Reviewed: November 23, 2010
Released: October 28, 2010
App Store Price: $2.99
Treasure Seekers: Visions of Gold, is a game where you seek treasure that is presumably made of gold. The title says it all, but a first glance at the title probably wouldnít make you think it was a game starring a young girl as she rifles through her Grandmotherís old stuff. Itís a hidden object game, and itís a genre that translates really well to a touch screen device. Itís not all just hidden object eye-straining glory though. There are a few puzzles interspersed throughout to break up the monotony of scrutiny.|
The story of the game, is actually pretty interesting, and offers worthwhile incentive to keep moving forward. You are a young girl, trying to solve the mystery of her Grandmother, who was supposedly a pirate at one time. Along the journey you recruit your little brother to help you explore an incredibly messy series of rooms. Most of the time itís your standard find this object in this big pile of stuff scenario, but there are times where you will have to use a flashlight to do your seeking, or solve puzzles where you are assembling broken maps, or fitting together shapes to create objects.
The backgrounds are flat pre-rendered images, and they look great. Every room has small non-distracting elements of animations that help to fuel the realism of the images you are looking at. Clocks tick, hanging ropes swing slightly in the breeze and record players turn as you poke around the environment. It makes the world seem just alive enough to make it feel a little bit eerie.
Along with the animation, sound effects and music also play a big part in setting the tone of the game. The sounds you hear in the game, are the sounds you would hear if you were staring at a big room filled with stuff. There are random creaks, and ticking clocks, and maybe the far off meow of a cat coming from outside. The music is unobtrusive classical melodies that set the atmosphere of silent mystery well.
The game looks good, but upon the required inspection of each area, some of the flaws of the game will become apparent. It mostly comes to light with the outlined objects you are trying to find. It is often difficult to figure out what it is exactly you are looking for, and often you will discover an object by accident just by sliding your finger across the screen. There are no penalties for incorrect guesses, so the game is pretty easy. You can just poke and slide away until you accidentally come across your object. You can also take advantage of hints, that will blatantly show you the object you are looking for. Hints are limited only by a timer, so you can use as many as you like, as long as you can stomach the waiting between each use.
The small screen causes problems from time to time, especially with the puzzles where the intricate movement of pieces are required for solving. There is not a whole lot of screen real estate, so you are often placing your finger over the very puzzle you are trying to solve. This is especially a problem when it comes to using the flashlight. Having a light is no help when you are obscuring the focus of the light with your finger.
There arenít many surprises in Treasure Seekers, and the problems do little to hinder to the overall experience. Itís a title that would be better purchased on the iPad if the option is available to you, but the game works well enough on the iPhone. The implementation of Game Center as well as the ability to update your achievements on Facebook are welcome additional features that make an already fun game that much better.