TheIndieJar: Letters From Nowhere Review
Hidden object games are a rather niche format for myself; a bit like jigsaw puzzles I really need to be in the right mood and have the patience to sit and complete them. When I was asked to look at Letters From Nowhere on the iPhone I wondered if this would be the hidden object game to change my view. Would it give me a new addiction in gaming? The synopsis certainly had me intrigued, with the main story sounding like a corker, which I’d lap up!
Letters From Nowhere follows Audrey, the reluctant heroine of the piece. When we meet Audrey she is distraught; her beloved husband Patrick has vanished without a trace, and the police don’t seem to have any leads! She is beginning to lose hope of ever seeing her beloved once more. Then one day letters begin to appear, suggesting the writer of them knows more than they should about Patrick’s sudden disappearance. Now Audrey needs to step up, find more clues and unravel this mystery before it’s too late….
Sounds rather dramatic, and I can’t beat a good mystery. So in I jumped ready to see Audrey reunited with her beloved once more (I know I’m a big softy at heart!). The game opens up, being told by some beautifully drawn story boards, just like a graphic novel. To help set you in the mood for mystery solving, a lovely eerie tune also springs forth, creating quite the atmosphere urging you to press the start button and begin the clue solving. From here on then the game becomes a typical hidden object game, giving you 11 episodes to play through. Each episode comprises of four or five separate locations for you to find over 1000 objects. The locations differ in variety from Patrick’s rather unkempt and messy garage to the local police station.
To be fair the locations are nicely drawn, with a nice art style in play from the get go. However each location does look like the local rag and bone man has just emptied the entire contents of his van straight through the window. Some of the items you need to find stick out like a sore thumb, whereas others seem to have been chameleons in a past life – blending into the surroundings like a ninja! To help with some of the better hidden objects in the bottom right corner of the screen is a handy magnifying glass – click on this and it will highlight one of the missing objects. A good idea, but this can take some of the challenge out of the game, especially as after a certain time period you can use it again and again!
To add as little spice and variety to the proceedings, there are also extra points up for grabs by finding secret objects that are not on the list – these are normally take the form of stamps. Another nice little addition are the mini-games you unlock as you find certain items. Quite early on you find pieces of a torn up photo, a possible clue to what Patrick was looking at before he vanished? So you need to put the pieces back together just like a… wait for it… jigsaw puzzle. There are other mini-games, including a pairs game with rune tiles. These provide a good break from the constant searching of locations.
As for the story, like I said before – it had me intrigued, sounding like quite a decent idea. Alas it takes a while for the story to really get into gear, becoming a slow burning candle in-between the different locations. There are a few decent twists that you don’t really expect, but if you are still playing the game you don’t really end up caring that much.
Letters From Nowhere does what it says on the tin, a hidden object game with a few decent mini puzzles thrown in for good measure. If you like this genre then you will undoubtedly enjoy the game. If you were looking for something which injected a bit more fizzle into the genre, then this is a game best left alone. An average hidden object game, which doesn’t really go anywhere!
- Good art style.
- Fun mini games.
- Good all round hidden object game.
- Some good locations.
- Stories a slow burner.
- A little repetitive.
- Doesn’t offer anything new
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