Developer: Big Fish Games
Price: $4.99
Version Reviewed: 1.0
Device Reviewed On: iPad 2

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

Overall Rating: ★★★★☆

Hidden Object game fans are never short of choices when it comes to a plentiful supply of games hitting the App Store at regular intervals. Strange Cases: The Lighthouse Mystery is the latest to appear and also one of the better titles in recent times.

Immediately, there’s a more interesting story to dive into. Players have to investigate the death of an FBI agent, first and foremost, leading to some mysterious goings on. The game is tied into the last title in the series, The Tarot Card Mystery. It’s not essential to have played the last one but it might help in order to get the most from the story.

Players investigate lists of clues on the back of tarot cards here, which is basically an excuse for finding plenty of different objects. Some lists are straight forward and pretty clear to track down, while others involve identifying silhouettes of objects and a third type requires reassembly of items. A series of different locations from apartments to underground laboratories and fallout shelters continue the variety. It was fun to check out the different types of cards and lists, rather than be restricted to the same old Hidden Object hunt. Occasionally, it felt a bit confusing as to where to go next but too much hand holding would have only resulted in a frustrating experience.

Other familiar tropes emerge such as an interactive object that needs manipulating before ‘finding’ the item, and there are penalties for randomly tapping too much. Puzzles are also included, and much like the rest of the game, are a cut above the rest. At times, they’re quite challenging but they ensure that Strange Cases: The Lighthouse Mystery can’t be completed too quickly.

Despite that, Strange Cases: The Lighthouse Mystery isn’t the longest of games, lasting around 3-4 hours, but it’s a fun package of puzzles and object hunting. There are a few examples of instability, mostly when it comes to returning to the game halfway through, but other than that, there’s satisfactory fun to be had here.

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