Price: FREE (with $6.99 in-app purchase to unlock further features)
Version Reviewed: 1.0.1
Device Reviewed On: iPad 2
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Shiver: Vanishing Hitchhiker isn't the longest of casual adventure games but what is there is quite fun. It's not even immediately essential to purchase the Collector's Edition side of the app, although keen players may feel tempted.
As with so many of Big Fish Games's recent releases, Shiver: Vanishing Hitchhiker is all about solving a mystery. A hitchhiker has vanished and the player must track them down through some very creepy looking locations. While never actually scary, there's a sinister edge to proceedings. Many of the scenes might be a little cliched (creepy playroom, anyone?) but they do make for some great puzzles.
None of these puzzles will tax hugely, admittedly, but they will involve multiple steps. This isn't a game solely focused on Hidden Object searching. There are sections that require it but, frequently, they also involve solving mini-puzzles within. It all comes together to solve a bigger conundrum such as in one memorable chapter in which players have to recreate ghostly images. It's quite engrossing stuff and makes a change from the very passive experience of picking out hidden objects.
The storyline, while simple, is similarly intriguing and takes a few twists and turns.
For those in need of an extra helping hand, they can always purchase the Collector's Edition for a strategy guide and extra mode of play, but I wouldn't consider it vital until first completing the game.
The only real niggles come from it being occasionally awkward to navigate the rooms and step backwards to the previous room. Other than that, it's pretty satisfying.
Shiver: Vanishing Hitchhiker isn't going to be a game that taxes old hands at the adventure gaming genre, but it is a decent example of what publisher Big Fish Games can offer. It'll only take around 3-4 hours to complete but it's a fun experience with the option of two difficulty levels, affecting play.