object fix, rather than a shining example of the genre.

Players travel through various locations in time from the Wild West to the current day in China, and the mystical East. The story is vaguely interesting, with players seeking out an amulet to save the world and save the player’s dying aunt, but it’s a tale that’s been told before. There’s a similar trend with the gameplay, offering quite functional but not overly exciting Hidden Object scenes.

These scenes come in two varieties. One type follows the usual Hidden Object type with a list of objects to be found, amongst the scenery. These feel easier than in other titles, as scenes aren’t very cluttered. Regular hints via the player’s pet dog help things become even simpler. The other type follows a similar idea but with one object in multiple form, such as 12 horse shoes scattered around a scene. This latter type proves less exciting, but at least the items are frequently in keeping with the scenery.

Mini-games break up the action within Shards of Time, but these are similarly familiar with simple jigsaw puzzles always popular for the genre. Players also have to explore their surroundings to find the next puzzle or Hidden Object scene, but a glittery breadcrumb trail means it’s never hard to know where to go next.

That’s some of the problem with Shards of Time. It’s a little too easy, even for a Hidden Object game. It’s also too predictable and safe, offering precious little that hasn’t been done before. At its current introductory price, it’s decent enough value for fans of the genre but anything higher and it’s a tough one to recommend. It’s a little too average for comfort.

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