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Exploring America Even Further 

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With areas of "The Land of the Free" as its source, Boom Zap brings together a mixture of Hidden Object searching and puzzle solving.

Boom Zap is continuing its campaign to provide the computer gaming community with interesting facts regarding areas of America.  This campaign started with the Pacific Northwest of America before moving on to the West of America.  Now the focus is on the New England area of America as part of Boom Zap’s Finding America series.  Like the earlier offerings, this New England title is available in Collector’s Edition format which adds extra content to the main game.

Finding America – New England offers the player a choice of four difficulty levels.  You can select from Easy, Medium, Hard or Custom.  Depending upon your choice, you will get a Hint recharge of between 15 and 45 seconds, a Super Hint recharge will take between 30 and 60 seconds with either no penalty or a set penalty for misclicking during Hidden Object searching.  Adjustments can also be made to volume levels for music, sound effects and screen resolution.

At the start of the game, you seemed to be offered three different modes of play but really there is only one mode until actual progress is made.  While Subgame Journal and Play Unlimited action will have to wait until later, Campaign mode will grant immediate access as you work through 38 chapters of Hidden Object action and mini game puzzles.  Each chapter will cover a small group of locations, generally three or four places, made up of Hidden Object scenes plus a mini game puzzle.

When faced with a location containing a Hidden Object scene, you will be asked to find a list of items.  The list could be presented in various ways.  It could be made up of images, silhouette or text.  In the case of text, the words could involve being jumbled or containing missing letters.  Some of the text word entries could be coloured blue, rather than black, to indicate that you will need to complete a task such as placing a baseball in a glove or repairing a roof.

The required items can be found in an accompanying scene or an integrated area, identified by an outbreak of sparkles, which will open up to reveal possible items.  Tools are provided to indicate the location of a yet-to-be-found item and a magnifying glass to zoom into areas for a closer look. 

Along with a variety of miscellaneous items, each location will contain a special collectible in the form of a Star.  By finding this Star you will unlock the location for inclusion in the Play Unlimited feature mentioned earlier.  Also integrated in each scene are five keys which reveal links to interesting facts regarding the location.  As the keys only appear one at a time, you will need to make repeat visits to these locations to discover all the hidden facts.

Keeping the Hidden Object locations company in each chapter will be a mini game puzzle.  These interludes vary in type and come with both a Hint feature and Skip option in case you get stuck.  You might be required to reveal an outline sketch of a scene by dragging the mouse cursor over an area or the screen and then repeat the process to colour in part of the scene.  Other types of puzzles include those of Spotting the Difference between two scenes, guessing a word letter by letter through a series of steps, putting together pieces of a broken ornament, completing a word square and matching specified samples with areas of a scene.

Once tackled as part of the Campaign mode, these mini games become available in the Subgame Journal mentioned on the game’s main title screen.  Also available from this screen is a Fun Fact Diary showing the key information revealed.  Among these titbits of facts are that the Boston Subway Tremont Street, opened in 1897, and was the first subway in the United States and that the State of Maine land area is made up of 89% forest.

Once you have worked your way through the game’s main 38 chapters, you will be granted access to a further 12 bonus chapters and various wallpaper scenes to enhance your knowledge of America’s New England.  I downloaded my copy of the title from Gamehouse.com where it is priced at $19.99.   You can also download the game from Big Fish Games priced at £16.00. Just be prepared to give up many hours of your game playing schedule when accepting the challenge of this game.  The game requires a 2.0 GHz processor with 4096MB of RAM and 1.46GB of hard disk space running Windows 7 and later.

Finding America - The West Collector's Edition | Big Fish Games

Finding America - The West Collector's Edition | GameHouse

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Overallboom Zap Finding America - New England rated 80 out of 100

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