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If you have a Gamersgate account, there are two hidden object bundles on sale right now...

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Post edited January 11, 2015 by _Slaugh_
The HOG genre is 'casual', so there is not much difference between the worst and the best ones, since they aim straight at mediocrity (which I crave at times, thanks for the recommendations!)

Most people are blisfully ignorant of the craftmanship and deeper mechanics of media products that are 'mainstream' or 'casual', like the visual style of Michael Bay. In the case of the HOG genre, its simplicity sort of amaze me. it's the most minimalistic of all non-realtime games and if you describe the raw gameplay, it sounds more like some high-brow art experience: The player stares at a static screen, and tries to spot specific objects. When he have spotted the object, he clicks on it with his mouse. Repeat. That's the gameplay. Still, the genre is actually mainstream!
KasperHviid: The HOG genre is 'casual', so there is not much difference between the worst and the best ones, since they aim straight at mediocrity (which I crave at times, thanks for the recommendations!)
There's not much difference between the worst and best FPS games either.
Damn you, tempter!
Post edited January 11, 2015 by ET3D
Wow, this forum actually does eat your posts from time to time. Now it's happened to me, too. :/
HeDanny: There are really two different types of Hidden Object games. There are the straight up versions, or "HOG" games. Some of the older ones are seriously addictive, especially the ones that you can play over and over because the objects are random. Most of these you can even skip the.. er.. story. What Story there is, anyway.
Yes, sometimes the older simpler games can be very relaxing. My faves among the purely Hidden Objects would include the Mystery Case Files (Huntsville, Prime Suspects), Mystery PI series, Hidden Expedition series, Big City Adventure series, and Christmas Wonderland series (which is cheerfully seasonal)
HeDanny: Personally I prefer the more fleshed out games. the Hidden Object Puzzle Adventures. HOPA games. These have real characters, story progression, varied gameplay etc. Similar to old school adventures in structure, these usually have much higher production values with fantastic looking art and sound. The "HOG" scenes usually play a much smaller role here. Say you need to blow the entrance to an old mine, the game will start the HOG" scene, and they play out as standard, but some of the items you find are then written into the story progression. In this example you would find some dynamite, a fuse, some matches etc. However, back in the game, there will most likely be some sort of puzzle using those component to blow the mine, and continue on with your adventure.

Artifex Mundi make some great ones, as do Epix and Elephant.

My mum lives and breathes these games. She highly recommends "Puppet Show" series by ERS Games, as well as "Midnight Mysteries" by Mumbo Jumbo series. I have not played these myself, but she playes HOPA games constantly so I trust her call.
I'd say most Hidden Objects are at least trying to be HOPAs now, and some are far more adventure than puzzle game (looking at you, Mortimer Beckett & Dream Chronicles.) I like the Midnight Mysteries and House of a Thousand Door games too. Despite the silly storylines they are great fun and can hold my attention for hours at a time.

Christmas Stories are fun seasonal HOPAs. with a silly but vividly displayed story, speaking characters, and lots of interactive bits. If you compare Christmas Stories with Christmas Wonderland, you will see the sharp difference between the styles, but both can be fun and relaxing.

I have to agree with those who said that quite a few recent HOPAs seem to be recycling more popular storylines into a Mum-friendly format. I've thought the same thing, I didn't really mind that, but then again, I am a Mom. lol
Just played a HOPA called Sinister City with Mel. A few weeks ago we started it, but abandoned it because of what we thought at the time was a game-breaking bug. Also, it is a terrible game. It got patched a few days ago, so we decided to give it another go. It is still a terrible game, even by bad HOPA standards, but it is enjoyable. Mostly because it is designed to be terrible. It is "B" by design. This aspect of it makes it far more entertaining than it deserves to be. Yes, it is still possibly one of the worst games we have played for a long while, but its self awareness made it worth finishing.

If you like "B" grade stuff, this is worth a go. If you like cringing while you laugh, it is definitely worth a go. It takes a while to click into place. It starts off quite subtle with the camp and crappy, but the further you get into it the more obvious it becomes that it is all supposed to be terrible. Of course if you have no tolerance for crap then avoid.

Think of it as Mel Brooks' Young Frankenstein: the High School Drama Club version.
The only ones I have played are the Artifex Mundi ones, which are a mixture of poin&click adventure game and hidden object game. As other say it's casual gameplay. The story is not really deep and the games are not difficult at all, but they can be fun. Don't expect a gem, but they are entertaining. Enigmatis: Mist of the Ravenwood is the one I think I enjoyed the most.
Just finished Them: The Summoning. It was very similar to Black Viper: Sophia's Fate, only not as good, and ended on a cliffhanger! Did not even realise it was episodic until that happened. It is a shame, as it had a real interesting horror / Dan Brown-ish sort of thing going on with hauntings and conspiracies etc. I'll probably play the others if I get them "free" (ie, but a bundle they are in, for something else in the bundle) but it really was quite sub-par. Not recommended.
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Post edited March 01, 2021 by BraveGiantStudio