More Treasure Seekers! The latest installment in the hidden object series, Treasure Seekers: The Time Has Come, preserves the story and layout of previous games and features a slightly older Nelly and Tom. Not only have the characters grown up, but Artogon seems to have matured bits of the gameplay as well, featuring a better-crafted series of puzzles and more interesting locations to search through.
Avoiding some of the plot traps many hidden object games fall victim to, Treasure Seekers 4 stays away from haunted mansion/mental institution territory and instead opts for a time-traveling adventure. The ancient Mayans predicted the end of the world would happen in 2012, and in this game, you can help prevent that from happening. Switch between two time periods so you can investigate events and affect things in the future from the past, all by using a magical ring.
Gameplay is traditional Treasure Seekers fare, with Artogon's lovely "container items" filling out a good portion of the puzzles. One of the first you'll encounter is a simple generator needed to power some lights. In order to get it to work, you must find half a dozen parts scattered throughout the scene. Click on the generator and a round menu opens up with each item displayed as a slightly blurry icon. Find the item, drag it to the generator, and you've filled in a slot! It's simple, it's intuitive, and it looks great in the game.
Apart from servicing container items, the rest of the puzzles in Treasure Seekers focus on solving basic tasks using a few items from nearby areas. You'll need to travel a bit in order to find what you need (especially later in the game), but a refilling hint meter ensures you never get stuck, and small white "sparkles" appear on objects that are important for your search.
Analysis: The Treasure Seekers series has become a staple hidden object game since its introduction a few years ago. Not only are the container items interesting, but the games focus on a pair of siblings and their adventures, telling a good story that shows surprising continuity between sequels. The villain and some of the plot points come across as a bit contrived (gotta appreciate Totenkraft's sense of style, though!), but the whole thing is put together so well, you never really mind.
As is becoming the practice of many modern hidden object games, Treasure Seekers: The Time Has Come features both casual and standard modes of play. The former features a faster hint timer and the above mentioned white sparkles, while the latter is a bit more difficult. Casual mode offers very little challenge, but it's great if you're only interested in kicking back and having a good time.
A great follow-up to the first Treasure Seekers games, with Artogon's seasoned hidden object/adventure hands creating an experience worthy of any casual gamer!
A Collector's Edition is also available and it includes a battery of extras, including wallpapers, a strategy guide, and concept art. Best of all, a bonus adventure is available to play, and it's actually a great addition to the game! Remember that Big Fish Game Club Members pay only $13.99 for Collector's Editions (or 2 club credits), and collector's editions count 3 card punches of 6 total needed for a free game.