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Hidden Chronicles Preview

Sara Lau
Jan 5,2012  11:01 by
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I didn’t know a hidden object game (HOG) can involve rich story content and broad social interaction until I get to Hidden Chronicles. This is a newly released HOG developed by the notable social game maker, Zynga behind Castleville, Farmville and Mafia Wars. It’s said that hidden chronicle is quite an attempt by Zynga to popularize the concept of “HOG” among people all over the 7 continents, with its deep mystery, attractive characters, esthetical sceneries, enjoyable gameplay and many other elements.

Main characters are attractive and capable of many different facial expressions, although they are described by the story as “not trustable”. Interior sceneries take a classical elegant taste, although laborer tools and weapons may also be there. The interface has clear goal instructions. When you click, it tells: you need 222 estate points more to be level 6, to enter orchestra scene, to reach reputation level 3, and so on.

By reading a testament, gamers assume the role of the nephew/niece of his/her deceased uncle and become the owner of his mansion. Here involves some building and decoration elements. Gamers can buy accessories and place them freely and properly. Requirement for building a greenhouse or an arbor (like paint, brush, and brick) is a bit expensive. So many have left them unbuilt, covered with blue rain cloth.

Inside and outside the mansion exist countless hidden objects and locked places related to his death as well as a highly-valued book, Master Chronicle. With an inherited ability to see through things, gamers are told to focus on the mystery-related objects, visualize the history of these objects, follow what you see to various scenes, localize all clues required by the game, and get a score for each scene. Find what you must! Click quickly, accurately and without the aid of glasses for hint, to get a high score and higher rewards. Yes, it’s a series of hasty searching and clicking, which just sounds like a generic time-killing process. But by an art of light and color these untidy rooms can achieve a blinding effect, although not a single object is covered, half covered or polluted to assimilate its surroundings. Gamers are stuck here and there, and definitely aware that the scene designers are trying to outsmart every one of them. Picasso once said, two colors joining each other can make a sound. It’s obvious that these scene designers have taken great care not to make a sound.

Some action requires more than one step. For example, find three 2-kilo weights to balance a 6-kilo weight on the lever find a match and a candle and light the candle, find two glasses and a beer bottle and fulfill the glasses with beer. These actions are simple, but generate a totally different experience from violence and noise featured by most of action games.

Mini-games are optional but highly rewarding. It is an elevating experience when you, for the first time, complete a jigsaw paper with tens of broken pieces. Of course, this can be done again and again if your energy permits. This Replability is welcome as gamers wish to see a better behavior of themselves and get familiar to this kind of gameplay skill.

In case of energy shortage, adding friends and neighbors is advisable to help increase energy, if you don’t want to wait a reasonable length of time for energy accumulation. Although this game tries to bring online gamers together with a long list of gamers’ names, little cooperation is reached from them. Instead, friendship in real life is deepened. When people are hurried to pick out objects and time is related to the score, they may wish to call in as many as helpers to search the scenes. Some gamers refuse to start a “fast find” alone, which ask you to find out as many objects as possible in one minute, and the scene of “fast find” are so confusingly difficult that I found none. What a dream! You remember nothing after the minute. However, you can heal the memory the next day as “fast find” can be played once per day.

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