iPad Game Review: The Serpent of Isis HD
Reviewed by Tom Slayton
The Serpent of Isis HD is another quality hidden object game from Big Fish Games. While it doesn't break any new ground, it is a solid offering with good graphics and sound. A collection of mini-games prevent the game from becoming tedious, although they are not especially challenging
In The Serpent of Isis HD your task is to track down the thief of the previously mentioned Serpent (a piece of artwork). The setting for this mystery is a surprisingly cluttered Orient Express style train. You begin predictably enough, by searching for hidden objects. As always, some of these objects will end up in your inventory for later use. Isis offers one unique twist to the tried and true genre with the addition of suspect cards. As you identify possible thieves, you will gain information about these individuals in the form of suspect cards, which contain, among other things, a particular object that you must find. Each suspect has a unique object, none of which will be listed on the search screens. If you can find them however, you will receive in-game bonuses.
If you pick up an object and it lands in your inventory, keep an eye out for a possible use, either with other inventory items or those in the scenery. None of these are especially tricky (put the batteries in the flashlight, etc), but there is something strangely satisfying about finding the uses for these objects. If you are having difficulty figuring out which parts of the scenery can be interacted with, drag your finger around the screen and watch for things that glow with a white outline. This is certainly a welcome feature, although it is clumsily implemented because dragging your finger is also how you scroll. This results in the screen sliding around as you search for objects on the screen. It?s not a deal breaker, but it?s certainly less than ideal; especially considering the possibilities offered by the multi-touch interface of the iPad. The mini-games are a not especially challenging unless you are playing a timed game. This was obviously intentional on the designers? part. The significant differences between the timed and untimed games means this game will be accessible to the widest possible audience. Lastly, a generous hint system and the absence of a scary storyline means this one will probably be ok for the young ones.
The Serpent of Isis features the good graphics that you have come to expect from Big Fish Games. The animations are smooth, subtle, and will not distract you as you hunt for items on your shopping list. Unfortunately, this game suffers graphically from the same problem as other games of this genre (not just Big Fish Games); the objects are rendered to look good at the standard game resolution so zooming in makes everything not only bigger, but also fuzzier. As I said, this irritation is not limited to Big Fish Games, however that doesn't make it ok.
Good music rounds this game out nicely. It's pleasant and enhances the mood of each scene without being overly repetitive. The sound effects are also good, although they are typically minimal for a game like this.
While The Serpent of Isis doesn't break any new ground, if you are a fan of hidden object games, you can't go wrong here. The Serpent of Isis HD is a quality offering that will provide you with hours of the gameplay you have come to expect from Big Fish Games.
Ratings (scale of 1 to 5):
Graphics: - 4 - Very good graphics and nicely animated mini-games.
Sound: - 4 - Solid soundtrack that enhances the in-game mood.
Controls: - 4 - An accurate interface, however, sliding your finger to find objects of interaction is a bit clumsy.
Gameplay: - 5 - Another great hidden object adventure game from Big Fish Games. Nothing new here, but if it ain?t broke, don?t fix it.
Playing Hints and Tips:
Keep an eye out for the objects listed on the suspect cards. Finding them will yield in-game bonuses. Don't forget to try combing objects in your inventory if nothing seems to work.
Developer: Big Fish Games
Release Date: May 12, 2011
Price: Free to download with an IAP of $4.99 to unlock the full game
Buy App: The Serpent of Isis HD
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