Version Reviewed: 1.0
Device Reviewed On: iPad 2
Graphics / Sound Rating:
Replay Value Rating:
Offering a slightly different Hidden Object experience from the usual, Hidden City: Mystery of Shadows is quite fun at times but also very dependent on the patience of its players. Somewhat predictably given recent trends, it's a freemium title that offers a quite heavy-handed energy system.
Unlike others, Hidden City: Mystery of Shadows does at least offer a storyline alongside such restrictive play. It's typically supernatural in nature with ghosts, strange creatures, and unusual artifacts all playing a role. Players are given a series of quests to undertake, some story-based and some simply to progress one's experience bar. Each involves going to a scene and finding a selection of items amongst the other varied things on screen.
Because of the leveling-up side of things, Hidden City: Mystery of Shadows starts out pretty easy with things turning more challenging the longer that one plays for. At first it's quite clear to see the items, but the list steadily grows and challenges such as having to do so in a darkened room with only a lighter to illuminate certain areas, add to the difficulty. Elsewhere are mini-games involving battles with monsters. These don't really tie in as well with the more casual nature of the game, but they do at least mix things up.
The main issue with Hidden City: Mystery of Shadows is its reliance upon encouraging its players to spend real money. The energy system is fairly restrictive so one can only expect to play for a brief time, especially at first, but there's also the option to buy consumables that can boost one's help through a series of hints and guidance. They rarely come freely though, and a daily rewards system would have helped a lot here.
Hidden City: Mystery of Shadows is a fun slow burner for the Hidden Object gaming fan, but it's not one that I felt overly attached to. The storyline keeps it vaguely interesting but lacks the cohesiveness of other titles. Instead, there's the familiar satisfaction to level-up that will keep players returning for more.