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Blackwood & Bell Mysteries Preview
Feb 27,2012 01:02 by Sara Lau1
Do you have a sharp eye for capturing details? Are you able to locate enough hidden clues to unveil criminal activities and become a great detective like Sherlock Holmes? Playdom just launched Blackwood & Bell Mysteries on Facebook. Although single-player download hidden object games has witnessed rapid growth, while we’ve seen few HOGs on Facebook. Now Blackwood & Bell Mysteries takes the same genre of “Hidden Objects Hunting” fun and expands it from a solitary game into a social game.
The backstory of the game is set in Victoria Era, and you are a new recruit to a small detective agency run by James Blackwood and his assistant Catherine Bell, who tour the world solving crimes. The first case revolves around the missing of soprano, who was finally spotted in her dressing room in London Royal Opera House. What was worse is that, the criminal not only absconded with the actress, but also killed the stagehand, who was found lying facedown in the backstage. Solving crimes is a serious task and the murder case posed a great challenge to you, but soon enough, you will find yourself enjoying the epic and grand journey that spans time and space. A unique feature of the game is that your character will take airship to travel to distant places to see into theses history of objects, which provides a good and simple excuse to search for case-related clues.
The basic gameplay of HOG is fairly easy to go. Each scene presents you with a mess of objects, among which you have to focus to spot what needs to be found. There is no time limit, but you are encouraged to go quickly with your keen eyes in order to rack up more points, which are then compiled on ladder board so that you can compare it with your friend. On the other hand, the gameplay doesn’t seem to bring us much in the way of innovative ideas -You have a standard hint tool that recharges over time, and together with some others which will be unlocked as your character level prerequisite is met. The art of each scenario is well done, with gorgeous visuals and subtle animations liven up those pictures. But more important is the placement of objects, some scenes are really challenging, you should be concentrated in order not to be distracted by detailed pictures, because they were hidden is a very unfair way.
Playing through the game involves challenging the same scenario for multiple times is annoying, because of the sheer number of objects in each one. But since in each play, item list is randomly changing, so after multiple plays it will be easier for you to locate them. Additionally, in order to accomplish 4 star-rate achievement of every scene, you will have to play repeatedly to accumulate enough points.
Like most other social Hidden Object Games (Hidden Haunts), there’s a visual space for you to customize in Blackwood & Bell Mysteries as well, and you will actually have to do so in order to earn “reputation”, which is used to unlock new scenes. Certain structures even force you to ask for a helping hand from your friends in order to complete them. You can also visit your friends’ places, where you can challenge your friends in a fast-paced HOG competition. You have only a blitz of 60s to find as many objects as possible and so will your friends do. You may challenge each friend once every day. Also, the game keeps a history record of win and lose, which gives a nice incentive to compete with others.
Overall, the game features colorful graphics and easy gameplay, which tends to be a good time-killing game. Although, it still has some annoying things like other Facebook games, energy restriction or friend requirement.
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