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iPad Game Review: Everest: Hidden Expedition HD
      #38251 - 08/17/10 02:22 PM

iPad Game Review: Everest: Hidden Expedition HD
Reviewed by Shaun Price

Everest: Hidden Expedition HD is a game created by Big Fish Games. Everest HD is a very immersive and addictive find it game. As a member of the Hidden Expedition Club, you've decided to compete against three other teams - The Scholars, the Scarlet Hat League and The Gamers - to see which group can reach the top of Mt. Everest, the highest mountain on the planet. The iPad version is the same as the iPhone other than graphics.

Gameplay

Before you can even step foot on this Himalayan wonder, you must compete against the other teams, starting in Latin America, and work your way around the world before you begin your climb. Don't worry - you'll be receiving advice and fun facts along the way from famous mountaineer and Everest climber, Ed Viesturs.

If you haven't played one of these hidden objects games, players are presented with a busy scene and a list of items you must find within a certain amount of time. As you start in Latin America, the first few places you'll visit include the Amazon forest, a witches market in Bolivia, Peru's Machu Picchu and Mexico's El Dorado, Mayan Wall and Chichen Itza ruins. In the main game you'll be asked to hunt for items, such as a toothbrush, ant, bowling ball, child's face, leek, garden gnome, watering can, camera, wheel, pickle, jellyfish, green fish, and so on. Every time you successfully click on the item it disappears from the list; the level is completed when you find everything.



If players are stuck at any time, they can use up one of their limited "Hint" buttons, which shows you the area to find your object. You have to wait for the ?Hint? button time to fill up before you can get another hint. At the bottom of every screen you'll also see an icon representing the other expedition teams trying to catch up to you, which helps tie the timing element into the story.

With Everest: Hidden Expedition HD you have several different modes that you can play. The first being the main story adventure mode as well as a multiplayer mode and free play mode. The Adventure mode entails Playing 50 different scenes to find various objects through out the game. Multiplayer mode is when you compete against some one else to see how fast it will take you complete the scene. There are several time limits that you have to go against. 30 seconds, 60 seconds, even 120 seconds. Free play mode allows you to replay levels that you enjoyed and want to play again.

A secondary hidden objects game -- which reveals a clue as to where you're off to next in the form of a drawing and some text -- challenges you to find things such as "20 axes" or "19 shells" or "an object with engraving on it."

Actual Everest climbing experts were consulted to add realism to the game. Slow down your opponents by setting traps. Risk tough routes to save time or play it safe by staying on known trails. The first team to collect all the needed items wins. As if climbing Everest wasn?t hard enough, right?



Graphics

The iPad's high-res screen presents a crisp scene that looks fantastic. However, like many hidden objects games, when you start to zoom in, the scenes get a little fuzzy. That fuzziness makes it harder to see some of the objects, especially those that were hidden with a vengeance. (Seriously, hiding a misshapen brown wig in the desert?) While zoomed, Everest curiously pulls away from the borders, too. I have no idea why because many objects are hidden along the edges of the scene, forcing you to actually pull the border into view when zoomed in. It makes playing the game harder in an unnecessary way.

Sound

The background music in Everest: Hidden Expedition HD is very simple and repetitive. The Sound FX are also very limited, the music and Sound FX could be a lot better. The one redeeming quality is the ability to play your own music while playing the game. You can select individual songs to play. However, having to scroll through the songs can be very tedious, especially if you have a large music library. Just turn off the background music and Sound FX then you will hear your music playing as your trying to find the objects before you.



Conclusion

Everest: Hidden Expedition HD is both fun and addictive. It is perfect for those who like hidden objects games. I don?t know how one could not. It takes me back to the ?Where?s Waldo?? days. The game has 30 unlockable levels and more than 30 high definition screenshots of the epic mountain. Though it?s pricy, the various gameplay modes provide plenty of play and replay value. The iPhone version is also available for $2 cheaper than the iPad version.

Ratings (scale of 1 to 5):

Graphics: - 5 - Amazing level detail, fuzzy image when zooming in.
Sound: - 4 - Repetitive background music, redeemed with iPod music playability.
Controls: - 4.5 - Touch controls are very accurate, vastly improved since Amazon HD.
Gameplay: - 5 - Addictive, fun, a great way to pass a few minutes.

Playing Hints and Tips:

- Items in this game can be very hard to see at times. A lot of items are very faded or ghost like. Look in the background of the picture.

- Most items are in plain sight.


App Facts:

Developer: Big Fish Games
Release Date: Jul 22, 2010
Price: $6.99 for iPad version, $4.99 for the iPhone/iPod touch version
Buy App: Everest: Hidden Expedition HD, Everest: Hidden Expedition




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