Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Hidden Objects Game: The Gift

The Gift is a Hidden Objects Game from Anino Games, Inc. and published by Alawar Entertainment. I didn't have the pleasure of producing this. It was done by an entirely different team under the same studio I'm working for.

The Gift is written, directed and produced by Jay Deogracias.

Here's the synopsis:
Dead bodies are piling up, a bizarre symbol on their foreheads. Guide paranormal investigator Sarah Meiville through a classic noir adventure as she searches for clues, solves puzzles and learns to use visions that appear to be helping her. The Gift is an unforgettable cross between a moody '40s detective movie and a modern occult thriller!

I must admit that very few HO games interest me, among them Dream Inn (also developed by Anino for Crown Adam), Phantasmat (by Codeminion), The Fool (by Magic Indie), and Death at Fairing Point: A Dana Knightstone Novel (by Boomzap). So while I initially bought the game to support the team, I had average expectations of it. (I had played an earlier, pre-release version of the game and I kept getting stuck, hence my lowered expectation.)  I'm so glad I waited until the release to finally play it again. The Gift definitely did not disappoint.

I had to turn off the side of me that nitpicks about historical details (there are many things in the game that haven't been invented in the 1940s) and just treated it as I would a steampunk/retro-futuristic/period/b-movie game, much like the film The Rocketeer. I suspended my disbelief and allowed myself to immerse in the game.

I must admit that one of the things I like best about this is that the HO scenes are minimal (haha) compared to the puzzle and adventure scenes. In fact, I got so engrossed in the gameplay and the story that I was surprised at the speed with which I finished the game.  Even my colleagues were aghast: "You're done?? That was fast!"

The difficulty levels also increase as you advance in the game. I noticed myself using the creepy hint feature (try clicking it when it's recharging, haha) more often when nearing the end. Music was repetitive at first but diversified as I went along.

I wish Jay would come up with a sequel, though. I think the protagonist, Sarah Mieville, is quite interesting. I'd like to know more about her character, especially her gift. I was wondering if she'd be given time to develop her powers. That being said, perhaps this could be a paranormal investigative series? Hehe.

In any case, congratulations to the team are in order: Congrats!! And here are the credits:

You can download the game at Alawar's website or, if you're a BigFishGames regular, through BFG's link.



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