I've been gaming a long time. To give you some idea of how long I've been at it, my first computer was a Commodore 64. I was there for the birth of computer RPGs, 1st person shooters, real-time strategy games, MMORPGs, as well as all the sub-genres. Many mobile games, however, leave me scratching my head. I don't like multiplayer base-builders or clickers, nor do I enjoy games with free-to-play mechanics. I guess what they say about old dogs and new tricks is probably right. Yet, there is one game genre that was born on mobile that I enjoy very much: hidden object adventure games. Like a good beach book, I find them at once both stimulating and relaxing, and they are often my go-to genre before bed on those nights when I don't feel like reading. As long as they meet my ridiculously specific criteria, that is.
Lost Souls 2: Timeless Fables is a new hidden object adventure game from G5. While it doesn't reinvent the genre or even shake it up at all, it hits all the marks on my checklist, and delivers a solid hidden object experience that will feel like your favorite pair of old sweat pants (but one that your spouse isn't continually trying to throw-away). The game is divided into five sections, each corresponding to a classic book. By the time you're through, you will have visited Call of Cthulhu, 3 Musketeers, Robinson Crusoe, Jack The Ripper, and Titanic. Much like the good beach book I previously referenced, you can expect to feel quite at home with the format and mechanics, but will still enjoy the originality of the story and the fresh gameplay. Your first location will be the H.P. Lovecraft classic, Call of Cthulhu, which has a spooky theme typical of most hidden object adventures. However, don't expect this light horror theme to continue. In particular, I enjoyed the Robinson Crusoe chapter because it didn't attempt to take a favorite classic to a dark place. Refreshingly, it had you working your way through a decidedly non-haunted island. I found this departure from the typical light horror theme quite enjoyable.
So, how does Lost Souls 2 fare against my hidden object game criteria? Quite well, actually.
✓ Retina graphics that allow you to zoom while searching
✓ Multiple difficulty levels, and the ability to disable all timers
✓ No mis-tap penalty when searching for objects behind objects
✓ Challenging mini-games that are entirely skippable if desired.
✓ Hint not consumed when there is nothing to be done at current location
In fact, Lost Souls 2 even added a new feature that I found quite helpful: A friendly warning that advises you that there is nothing to be done at the current location. I really hope that one catches on. The only complaint I have about the game is the zone at the bottom of the screen that allows you to leave the current location is a bit too large for my taste. I regularly found myself trying to tap something but instead turned and left the location.
With 40 locations, 20 mini games, 39 achievements, and even a digital strategy guide, there is plenty here to justify the cost of admission. If you're a hidden object adventure fan, you're going to enjoy Lost Souls 2: Timeless Fables. It's got everything you've come to expect from the genre but the original stories and polished presentation keep it from feeling stale or recycled.
Ratings (scale of 1 to 5):
Graphics: - 4 - Very good retina graphics (on supported devices). Sound: - 5 - As good as I've ever come across in a hidden object adventure. Controls: - 4.5 - A solid interface that is well-organized and designed for player convenience. Gameplay: - 4.5 - If you like hidden object adventure games, this one is very, very good.
Playing Hints and Tips:
When searching for objects, try tapping on things that may be obscuring what you're looking for. If you haven't seen the popup telling you that there is nothing to do at your location, then there is definitely something to do. Remember, hints are not consumed if there are no actions to be taken where you are. Don't forget about the strategy guide. It can be accessed from within the game, and will not consume a hint.