I love hidden object gaming. And I don't feel like I should have to justify that to you. Why do you get like this? It's not like it's some big deal for someone to enjoy a jigsaw puzzle, so why must you always look down on me for enjoying myself? Look, just leave me alone.
It's the usual mix of finding awkwardly placed objects against a cluttered background, and interspersing minigames. The difference this time is they've tried a bit harder with those minigames. Some are still crappy rotate-the-tiles rubbish, but there's a match-3 game in there, and wordsearch - slightly deeper and more interesting challenges. The theme is a fun, spooky island, but of course the story is completely irrelevant. What it is, is a new collection of locations to hunt for over-sized baseball bats and cryptic locks, even if some of the objects may look familiar.
There's also a small, but nice new detail, where two objects in each location need to be combined to complete the task. Perhaps putting the sardines in the tin, or matching the skull with the crossbones. It's slight, but it's nice to have a more involved action.
I do wish that PopCap would apply their magic to the genre, and go further than these little details. In the same way that Bookworm Adventures takes the Bookworm idea and brings it somewhere special, or Peggle reinvents pachinko to make something so delightful, I want to see the PopCap interpretation of the Hidden Object game. SpinTop's games get them exactly right, but only at the original concept. I want someone to take it somewhere completely new. Meanwhile, Escape Rosecliff Island does a great job of being what it already is, and that's no bad thing. There's a one hour demo available from PopCap's site.