Where Angels Cry HD is a point-and-click adventure game. It features an engaging storyline, numerous mini-games, and high production values. This is NOT a hidden object game.
Where Angels Cry HD tasks you with investigating the disappearance of Brother John in a medieval monastery. While this game shares a similar appearance with hidden object games, it is overwhelmingly an adventure game, although it does contain both mini-games and hidden object game elements. As you unravel the mystery, you will travel to seven different locations, each with sub-locations of their own. The bulk of the gameplay revolves around the collection and correct use of in-game objects. When I said that Where Angels Cry had some hidden object gameplay elements, this is what I meant. Instead of an extensive list of items to find, you are instead greeted simply with an image containing various objects, and it is up to you to figure out what you may need and what is simply part of the background. Of course, the easiest way to manage this once the obvious items are collected is to simply tap randomly about the screen. On the easiest level, useable items sparkle, however, in Adventure and Challenge mode, you're on your own so you are likely to visit locations multiple times to collect something you missed the first time. Fortunately, there is a decent hint system built into the game. In particular, I appreciated the fact that if you try to access a hint and you aren't in the correct location to advance the story, the hint will not be consumed. Instead, you will see an arrow directing you toward your goal. I ended up using actual hints very little, but I greatly appreciated the game's willingness to tell me when I'm wasting my time in a particular location.
Interspersed throughout, you will encounter 18 different mini-games. Some of these are quite good and some are tiresome, with everything in between. If you aren't a fan of mini-games, you will be given the opportunity to skip it after a few minutes of tinkering; although solving them will give you Game Center Achievements. The only bug I encountered was at the very end of the game. It held me in a inescapable loop of cutscenes and credits. Force quitting the game from the tray brought me back to the main menu, however, so no harm done.
G5 boasts that the graphics of Where Angels Cry HD support retina displays on newer devices. The images were certainly crisp, however, as with almost every hidden object or adventure game on the App Store, zooming in is almost useless, as things get blurry when you do. Disappointing, for sure, but certainly not a dealbreaker as I found that I needed the zoom function very little on my 3rd generation iPad. Apart from the mini-games, I found there to be very little animation, although I only noticed it because I was looking for it (for the purposes of this review). All-in-all, the graphics are very polished, and I never felt like I was looking at a still image.
The sound effects are subtle, but I got the impression that this was intentional as they always seemed appropriate. The music was peaceful and beautiful and I never once sought to disable it.
In-App Purchases (IAPs)
Where Angels Cry HD is free to download. However, if you want to play the full game you will need to unlock it via IAP for $6.99. Be sure to check for a full version before you purchase it, though. I always recommend avoiding unlocks via IAP as they are reliant on the publisher's own servers, and may someday be unavailable if the game becomes unsupported.
Where Angels Cry HD is challenging without being frustrating, and somehow manages to also be relaxing to play. If you enjoy adventure games with hidden-object elements and mini-games, this is one of the better ones on the App Store, and should be right up your alley.
Ratings (scale of 1 to 5):
Graphics: - 4 - Crisp graphics, but minimally animated. Sound: - 4 - Music and sound enhance gameplay nicely. Controls: - 4 - An accurate touch interface. Gameplay: - 4 - An enjoyable adventure game with mini-games and hidden-object elements.
Playing Hints and Tips:
There is no penalty for randomly tapping if you aren't sure what you need to collect. If you're stuck, tapping the hint button will not consume the hint if you are not at the correct location. Look for small angel statues in every screen. Collecting all of them will unlock an additional location.