Secret Passages: Hidden Objects is an adventure/puzzle game that bears a similarity to the “I Spy” book series. Players explore and unlock sites like English castles, Egyptian pyramids, and other great cities and landmarks by finding hidden objects. As players begin to unlock new worlds and various passageways, they must first have enough coins and energy to pass through to the next level. Coins can be bartered for found objects and additional energy can be purchased for continuous play. Upon entering a new location, players are given a series of objects to find — some of which are “rare artifacts,” that can be traded in for coins. Players must locate all objects in under two minutes to complete the level. The faster they find their plunder, the more points they earn. Extra points are awarded for multiple objects found in quick succession — so it behooves players to scan the scene quickly and keep on their toes. Players can expand their worlds by finding secret keys, and unlocking previously unseen passages. Secret Passages: Hidden Objects is very engaging, however, the free version only allows players a limited amount of energy before they either have to wait or purchase more to keep on going. It’s a little text heavy, as the instructions guide players through the worlds, making it best suited for children ages 8 and older.
At first, the large-scale maps, numerous power-ups, and the variety of locations may seem overwhelming. And it would be if the game did not provide players with directions and objectives. Secret Passages: Hidden Objects is not a completely self-directed experience, instead it's a game where every objective and gameplay goal is made known to players. Since players know the goals and objectives, it's up to them to carry them out as instructed. While the game is primarily concerned with finding specific objects is a scene, it's also helps players keep an eye on the larger goal: unlocking and exploring new worlds. In order to unlock these new world, players need to demonstrate keen and concentrated focus to seek out hidden objects in each scene. And because each level costs gold and energy to play, it's critical that they find all required items in one try. If they fail to, due to lack of focus, they will have to play the level again, an endeavor that will only further drain their supply of gold and energy.
The two minute timer starts is countdown as soon as players enter a room. Depending on the level, each room will contain different objects and a varying level of clutter. Later stages require players to find more than 10 objects in the time limit, so it's important to work quickly. Only three objects are presented at a time, forcing players to find them before moving on to the rest of the list. The time limits can make each item search quite a stressful experience. Players must continue their search, despite the pressure, and locate the objects as they are presented. When items are collected in quick succession, players will garner extra points. Additional points are also awarded for the amount of time left on the clock. Secret Passages: Hidden Objects requires concentrated attention to detail, while simultaneously demonstrating a keen awareness of the the ticking clock.
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