By John Walker on February 22nd, 2010 at 11:47 am.
You may be wondering why someone as handsome and clever as me is playing yet another demo of yet another hidden object game. I’ll tell you why. It’s because it’s described like this on GamersHell:
“Nothing can prepare you for the experience of playing Mind’s Eye: Secrets of the Forgotten, a hidden object adventure that will challenge, thrill and disturb you.”
So we should have a disclaimer here: Rock, Paper, Shotgun is not responsible for any long-term trauma, psychological damage or nervous breakdowns resulting from playing the demo of this hidden object game. In issuing this warning we absolve ourselves of all legal responsibility.
What makes this all the more amusing is quite how banal the demo’s themes prove to be. I’ve only played the first hour, after which the demo dropkicks you back to the order screen, and either I’m forged from the steeliest resolve or there’s not an enormous number of thrills or disturbing moments. What there is, in fact, is a perfectly decent hidden-object-meets-murder-mystery, along with a few other clumsy puzzles.
However, to be fair, it seems the real shocks are still to come. According to the game’s description:
“As Gabrielle delves deeper into the mystery, participating in scientific experiments that allow her to enter the minds of other people to search for clues, she will uncover a shocking secret about her past that will surprise even jaded gamers.”
One thing that makes Mind’s Eye stand out is where the objects are hidden. Usually in this genre the trick is to change the size of objects, or cunningly disguise them against background details. Mind’s Eye twists this format by hiding objects exactly where you’d expect to find them. Looking for a stapler? Oh, that’ll probably be on the desk. A hat? Have you checked the hat stand?
Despite mocking it for a silly description, this is as good as you could hope. It gobbles up time, offers the entertainment of trying to make the hunting for objects make narrative sense, and includes a few interesting twists. Some objects cannot be found immediately. You might have to zoom in on a specific area, open a drawer, look in a cupboard, etc. Other items require you to have already found something else necessary for collecting it. It’s not exactly groundbreaking, but it mixes things up a little.
It’s a hidden object game. You know whether you want to waste an hour having guilty fun that you’ll never admit to.