One of the most popular and ubiquitous casual gaming genres is the hidden object game (or HOG for short). These titles have players scouring scenery looking for all manner of unseen items. The problem is, because there are so many of these games, they can start to look very similar. This makes it tough to pick out the good from the bad. But whether you're new to the genre or have already found your fair share of hidden objects, these games represent some of the best that HOGs have to offer.
Hidden object games, by their nature, tend to be very similar. If you play a lot of them it's easy to get the games confused with one another. Which is what makes Brunhilda and the Dark Crystal so special. The tale it weaves will keep you engaged from start to finish and when combined with some lovely visuals and polished gameplay, the result is simply magical.
Though it tells it's own story, you can help but feel nostalgic for classic fairytales while playing Awakening: The Dreamless Castle. But that doesn't mean that the game doesn't stand on its own. In fact, Awakening is one of the finest examples of a HOG you can play. It's beautiful, relaxing, and strikes a nice balance between being accessible and challenging.
Though the Tarot's Misfortune is a fairly standard game as far as HOGs go, with little in the way of new or unique innovations, it's still great. A combination of absolutely gorgeous visuals, well-implemented puzzles, and an intriguing story make this a title that no HOG fan should miss.
Unlike most hidden object games, which have you searching for random items, Settlement. Colossus has you scouring the landscape looking for items necessary for survival. It's your job to help guide and sculpt a burgeoning society, so you'll have to do everything from collecting firewood and food to building farms and schools. It's a unique blend of a traditional hidden object game mixed with a strategy game.
When a gang of international art thieves starts robbing famous museums around the world, you'll definitely want some seasoned investigators on the job. Or, a recent art school grad. That's the premise of Grace's Quest, a new hidden object game in which the titular Grace travels all over Europe in search of both the art thieves and her kidnapped best friend. It's a solid and charming adventure that HOG fans shouldn't miss.
There's no shortage of pirate-themed games in the casual space, just as there's no shortage of hidden object games. So combining the two seems like the perfect recipe for a dull, generic game. But Robinson Crusoe and the Cursed Pirates is far from dull, instead offering a refreshing, creative, and humorous experience that puts plenty of twists on the traditional HOG formula.
It's often hard to find a hidden object game that manages to do something different, as the genre seems to be plagued by me-too copycats and clones. That's what makes the third entry in the Magic Encyclopedia series so great. Not only is it a gorgeous, well made HOG, it also introduces a new, very compelling new gameplay feature that helps make the game one of the best the genre has seen in quite some time.
With the success of films like the Twilight saga and TV series like True Blood, it seems that vampire/human romance stories are at an all time high in terms of popularity. Capitalizing on this trend is Love & Death: Bitten, a new hidden object game from PlayFirst. But instead of being simply yet another vampire love tale, Love & Death is actually a very solid and entertaining experience for the brief while it lasts.