I’m a huge fan of hidden object games, but there’s no question that they all begin to feel the same after a while. “Where Is It?” blends the hidden object game with the art of optical illusions to create what to my knowledge is a unique experience on the App Store. I was a bit disappointed that the animal category seemed so easy, but the people and objects categories have more than made up for that to provide an overall decent and interesting challenge. Replay value is a bit limited, but hopefully the proposed monthly updates will take care of that issue.
“Where Is It?” is broken up into three main categories - Animals, People and Objects – each containing 18 levels. There are also a few bonus levels that are unlocked by earning stars on the main levels. Whereas a typical hidden object game provides you with a list of items to find in each scene, “Where Is It?” only has one object per level, with a brief intro explaining what you are looking for. The other big difference is that the objects in “Where Is It?” are drawn such that they almost always look like an optical illusion, just blending in with the background. It’s quite an interesting effect, though it can make it almost impossible to discern the image being sought sometimes.
After you’re told what to look for and the picture gets drawn in, you have a certain amount of time to find the hidden object. The number of stars you receive is based on how much time it takes you, and you do get penalized for wrong guesses. You can also earn half stars, which is kind of nice. When the time runs out you can get a hint, which honestly is sometimes not all that helpful, and from what I can tell you always earn at least half a star when you ultimately find the object. To make a guess you press the screen for two seconds in the area where you think the object is at. You can double tap to zoom in and out, and dragging your finger will pan the screen when zoomed in. I haven’t yet found this feature necessary, quite frankly, though I suppose it could be useful on an iPod Touch or iPhone.
There really isn’t any social integration in terms of Game Center, which for the most part isn’t a problem for a game like this. However, once you get three stars on each picture there’s little to keep you coming back except for when new updates hit. The game is hooked into Facebook and Twitter however, so at least you can tell the world about your accomplishments.
The visuals are really well done. It’s all black and white, which I suppose makes it easier to hide the objects, but I really don’t mind because I used to read indie comics all the time when I was younger. There’s not a whole lot to the sound effects, but then I wouldn’t expect much from this type of game. A narrator reads the text at the beginning of each level and then once you find the object a noise related to that object is made. There are a few other things in between as well, but in a rare twist the music is actually the focus of the noise in this game. I guess I should just say the music is different, but for some reason I feel compelled to describe it as “The Andy Griffith Theme” on steroids.
I quite like Where Is It? I do hope the developer makes good on their promise of additional levels, because I’m already starting to run out with the current content, but at least it has been fun while it lasted. Any casual gamer will have fun with this title, but I think it’s especially suited to hidden object fans that are looking for something a bit different.
Overall Score: 7/10
App Store Link
This game was reviewed on an iPad 2 running iOS 5.1.1.