After the Snow
Winter Wonders is a Hidden Object game. Let me repeat that Winter Wonders is a Hidden Object game. Just in case the message has not impinged itself on your consciousness, Winter Wonders is a hidden Object game no matter which of the various modes of game play found in this title.
Developed by Tamajaki, Winter Wonders allows you to create named profiles to record the progress of individual players as they tackle the different types of game play on offer. The game’s developer have packed 150 levels of Hidden Object action within this title so there is plenty to keep the player occupied as they opt to play in full screen or windowed mode either with or without sound effects.
When playing this game you have the choice of Classic, Survivor, Memory or Memory Flash modes. Depending upon the choice of playing mode, the player will be faced by different challenges. However, despite the different modes, the Hidden Object items and the background scenery for the search areas will remain the same, and are often repeated, as you progress through the various levels.
When taking the Classic route, which is the default mode, you have the option of having the required list of Hidden Objects displayed in groups of three as pictures, silhouettes or word format. Running down the left side of the scene, containing the Hidden Objects, is a panel containing the current set of objects to be found, a timer bar that decreases at various rates, rechargeable Hint option and the current score for that level. Failure to find all the designated objects within the appropriate time limit means that the level will need to be replayed in order to make progress.
As its title might indicate, Survival mode feeds the player with level after level as you are expected to find the listed items within a time limit. You do lose the option to decide on the format in which the required objects will be displayed. At each level, the program will make the decision for you.
Memory mode, as I am sure you will imagine, relies on the player’s memory ability. You will be shown a collection of objects, displayed as either a picture or word. You will need to memorise them in order to locate them in the following scene.
Also concentrating on the aspect of memory is the Memory Flash mode. This particular mode offers the player three levels of difficulty with a choice of Casual, Normal or Challenging. Casual level requires the player to find 8 items with a fast Hint recharge and no time limit. Normal level increases the number of items to 10 within a limited time schedule and a slower recharge rate for the Hint feature. The Challenging level further reduces the time available, slows down the Hint recharge and increases the number of required items up to 12.
From time to time the game introduces a number of additional features to vary the diet of Hidden Object game play. In some scenes only a single item will be displayed for finding. This will quickly disappear to be replaced by another item so you have to work quickly. Other scenes jumble up the letters of the words used to identify the items to be found. You could also be asked to find a set number of one type of item such as keys.
Giving you a break from Hidden Object game play is an occasional Match-3 level as you need to swap two adjacent tiles to create groups of 3 or more similar tiles. In each board you are requested to reach set targets for particular groups of tiles and sometimes reach these targets within a designated number of moves.
If you are a fan of Hidden Object game play then this is a title that could well appeal. However others might find the lack of a background story and merely adequate graphics, somewhat off-putting. It definitely does not rank amongst my favourite titles.
Winter Wonders requires a 2.0GHz processor with 1024MB of RAM running Windows 7 and later. The game can be downloaded from www.gamehouse.com where it is available priced at $9.99.
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