[Review] Hidden Mysteries: Buckingham Palace (PC)

What do you do when you find a used game at a thrift shop for $3 and initially think, “Meh…” Some would just leave it where they found it. Not me – curiosity gets the best of me, and I buy it. Hidden Mysteries: Buckingham Palace was that game – a hidden object game that I played on the PC.

I had seen the game float around on Big Fish Games for a few years – teasing me with its bad-looking title graphic. I usually passed on it because: A) I was not gonna waste big scratch on something potentially bad; and B) I was not gonna waste the time on something potentially bad. Since I started writing this blog, priorities have changed, and what seems like an all-around bad idea can turn into an interesting blog post. I still didn’t pay full price for this (and wouldn’t), but the expectation of “It’s so bad, it’s good” or “it’s so bad, it u-turned at good and just went back home to bad” was totally thrown out the window with Buckingham Palace. Seriously, this game wasn’t that bad.

Buckingham Palace is a bona fide hidden object game. When you first open the game, you are made to search for items on the Palace grounds immediately. My first thought, jokingly, was that it appeared the Queen fired all her labourers – front desk, security, landscape maintenance workers, housekeeping…the whole joint is a complete mess!! Stuff everywhere! But, it was interesting to note that here I was searching (or snooping) in Buckingham Palace. I have no idea if the rooms they have you go into are actually from Buckingham Palace (I’m guessing not…), but still an interesting idea as there is always a mystique around the British Royal family.

There is nothing to do in this game but to search through rooms in the Palace for specific items. I personally find this type of game a little tedious as I prefer to have a story and other puzzles in my casual game. But if you were just looking to play JUST a hidden object game, look no further. Along the way you get “letters” that tell the history of the great palace, and you are able to add items to an inventory that you need to use to solve a puzzle later on. That aside, there isn’t much else to worry about here.

The graphics are okay, but the music is hideous and repetitive (but, that’s what the mute button is for!). The gameplay itself is easy, not much to complain about…the game uses a hint credit system whereby you are given a number of credits you can use towards getting hints. The hints for this game is awesome, actually. It gives you three choices of hint – “show silhouette of object,” “show actual object,” and “show where object is.” Each hint choice is given a deduction of credits. But, wow, what choice! I haven’t played a hidden object game with such an elaborate array of hint choices (and I’ve played a lot of hidden object games!).

At any rate, if what you are after is hidden object – and that is all – then, try to get your hands on Hidden Mysteries: Buckingham Palace. I wouldn’t pay full price for it, though.

Hidden Mysteries: Buckingham Palace
Developer: Gamemill Entertainment / Publisher: Big Fish Games
Released: 2008

Credit: boonty / Big Fish Games

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