[Review] Hope Lake (PC)

Hope Lake Boarding School today is a run-down abandoned shell of its former self. The school’s  been shuttered for years and forgotten about until it recently caught the attention of the police. The reason: all the girls who went to Hope Lake all those years ago are disappearing at an alarming rate. Police suspect there is a link between the disappearances and the drowning death of Ms Braun, Hope Lake’s notorious Governess. Braun’s drowning was the impetus for the Boarding School’s closure; her death was deemed an accident…but was it?

You are a young detective tasked with solving Hope Lake’s mystery. While on your search through the property you find and follow a cloaked figure in the woods that leads you to several clues that point you toward Ms Braun’s disturbed son, Peter. Could he be the cause of the disappearances? Was Ms. Braun’s death an accident? So many questions to find answers to…

Hope Lake is quite an extensive traditional hidden object game that took me almost a month to complete. I took my time with it, partly due to scheduling, and partly because it was enjoyable enough that I didn’t want to see it end. It was a well-designed game with gorgeous graphics. Some hidden object scenes did repeat, but at the very least, you were given fresh clues to find instead of the same old eye glasses or tea cup. Several other mini-games were also included in the game to keep you sharp, such as a Tower of Hanoi and sliding blocks. A lot of interaction with old tech too: tuning in a radio, playing a vinyl record and dialing a number on an old rotary phone.

The Flashlight was very helpful in scenes like this!

Each area you explore in Hope Lake is unique in design, and there are a lot of them – over 45 scenes! And just when you feel there will be a lot of back-tracking, the developers give you an awesome map that allows you to navigate to a different scene instantly. The casual mode will even give you a clue as to what room has an action that needs your attention and a task list of what needs completing is provided! Impressive! You also get a handy flashlight that you can use throughout the entire game. Really, they thought of everything!

The map system

Although Hope Lake is a well constructed game, I feel where the developers skimped out is on the translation from Ukrainian to English. Sorry, a wrench is not a “key,” nor is a stick a “shelf.” This is mostly found in hidden object scenes, where proper translation of items is needed the most. Thankfully, this isn’t prevalent in the entire game; your journal entries are written properly for the most part.

Overall, I was very impressed with Hope Lake: an enjoyable hidden object game with a satisfying story. How often do you find that?

4.5/5

Hope Lake
Far Mills / Mysterytag
2016

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