Best of 2013 Nominations...
Once upon a time, in a land far, far away, there lived a princess named Sophia who was having a horrible, very bad, not good day. Poor Princess Sophia woke up in an abandoned castle to discover that (a) she'd overslept by about 100 years, (b) all the humans including her family had booked for places unknown, and (c) there was no local wi-fi. Being the intrepid Princess that she is, Sophia immediately set out to find the rest of humanity along with a decent half-caf mocha latte. Yes, our favorite non-magical princess is back in Awakening: The Skyward Castle, the fourth and final installment of Boomzap's popular adventure hybrid Awakening series.
When Sam's girlfriend Anna is kidnapped after his articles in the local newspaper about a crazed maniac begin to get too close to the truth, he has no other options but to bow to the madman's demands and come alone to an old mansion on the edge of town. What he finds inside is both disturbing and strange, but if he wants to save Anna and make it out alive he'll have to master the puzzles and unlock the truth behind the kidnappings. A somewhat campy but extremely entertaining hidden-object adventure that will keep you wrapped up for hours in a surreal, dramatic world.
Continuing your quest to seek out and heal the places of the world plagued by dark energies, you find yourself in a small town whose only claim to fame is a wax museum. Sounds innocuous, right? Sure, and that's exactly how the sentient creeping wax hands get you! A creepy-campy, dramatic, and gorgeous hidden-object adventure that won't revolutionise anything but will definitely entertain you while it lasts.
In this fourth installment of Blue Tea Games' darkly dramatic adventure hybrid series, you join a band of femme fatales, once victims in other fairytales, to fight against a power-warped villainess and her plague of mist wolves. Fragmented object search scenes, side quests for cursed items, and a nice offering of gently-challenging puzzles add to your immersion in this action-filled, and oft times violent, adventure.
Eternal Journey: New Atlantis is an amazing science fiction adventure wrapped up in an exquisite bow. Time to forgo the ghosties, ghoulies, and long-legged beasties and set off for a kick-butt adventure to the stars! Or the bottom of the ocean. Whatever. This unique game from Alawar is a hidden object hybrid with a phenomenal story and a lot of extras, and you certainly won't mind taking a dive deep below the sea just to, well, see what you can see... in the sea.
Whether you consider yourself an expert sleuth, someone who can readily pin the perpetrator in any whodunnit you watch, or are just a big fan of searching for hidden objects and solving puzzles, this adventure from Eipix Entertainment has the perfect walk-on role for you. Art Deco designs, well-rendered graphics and use of live actors are just some of the detailing adding to this entertainment value. Although the premise isn't new, it's presented with such fine-tuned finesse and grinning affability that it's reels of fun, from the opening segment to the roll of the credits.
A ghost, a wolf, a dark and isolated castle, and possibly even a werewolf? Looks like you've got your hands full in the latest hidden object hybrid from Elephant Games, Grim Tales: The Legacy. A sequel to Grim Tales: The Bride, the story and setting are connected between the two games, only this time around, you're stalking through a castle while a peculiar wolf hunts you from the shadows.
Liz's life is quiet and ordinary until a mysterious stranger appears to whisk her away to a colorful fantasy world where nothing is ever at all dull or mundane. Now you need to collect fragments and other objects to solve puzzles and find your way home in this gameplay stuffed adventure hybrid which is sort of like the Wizard of Oz. Except steampunk. And with a sarcastic, more cynical Dorothy.
When a reporter vanishes while she and her cameraman are investigating the notorious though supposedly deserted Black Isle, as a member of the detective agency Mystery Trackers, you find yourself called in to find her. But before long you'll discover this is more than just a simple missing persons case, and you'll get wrapped up in a big paranormal conspiracy that might just be the death of you unless you can get to the bottom of the mystery. A stellar hidden-object adventure that delivers campy drama and originality, lots of cinematics, and one big, enjoyable game.
There's nothing ordinary about this adventure hybrid from Artifex Mundi, creators of Enigmatis: The Ghosts of Maple Creek. Sure you get the familiar tale of undead pirates cursed by stolen gold, but you also get an amazingly ambitious production with attention to every detail. You can finish the entire game without playing a single hidden object scene if you wish; just opt for mahjong, instead (or do both!) Gorgeous scenes, well-designed puzzles and expert storytelling are just a few of the top notch features that make Nightmares from the Deep: The Cursed Heart an experience not to be missed.
The fairytales you heard when you were young, the ones you thought stuffed with nonsense and meant only as cautionary allegories to frighten children into behaving properly, are not so far from the truth. So, as curious as Alice in Wonderland, you peek behind the veneer, following clues left by Fiona, a little girl trapped in another dimension, and become caught up in Otherworld: Spring of Shadows, a sumptuously-detailed fantasy adventurehybrid from Boomzap.
Children are disappearing from the quiet little town of Everlake; police and parents are their wits end but you're not about to give up. Enter a surreal world that is rather like a David Lynch version of the Drawn series. Superior graphics and added interactivity make the hidden object searches a delight, a diverse and plentiful assortment of minigames will keep you thinking, and the immense number of settings and locales to explore will make this feel like an epic journey. Forget about pragmatic realism and let yourself be won over by the strange magic of Rite of Passage: The Perfect Show.
Offering up something unique and creative, this point-and-click puzzle adventure follows a young shepherd and his pet goat on their quest to rescue his stolen flock. The gorgeous watercolor artwork and nearly wordless narration makes this a poignant, meditative experience. While a few rough edges might repel those who are not as charmed by the artistic qualities, those looking for challenging puzzles and fragmented object searches set in a surreal landscape will be instantly won over. Which group are you in? Give Shaban a demo to find out.
Claret Spenser doesn't care much for the outside world. She's happiest working in her airship repair shop, where machines are much easier to deal with than the aristocracy of her floating city, or the winged Skyborn race that conquered the humans generations ago. But her life is about to change... A gorgeous retro RPG from Dancing Dragon Games, Skyborn takes place in an engaging and fully-realized fantasy-steampunk world that begs to be explored. Highly recommend for fans with even the slightest love of the genre.
Look fast! The Snark is back for the third time! If you're lucky enough to be invited to join the Snark Busters Club, you can count on lots of adventure, hidden objects to spot, and traveling through surreal backwards worlds and fantasy steam-punk locales to solve the puzzles it left behind. As a departure from the first two games of the series, collect mostly whole items to form a new, more useful object. Circlet reconstructions directly in each scene keeps the focus on exploration and discovery, not straining the eyes. The fabulous graphics and player-pleasing extra touches makes Snark Busters: High Society even more charming than the first two.
Found unconscious and unresponsive on the side of a road, unhurt despite the bloody knife lying beside her, Jane Doe has been lying silently in a hospital bed ever since. It's up to you to enter her mind in this creepy, surreal hidden-object adventure, and find out the truth about who she is and where she comes from, but with her mind and a sinister presence working against you, neither of you may survive the effort.
Decades ago, Nikola Tesla's experiment ruined mankind's ability to see colour and enjoy music before he vanished, and nobody can agree whether he did it on purpose. Marie Tesla, his great-great-granddaughter, has been working to fix things without much success, but a phone call from beyond space and time might put her on the right track to solving a mystery and travelling into the past. An easy but stellar hidden-object adventure that combines intrigue, light-hearted storytelling, memorable characters, and gorgeous visuals.