Adventure Chronicles: The Search for Lost Treasure
Game Review by Russell Linton
Game Rating = 3/5 Balls
In this sequel to “Escape From the Museum” by Gogii Games, the player follows along with the adventures of Susan Anderson as she travels across the world gathering valuable archaeological items for her museum. Clues to finding these special relics are provided inside a mysterious notebook sent to her from a secretive associate. As you complete each scene, clues to the greater mystery are slowly revealed.
The Search for Lost Treasure is a hidden object game with some good potential. Each level you are presented with a well-crafted scene such as a museum library, the Empire State building’s lobby, or a darkened harbor. Along with this scene, you are given a list of objects to find. The graphics are beautifully depicted and most of the hidden objects are cleverly disguised without being impossible to find.
A nice, innovative feature is the ability to use some of the tools you uncover. These items may become part of your permanent inventory which you can take from scene to scene. For instance, there is a hammer for smashing objects open to reveal other clues and a brush for removing dust from areas that may hide treasures. This provides a welcome diversion from pouring over scenes for the expertly hidden objects and gives incentive to revisit old scenes.
The items you uncover may also be used to solve puzzles which are part of the current scene or even usable on a previous scene. This often requires following up with clues inside the mysterious journal or using a bit of logic to place the items in the correct spot or order. These extra puzzles and usable inventory items add a nice creative twist to what could be an otherwise typical hidden object game.
There are however a few low points. While the music and voice-overs are adequate, the intro and cut-scenes are simply static rendered drawings with poorly rendered text in speech bubbles. The view simply zooms in and out of a static picture as the individual text bubbles appear next to a character’s face. It has the appearance of last minute patchwork and detracts from the overall quality of the game.
Further, the total playtime the game offers might be an issue. If you are a “Where’s Waldo” whiz, you can probably breeze through the first series of five scenes in a little under an hour. With only about 30 total scenes, it could be a quickly shelved game. The creators try to address this by providing some re-playability. The first time you return to a scene, extra items are added to your list. Unfortunately, these same items were in the same locations when you first visited and you probably ran across many of them while rigorously scouring the place.
Overall, the somewhat generically named “Adventure Chronicles: The Search for Lost Treasure” sits at an equally generic 3 of 5. While there is a touch of innovative gameplay with the usable tools and puzzles which tie multiple scenes together, it’s just not enough. The game needs some polish on its static introduction and cut-scenes to give it a more professional feel. It could also benefit from a greater number of scenes. At the very least, the scenes need to be re-rendered for return trips so you aren’t presented a list of items you’ve already stumbled upon.