Most people who would play hidden object games are likely familiar with The Great Gatsby. In fact, we’d wager that a significant percentage actually read the book by famed author F. Scott Fitzgerald. Turning this book into a hidden object game sounded like a stretch when we first heard about it, but having actually played it, we wonder why more classic novels haven’t already had a hidden object adventure devoted to them. Not only is Classic Adventures: The Great Gatsby fun, but it really does relay the important scenes from the book in a way that is understandable. The game also presents hidden objects in a couple of innovative ways.
For those not in the know, The Great Gatsby is told from the point of view of a character named Nick, cousin to Daisy and neighbor to Jay Gatsby. Gatsby is popular for throwing great parties and having a huge house, but other than that, few people seem to know anything about him. The one thing we learn very quickly is that Gatsby and Daisy used to be a couple, but he went off to war and Daisy married an egocentric jerk, one who was also cheating on her as we learn in the first few scenes. The story is a tragedy and will not have a happy ending, so for anyone who hasn’t read the book and doesn’t like those types of stories, this may not be for you. Although there is a lot of dialogue and explanation left out of the game that players can get from reading the book, it still does a solid job relating all the important points of the book.
The hidden object gameplay is done very well. The majority is static scenes with a word list of items to find. There’sÂ a book in each scene that isn’t on the list and there are letters scattered throughout the scene as well, that will help the player solve the hidden word clue. Where it gets interesting is in the moving scenes. There are two types of these scenes. One is set in a car and the player has to look for objects as the car passes them. Missing an object from the list is OK since the objects will cycle around again. The other moving scene is a story telling scene where the player has to find a certain number of a specific object, like stars or clocks. If the player doesn’t find all those objects the first time through the scene, they are given the option to replay the scene. The hidden object gameplay, in all forms, presents a challenge, but not so much as to be frustrating. The hint system is also very easy to use and it recharges very quickly.
In between hidden object gameplay are mini-games. Our favorite was the ‘typing the words as they fall’ game, one in which we would love to see someone devote a whole game to, with a story and levels and so on. The other puzzles were almost as fun, with memory and math games thrown in. The challenge level on these were moderate, but could be skipped if players couldn’t figure it out. Other than the mini-games every few scenes and the hidden object gameplay, there’s not much else game-wise to the title, but this is a case of doing a little well. It proves that a game doesn’t need to throw in the kitchen sink, but if it focuses on doing just a couple things well, the game ends up being a favorite.
That’s not to say there aren’t gripes with the game. The art style is pretty old looking. There are no extra modes, other than a library where players can view their trophies and decorate it by buying things with their points. To replay the game from the beginning, players have to start a whole new character, which doesn’t make a lot of sense. However, the length of the game is very good and it would be fun enough to replay, even starting over as a new player. There are voiceovers that tell the story, and the character actors were very believable – we loved this part. The music is nice, although it gets a bit repetitive at certain points. For the social gamers out there, the game also connects to Facebook and can share your achievements with all your friends.
Classic Adventures: The Great Gatsby is a game that surprises. We didn’t expect it to be much of a game at all and we weren’t sure how the classic story could be retold using a hidden object adventure as its platform. The developers did a great job clearing that up for us, giving players a solid hidden object experience, some fun puzzles and a clue as to what The Great Gatsby is about. It left us wanting more.
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