Amanda Rose - The Game of Time Review


Amanda Rose - The Game of Time is a hidden object adventure initially set in the modern day, but which involves a bit of time travel, as the title suggests. The gameplay is fairly good, but there's some issues with the storytelling, both in the way its presented and in its confusing path.

The story begins with Amanda Rose's father leaving after an urgent call from Arizona. The next morning, she receives a package from her father saying to disregard the call she's, about to get about him going down in a plane crash, and to get on a plane herself and travel to Arizona to retrieve an object. After this point, things get a little confusing. It appears she goes back in time, but in a latter scene, she's back in the present (which we assume because of the plane in the scene, which didn't exist during the time she went back to). But in reality, she's still in the past and the plane is never really explained. The way the story is being told is frustrating as well. It's in comic book style pictures, with some subtitles, but it's a slow telling with minor animations in some of the pictures. The story can also be read in the journal, but even that doesn't clear up the inconsistency in the time travel storytelling.

Hidden object gameplay all comes in pictures. Silhouettes of the pictures are shown and players have to find all the objects when they arrive at a new scene. After finding the initial list, a new list appears, but this one requires manipulation of the scene - like unlocking chests, moving pillows or solving puzzles. Anything that can't be found yet has a lock symbol over it. The hidden object aspect, despite how easy that all sounds, is actually pretty complicated. There are often two scenes that have to be searched for a singular list of hidden objects, so it can be difficult to spot the item quickly. However, with a little patience, it can all be found without using hints, although there's no penalty in taking a hint and they recharge pretty quickly. There is no timed mode and only one level of difficulty. There is also no extra gameplay once the story mode is complete, so replayability is non-existent.

The puzzles are typical and unoriginal, but still manage to be pretty fun. There is the standard puzzles, where players have to put the pieces into a 'jigsaw' style puzzle, and there's a rotating puzzle where players have to line up an image properly. Most of the puzzle types come in trying to figure out where to use objects, but those are very easy - as areas that can be interacted with are highlighted when the mouse drops over them, and usually, there's only one item left in the inventory and has to be used on an object before a player can find the next object. This is one area where the difficulty could have been ramped up. The scenes are also linear and, even when returning to a previous scene, the players are whisked there, rather than having to return themselves. There is one scene where this wasn't the case and it took us a while to figure that out, since we weren't used to it by that point, as it was at the very end. Otherwise, once a scene is done, players move on to the next scene, whether they want to or not.

Overall, Amanda Rose - The Game of Time is enjoyable. It has a moderate amount of challenge in the hidden object gameplay and puzzles and that makes it a little easier to overlook the inconsistencies in the story and how it's being told - although just barely. If the gameplay had been just a smidgeon worse, this game would have become boring. As it is, it's a try it before you buy it title.

Score: 7.4

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