Remember those old ‘Where’s Waldo?‘ books that were popular back in the 1990s? You know what I’m talking about. They were the favorite book in every elementary school library at the time. Hidden Through Time is basically that except it’s digital and interactive.
Crazy Monkey Studios has released Hidden Through Time on PS4, Switch, Xbox One, and PC as a casual game of hide and seek. Objects are scattered throughout each level for you to find. And once you find them, they’re taken off of a checklist.
Each level takes place throughout the history of civilization going back as far as the Stone Age, although it’s not entirely historically accurate. There are, for instance, dinosaurs living alongside humans and domesticated animals. The game progresses through the Egyptians pyramids and then into the Middle Ages.
In terms of gameplay, this is a very simple and relaxed experience. Each level is basically a map of varying sizes that you can pan across with the analog stick. Touching a building or a tent reveals what is inside. Also, clicking on an object or living creature usually generates a simple sound effect.
The goal for each level is to find all of the various hidden objects that are displayed on a checklist at the bottom of the screen. Like in Where’s Waldo? these objects are typically distinguished from their surroundings in subtle ways. The developers space them throughout the level and cleverly disguise them whenever possible.
So that you don’t go mad, the developers are kind enough to give you a hint for each of the items on the checklist. The clues act as miniature riddles and can sometimes be somewhat esoteric. But it wouldn’t be any fun if there wasn’t any challenge involved, now would it?
Each level is playful in its style. The scenes all tell a story in their own way and can be cheeky. They tend to be fairly colorful and lighthearted. Overall, the design works pretty well for what is essentially an interactive hidden object book. However, the music needs more variety.
The game also has a map editor so that you can build your own scene packed with colorful characters and objects. Then you can share it to the cloud so that other players can give it a go. You can also play and rate levels from other creators, which adds some replay value to the game.
Whether you are looking for a casual game to play on your own or if you want something family-friendly to play with kids, Hidden Through Time is a pretty solid choice.