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Go West and Play
Following on from its Finding America - The Pacific Northwest, Boom Zap has moved its focus to the West for its next Finding America excursion. As you might expect, this latest title follows the same pattern used by the original offering of mixing together Hidden Object searching with mini puzzle action. This title even duplicates the appearance of the product in Collector's Edition format by adding bonus game play to the main game as you discover more about the particular designated area of America.
When playing this game, with its adjustable volume levels for music and sound effects plus various resolution options, you have a choice of four difficulty levels. You can select from Easy, Medium, Hard or Custom levels. These offer varying speeds of hint recharging and other types of assistance as you set out on a campaign trail covering a variety of locations scattered through the targeted area.
The campaign trail is spread over 38 chapters for the main game with an additional 12 chapters making up part of the CE part of the package. Each chapter will feature a small selection of location that need to be visited. While you must tackle the chapters in sequence, you can make up your own mind as to the order in which to try the different locations which can be visited a number of times throughout the full complement of chapters. When a location is revisited, the accompanying tasks involved with that area will change.
Each location's tasks will be based around a Hidden Object type challenge. You will be presented with a scene in which a number of items will be integrated. Accompanying the scene will be a list of the items that will need to be found. This list could be presented in a variety of styles.
The list could be made up of plain text, words with jumbled letters or with vowels removed. In the case of ordinary plain text, any entry coloured blue will require a task to be completed such as putting a brush in a can of paint. Other methods used to present the list might include a brief description, images, silhouettes or even a pattern used to decorate an item.
Each scene will contain three additional features. An area, indicated by an outbreak of sparkles, can be opened up to reveal a required item. This area will be automatically closed down when it no longer houses a required item. Also available in each scene will be a star and a key. By finding the star, this will release the location so that it can be tackled in Unlimited Play mode when all the integrated items will need to be found.
Finding a key will reveal one of the five fan facts that are associated with the current locations. For instance did you know that the Hollywood sign was originally constructed of wood as it appeared in 1923 as an advert for a real estate development. While there are Hint and Super Hint options, these do not help locate the star and key features.
Bringing each chapter to a conclusion will be a mini game puzzle. Supplied with a Skip option, you will be faced with a puzzle that could involve spotting the differences between three similar images. Other puzzle types involve a word square, swapping pieces around to create a scene, completing a jigsaw and finding pairs of items in a clutter scene plus colouring various scenes by selecting and dragging over areas.
With its combination of 38 chapters, bonus elements and an unlimited play feature, this CE title has plenty to offer the Hidden Object searcher and puzzle solver. I downloaded my copy of the title from Gamehouse.com where it is priced at $19.99. It is also available from Big Fish Games priced at £15.82. The game requires a 2.0 GHz processor with 4096MB of RAM running Windows 7 and later.
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