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The World of Art
Published by Meridian ’93, Hidden World of Art 4 belongs to the Hidden Object game play genre. With this particular title, you can create profiles to allow different people to play the game and have their progress recorded. Adjustments can be made to the volume levels used by the background music and audio sound effects used in the game. You can opt to view the game in full screen mode with a custom cursor to represent the mouse pointer. When playing the game you have a choice of selecting from four different difficulty levels of namely Casual, Advanced, Expert or Hardcore. These levels offer different rates of Hint charging and the use of sparkles to identify the presence of required items.
In this game you are cast in the role of Lana, a young woman who, on her return to the town of Springwater, has to restore the property of her aunt and uncle. In order to carry out the restoration work, Lana must first earn a series of certificates that come with their own distinctive symbol embellishment. A certificate is earned by completing various Hidden Object levels that are based on classical art pieces of work.
Laid out like a toy town map, Springwater’s main buildings are represented for easy access with a 3D style pointer arrows indicating which building comes next in your work. While it may seem as if you are guiding the route you must take, it is predefined and you are forced to take the buildings in the order they are offered.
The layout of a Hidden Object scene is different from the approach I have come to expect. Taking over most of the screen area is a classic art piece which has been seeded with a number of extra items. These items are made up of a mixture of appropriate object plus a number that definitely clash with the period depicted in the classical art piece. Rather than use the base of the screen for displaying the required items, these have been moved to the left side of the display. The required list will be presented either in text or silhouette format.
While searching for listed text items is generally straightforward, the use of silhouettes does bring an extra problem to consider. Often there would be no relationship between the size of the silhouette presented and the actual item within the scene. It could be either smaller or larger with no clue given as to which one it was. Fortunately a Hint feature, shown as a Question Mark, does provide some help to identify a required item.
When you have collected an assortment of certificates, you can visit your aunt and uncle’s house and carry out some restoration work. As the house is made up of two floors you will need to work on both areas. Depending upon your current location within the house, a ghost certificate will appear and if you can match it with one of your collected certificates then certain restoration work will be carried out. This might involve appropriate furniture and accessories appearing with decoration being implemented. As more ghost certificates appear, you can gradually continue with the restoration work before collecting more certificates.
At various intervals during the game, static scenes, featuring Lana and other residents in Springwater, will appear and help the backing story move along. During these sequences, an attempt will be made to frame Lana with the crime of trying to steal valuable paintings. Dialogue use throughout these sequences is limited to printed text format. You will also have the opportunity to revisit any Hidden Object scene and retackle searches for text or silhouette items.
Covering 60 searching scenes, fans of Hidden Object game play should find plenty to keep them occupied and maybe even appreciate the classic art. I downloaded my copy of the game from Gamehouse.com where it is priced at $9.99. The game requires a 1.0 GHz processor with 512MB of RAM and 939MB of hard disk space running Windows 7 and later.
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