Lost in the City is a new game that beautifully combines the traditional hidden object puzzle elements with an engrossing and thrilling mystery/horror adventure feel.
The game starts with you waking up in a locked room that looks like it hasn't been cleaned in 20 years. You then recall that you had previously gone on a first date with some girl, and almost immediately fell in love with her. But when you followed her back to her apartment, you remember her giving you a cup of coffee that was drugged, leading you to this predicament. Moral of the story? Don't drink anything on the first date! (heh)
So you are stuck in a locked room and need to find your way out. This is reminiscient of the Japanese Crimson Room and Viridian Room games from a few years back. And when you manage to get out, you suddenly discover that the entire town is deserted and wrecked, and you seem to be the only living thing there. Resident Evil anyone?
There are a lot of things going for Lost in the City. For one thing, the artwork and soundtrack are gorgeous. They totally bring to life the sole survivor horror feel of the game.
What's also interesting and very refreshing is that every item you are supposed to find actually has a purpose later on in the game. All too often in other hidden object games, you end up having to spot totally random hidden objects in each scene. I mean... what are handcuffs and a toy car doing in a barber shop? In Lost in the City, everything makes sense. You need to find keys to open safes, and matches to light candles. Having to find an audio tape, the tape recorder, batteries and cable definitely sounds more logical than clicking on random objects.
There are also mini-games that separate the different stages of the game and advance the story. These include cracking numerical codes to safes, unscrambling maps and photos, and even solving riddles in order to find out where you need to go next.
The timers in the game also make sense. Rather than giving you an arbitary timer during which you need to complete a task, you get specific story-related timers. For example, you need to put out a fire in time or you'll inhale too much smoke and pass out.
It's the little things like these that make Lost in the City a perfect blend of storytelling and hidden object puzzles. And the story itself is pretty compelling with lots of detail and depth. I won't spoil it here, but suffice to say that the developers have taken their time to create a very engrossing story that can actually spark an emotion in you.
Whether you're into powerful story-telling and the mystery/horror genre that comes with the sole survivor adventure style, or you like hidden object puzzles that includes a strong purpose and depth, this game is definitely worth playing. It's time to get Lost in the City.
You can read more about the game at http://www.hidden-puzzles.com/lost-in-the-city.html
Steven Ng maintains Hidden Puzzles at http://www.hidden-puzzles.com , a website devoted to the most popular hidden object and puzzle games. You can read game reviews, download and play them online.