Big Fish Games is a popular place to buy “casual” games, and it has hundreds or even thousands of hidden object and HOPA games. Some of them are great, but others stink. Everyone will have a different opinion on what the best games are, but here are some I’ve played and liked.
Anything by Casual Arts
You can’t go wrong with any Casual Arts game if you want a pure hidden object game, which means that most of the game is made up of hidden object scenes. Start with Vacation Adventures: Park Ranger or Vacation Adventures: Cruise Director. Find hidden objects and solve simple puzzles, just like in all Casual Arts games (matching pairs, jigsaw puzzles, find the differences, etc.).
In each scene, you’ll look for lost and found objects as well as the usual list of hidden objects. To help clean up the park or cruise ship, you’ll also look for and pick up trash like empty soda bottles and pizza boxes.
Some things that are hidden are easy to find. In some, you have to click on something to see an object. To find a cruise ticket, for example, you might have to click on a bag.
There are also things that need you to find something and drag it onto something else. Let’s say that “give the ranger her hat” is on the list of hidden items. Find the ranger’s hat and drag it onto his head to “find” the object.
You can’t really go wrong with any Casual Arts game. I have them all, and as soon as a new one comes out, I buy it.
King’s Heir: Rise to the Throne
This is one of the few HOPA games that isn’t part of a series. (If you don’t know what a HOPA game is, check out my What is a HOPA Game post.) The game’s creator, Cordelia, hasn’t made too many games yet, but I like what I’ve seen.
You play one of two brothers who are accused of killing the king in King’s Heir. You’re on the run and trying to show that you’re not guilty. The game is smooth, and the voice acting is great. I sometimes find it hard to follow the stories in HOPAs, but that wasn’t the case with King’s Heir: Rise to the Throne.
The first game in the Dark Parables series was made by Blue Tea Games. After that, Eipix Entertainment took over the series. In this series, every game is based on a fairy tale. For example, the first game in the series, “Curse of the Briar Rose,” is based on “Sleeping Beauty.”
The beautiful art in the Dark Parables games is something that sets them apart. Also, in each hidden object scene, you have to find pieces of a hidden object, not a list of hidden objects. For instance, if the item you’ll get from the hidden object scene is a magic wand, there will be pieces of the wand all over the scene. Once you’ve found all of them, you’ll get the wand to add to your collection.
You can’t go wrong with any game in the series, but I recommend playing them in order because some characters show up in more than one game. This means that a character you helped in one game will show up in a later game.
If you like movies, you’ll like Eipix Entertainment’s Final Cut series. The series is now over because it has six games. In some way, every game is about movies.
Start with the first game in the series, Death on the Silver Screen. In every game, you play the same character, and sometimes the story will refer to something that happened in an earlier game.
Eipix Entertainment is one of the most prolific game makers, and they have a lot of games and series to choose from. If you like this series, you can choose from more great games from Eipix.
Five BN Games’ Lost Lands is on this list for a few different reasons. First, you play a great, strong woman named Susan who goes to the Lost Lands to help the people who live there. Susan has a voice, and there are a lot of cut scenes in which you can see her. In most Hidden Object Puzzle Adventure games, you might hear the character you’re playing, but you never see them.
Second, all of Lost Lands’ hidden object scenes are interactive. So, you don’t have to look for a list of things you can just click on. Instead, the shapes of the things you need to find will be shown to you. Still, it’s not that easy. You’ll find one or two things right away, but you’ll have to use those things to find the rest.
For example, let’s say that two of the shapes you have to find are a ring and a key. The key is easy to see, so you click on it. Then, you use the key to open a jewellery box so you can get the ring out. Then, you might use the ring’s diamond to cut through glass to get something else you need. You keep going this way until you find the item you’ll get from the hidden object scene and add to your inventory.
Start with the first game in the series, Dark Overlord. Like other series, the stories sometimes refer back to things that happened in earlier games.
The story in Artifex Mundi’s Enigmatis series is why I love it. It has one of the most interesting stories in a series of games where you find things. I can’t tell you more without giving away the whole story. I’ll just say that you’ll solve a mystery and fight an old evil in this series.
Artifex Mundi’s games are usually good, with great graphics and voice acting, and this series is no different.
Enigmatis is a good game to play if you want to be a detective and like dark or scary games. Start with The Ghosts of Maple Creek because what happens in one game affects what happens in the next. You won’t get as much out of the series if you don’t start with the first game.