While so many hidden object games are trying to blur the line between themselves and the more traditional adventure game, some offerings like Escape Rosecliff Island are bucking the trend and delivering more traditional item seeking game play. Sure there are still mini-games to play, and your ultimate goal is to collect a series of items that will help you get off the island, but a majority of your time will be spent doing what hidden object lovers enjoy most – finding those illusive concealed items. As it turns out, there’s something to be said for the more simplistic form of yesteryear.
The basic idea of the game is that you’re trapped on an island and are trying to escape. This plot summary mainly comes from the title, because there is no exposition to be found in this game. I do wish there were a bit of narrative, but it hasn’t dulled my enjoyment of the game any. The structure of the game is that each area has multiple scenes with hidden objects. You find all the objects, complete a simple mini-game, and then you are awarded with an object that will help you escape the island.
Each scene has 2 locks in it. If you collect 25 locks you’ll open up the ability to play all the match 3 mini-games separately from the main game. If you collect 50 locks you’ll open up a free roaming seek and find mode. Ironically, I’m not sure how necessary these modes are, as there’s already plenty of content with 25 objects to collect in order for you to get off the island. Still, it’s nice to have the other options available, and the locks are usually among the easiest things to find in a given scene.
The controls are pretty standard. You pinch or double tap to zoom in and out. Swipe movements slide the screen around when it is zoomed in, and tapping on an object selects it (or not if it’s not the appropriate object). Mini-game motions are dependent on the game, but usually involve some sort of tapping and swiping. The game suffers from the same pitfalls as any other hidden object game, but really doesn’t handle them any better or worse than any other game.
One thing about Escape Rosecliff Island is that it is big on scoring. You get points for each correct object you find and bonus points if you find multiple objects in rapid succession. You also get points if you find all the objects in a level without using hints, and you get points for finding all the locks. Conversely, you can lose points for making too many wrong guesses, and you also lose points every time you use a hint. The levels are timed, but if you’re careful you can actually study the scene and avoid false taps without running out of time.
The visuals are very nice. The backgrounds are well drawn, and for the most part objects are hidden without being so obtuse that you can’t find them without using a hint. There are a few scenes that are a bit too dark in my opinion, and most times I end up using one hint in a scene because either an object blends in too well or I just don’t know what the object is, but overall the visuals are sharp and don’t impede game play.
The sound effects are decent enough, but it seems like the same set of sounds for every scene. That means that the island is full of flies, there’s one ornery fly chasing you around, or they need to mix up the sound effects a bit more. The music is actually pretty good, though I will say that I don’t really listen to it all that much except for times like this when I’m actually doing something besides playing the game while the game is still running. In other words, the music sounds good but it almost blends into the background too well.
Escape Rosecliff Island does nothing out of the ordinary, and some might even say that it’s a step backwards in the evolutionary chain of hidden object games. Personally, I find that refreshing every once in a while. The scenes are challenging but not frustrating, the mini-games are a nice diversion but are simple enough that they don’t impede your progress, and there’s plenty of content to keep you busy until you’ve played your money’s worth. I wouldn’t want every hidden object game to regress in this fashion, but as long as the ones that do are of this quality, I’ll take it every once in a while.
Quick Looks link: [All About Quick Looks]