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Hidden Shadows

Hidden Shadows
  • Release Date: June 2013
  • Publisher: Zynga
  • Developer:
  • Genre: HOG
  • Official Site

Hidden Shadows is a new and fun hidden object game that takes us into a series of mysterious case. Featuring the typical murder investigation story line, this new title is solid and fairly conventional, but with some fresh elements added to the established template. Enjoy the old object-searching fun and relish the brand new mechanics!

Hidden Shadows takes place in Gracetown, a city full of corruption, crime and secret. As a cop with supernatural power, you will investigate intractable murders, searching the crime scenes for evidences and using your surreal ability of contacting the Spirit of the victim to uncover the secret and find the truth of each case and what’s going on in the whole town.

Hidden Shadows

If you are a hidden object game fan, you will be familiar with the game structure almost immediately. Starting with the case of “The Jilted Judge”, you will explore the Station, the first crime scene, trying to find the altogether 12 required objects as fast as possible. When you finish searching, you gain a score based on your speed, accuracy, hints and combos and receive x badges based on your performance. Of all the 12 pieces you find, you need to find the One that may be the evidence, clue or secret related to the murder, and send it to the Lab for further, scientific analysis to reveal more of the case.

To find the evidence is more about blind luck than deduction except when the evidence or clue is obvious or hinted strongly before. Most times, you just click to pick one of the 12 and then try again if the previous choice turns out wrong. Each click consumes energy and you only have six chances to try. An interesting addition here is the three elements, Passion, Memory and Fear, which you collect every time you reveal Evidence, Tools or Secrets. Find the right one in your first pick and the rest will turn into scores to add in the three ingredients. Try to get them as many as possible, because they are helpful to maintain a continuous free play. Besides the science lab, there is a Spirit Lab where you can mix different number of the three ingredients to create Energy, Hints, Speed-ups and Spirit Lenses.

All those creations are important for play. You need 30 energy points to play a scene, 3 or more speed-ups to accelerate the time-consuming analysis process (6h is the minimum), many hints to find tricky objects, and spirit lenses to contact the spirit of the dead. So, more ingredients, more free and continuous play.

Currently, the game provides four mysterious cases, each of which contains several scenes to investigate and ten or so evidence to find so as to piece together the whole story. Play scenes to earn badges, find evidence and analyze them, unlock new locations and further the investigation, and complete the case journal to find the murderer and finally the secret of Gracetown. As you make progress in a case, you will need to replay a scene many times, searching for the missed clues, collecting badges and gathering the three ingredients. Due to its highly detailed “mess” of each scene and rich variety of objects, the game is not mere memory-based repetition but with a high replay value.

You can enjoy the game on your own. Of course, the game encourages you to invite friends and rewards you energies by doing so. Also, there is the constant remind of adding friends for faster progression after you complete each scene. But on the whole, the friend-invite push is constrained in the reasonable range. If you want to be part of the social activities, you can find and add those who also play this game; but if you don’t, you can enjoy in your solo way, just that you can’t get extra of the three ingredients from friends.

Hidden Shadows is a solid and beautiful game. It is still one of the conventional types in the hidden object game field, but it does try to bring something new to the genre. And it is a nice move to execute the attempt in the free-to-play direction.

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1 Comment on Hidden Shadows

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  1. Louise says:

    I can not get secret #1 from the Jilted Judge. I have played and replayed all rooms. I have all the badges and evidence but not that first secret. Can any one give me a clue ?

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