Let's just get this out of the way from the beginning: gnomes freak me right the heck out. No, I don't think they're cute, not even a tiny little bit. Those "amusing" garden gnomes? Evil. So evil. Plotting to kill you in your sleep and take over the world evil. And don't even get me started on the Travelocity gnome...So you can just imagine my utter delight at the news of Mateusz Skutnik's latest point-and-click Gnomes adventure, 10 Gnomes in Liege.
But seriously, if you're not familiar with this amusing yet creepy series of hidden object finding adventures the objective is simple: search through a bleak cityscape, in this case the city of Liege, and find the lurking gnomes. Finding can be accomplished by clicking on areas that the changing cursor indicate are interesting, and you can click closer and closer and closer until you find...well, either a gnome, another creature, or nothing at all. As implied in the title there are 10 of the little critters, hiding in nooks and crannies all over the place. You have 10 minutes to explore and find the little devils, and maybe a troll or two, before the timer runs out. What happens then? I'm thinking the "taking over the world" scenario will play out. Maybe. If so, this is about the fourteenth time they've tried to take over the world, so we can suspect that, for all their evil ways, they're pretty bad at actually doing anything other than lurking... and waving to you if you find them.
10 Gnomes in Liege is pretty short, as you might have guessed by that ten minute timer. That doesn't mean that you'll only spend ten minutes playing, however. Try it and you might get hooked, going back over and over again to admire the stunning black and white photography of the city whilst you try to ferret out every last gnome before time runs out. Although this is a gorgeous game it is by no means cute in any way shape or form, despite the cool, trendy, shades-wearing gnomes of course. The scenery looms, the accompanying music chills, and despite the lack of anything overt with no jump scares to be had here, you can't help but get more and more frantic to find those nasty little gnomes as time begins to tick down and anxiety levels shoot through the roof... Okay, maybe not, but still take the time to check out 10 Gnomes in Liege and maybe you'll begin to understand why gnomes really, really freak me out.