iPad Game Review: Treasure Seekers 3: Follow The Ghosts Collector's Edition HD
Reviewed by Tom Slayton
Treasure Seekers 3 is a highly polished hidden object adventure game. Its excellent graphics, sound, and music are only exceeded by the superb interface. If you like hidden object games, this series is the gold standard. The Collector's Edition includes 5 additional locations, a new mini-game, and a strategy guide.
In Treasure Seekers 3, your task is to solve a mystery by visiting a variety of locations where you will find objects and tackle puzzles to move the story forward. Although this type of game has been done many, many times before, what sets the Treasure Seekers series apart is the excellent interface and attention to detail.
As with other games in this genre, you will often see a shopping list of items at the bottom of the screen, all of which must be found in the scenery. However, unlike other games, the more common way of conveying this information is via a pop-up wheel, that appears when you tap an interactive scenery item. This wheel displays silhouettes of items that must all be found and combined in order to retrieve the original object. This is an incredibly useful design decision as not all players will know what, say, a handful of Normandy grommets looks like but show them an outline of the objects and they're off and running. You are also required to combine objects and use them on portions of the scenery. Here is where Treasure Seekers 3 stands out. The slick, polished way scenery objects require subsets of other objects is clear enough for my son to figure it out without help, yet the essential game challenge remains. This is high praise as any mystery in a game like this should be limited to the actual gameplay and not the interface. Also, the way objects interact makes sense, but isn't always obvious, making it necessary to apply some brainpower to progress. Of course, there is also a generous hint system available if you get stuck. Lastly, the puzzles offer a nice break from hunting for objects yet can all be skipped if you so desire. Finishing this game feels about like finishing a beach book; a well-written beach book, that is. While it doesn't break any new ground, nor will it stretch you intellectually, you will certainly enjoy the experience.
The Collector's Edition reviewed here does not change or enhance the original content in any way. However, it adds an additional 5 locations, a mini-game, and a strategy guide, as well as an image gallery featuring the in-game art. $2 may seem like relatively a lot of money for 5 locations when the original game included 48 locations for $5. However, I was surprised at how much I enjoyed the strategy guide; especially with youngsters in the house who like to play this game. Yes, the puzzles can still be skipped, and hints are available in-game, but there is something satisfying about solving a puzzle, even if you didn't figure it out for yourself.
The graphics in Treasure Seekers III are first-rate. They are meticulously drawn and beautifully animated. Most important, however, is that the objects to be found don't look like they were cut out of a magazine and glued on. Instead, they cleverly blend with the background, matching it in scale, resolution, and even lighting. Some of the objects even appear to be partially obscured by items in the background image, such as a couch or a chair. The developers clearly went the extra mile, and they should be commended for their commitment to delivering a highly polished game. Unfortunately, I am still waiting for a hidden object game with true retina assets that allow zooming that doesn't take images that are small and sharp and make them large and blurry. So far, nobody has delivered on that, despite many games of this type boasting retina support.
The sound effects and in-game music perfectly complement the game, making for a very peaceful experience. They are very subtle, and are clearly designed not to jar, amuse, or annoy you. This resulted in me leaving both enabled as I played; a rare occurrence for me.
Treasure Seekers 3 Collector's Edition delivers a highly satisfying hidden object experience. If you already own the regular version, skip this one and pay the $2 via IAP from within the original game.
Ratings (scale of 1 to 5):
Graphics: - 5 - Beautiful graphics. You won't find better in a hidden object game. Sound: - 4 - A great soundtrack and pleasant effects. The absence of voice-overs may disappoint some. Controls: - 5 - The gold standard in hidden object adventure games. Gameplay: - 4 - Nothing new, but a tried and true formula delivers the goods.
Playing Hints and Tips:
The hints will tell you if you need to move to a different location without using a hint. There is no penalty for random tapping, so random tappers: start your engines. There is also no penalty for using the included strategy guide. Just return to the main menu and select Bonus Content.