It may be mobile gaming which has seen a cascade of hidden object games appear over the last few years, but over on Xbox there’s a much smaller selection, with Hidden Through Time often regarded as one of the best.
Here we are with the sequel so let’s see if we can find out how good it is.
On the surface, Hidden Through Time 2, might look like a pretty simple concept, explore a large 2D map and locate the selection of item shown at the bottom of the screen. It’s been utilised in more games than I could name, and you might think it’s a little too simple for console, but Hidden Through Time 2 is ready to deliver a few surprised.
From the main menu, you have three main choices between Campaign, Architect and Online Maps, joined by Settings and credits. The campaign will take you through a journey of time (and plenty of myths with a little magic) while Architect allows you to create your own maps for others to explore through the Online Maps selection.
Through the campaign, there’s a total of 4 worlds, exploring 1001 Nights, Greek Mythology, The Middle Ages and the Magical 80’s. In each world there’s a total of 8 maps which have an increasing number of objects to find, which are also usually better hidden, or smaller as you progress, which keeps the game at a constantly challenging level, without ever feeling like an unfair jump.
Unlike many similar games, it’s not just a case of spotting the object and clicking on it, becasue you may have to change aspects of the map to find certain items.
The first change is simply by clicking on an object, the side of a house will reveal what’s inside, a car might pop-open it’s boot, and a wardrobe door might open to reveal an item inside. As you progress and some objects become harder to find, you might need to utilise this a little more, but thankfully it’s not obvious, you can usually reveal a large number of changes across a single map and maybe only one or to will actually benefit you in the search for your hidden objects.
The second mechanic is pressing the “Y” button to alter the time/weather. this might be a switch from a sunny day to a rainy night, but you’ll notice people across the maps have moved and some areas may have changed quite considerably.
It may sound a little tough to keep up when some items you’ll search for are as tiny as a small bolt off a car, but thankfully you get a helpful bar at the bottom, clearly showing which items you’re looking for and which period (sun/rain day/night) you’ll be able to find them.
Highlighting an item also gives you a small clue as to it’s whereabouts, sometimes this might be tied to a certain character, others an action or location, but as you progress through a map, and learn more about the world, these clues often look far more helpful at a later glance.
Thankfully all gameplay automatically saves, so whether you fancy a quick 5 minute search or half an hour meticulously examining every corner of the map, any items you find will remain found, even if you back out and spend a little time on another map or within another world.
While it definitely gets quite tough with the last few maps of each world, there’s a nice steady progression and you’ll never be forced to find every item to keep moving forward.
Even after a few hours on each world, if you feel you’re starting to tire of those 4 reoccurring themes, there’s always the online maps, which for me, really help set Hidden Through Time 2 above pretty much every similar game.
The Architect (map editor) is as simple or as complex as you can imagine and the more time you spend with it the more impressive your creations will be. You’ll soon pick up how to place and recolour a wide selection of objects, which means you have the power to create maps every bit as impressive as the main game. If creation isn’t your forte, you can rest assured someone else will do it for you, so you can head over to the Online Map section and choose from hundreds and hundreds user-made maps, which gives Hidden through Time 2 a near endless level of content.
Hidden Object games aren’t going to appeal to everyone, but anyone with any interest in the genre owes it to themselves to take a close look at Hidden through Time 2.
There’s an impressive level of content with a welcome, well-scaled challenge and beyond the main game you’ll find hours and hours of user-made content to explore.
Hidden Through Time 2: Myths & Magic
anyone with any interest in the genre owes it to themselves to take a close look at Hidden through Time 2.
There’s an impressive level of content with a welcome, well-scaled challenge