Reincarnations: Uncover the Past is the sequel to Vogat Interactive's 2009 creation Reincarnations: The Awakening. Jane's amazing gift of being able to revisit the lives she lived in the past has attracted the attention of a malevolent asylum director, and so she has been kidnapped and is being unlawfully held in the asylum. In this more recent release, Jane's only hope of escaping lies in being able to access her past lives, and it's up to you to help her find the way. To do this, point-and-click, find hidden objects and solve some artful puzzles to progress through each of Jane's past lives and eventually liberate her from the asylum.
Using your mouse, you will explore a myriad of rooms in a variety of settings and solve a multitude of puzzles. Like most hidden object games, you have lists to tick off as you find items, but Reincarnations offers quite a bit more depth than usual. Some items that you collect will be stored in your inventory for later use, and more often than not, you will need to locate items to solve the puzzles that will confront you in nearly every scene of this richly detailed and intricate game.
There are two levels of difficulty; casual and challenge, the only differences being that in the more difficult level of play, there is less sparkle to indicate hotspots, slower recharge times for the hint and skip functions, and a longer mis-click penalty. There's also an option for interactive help. You will encounter a great deal of hidden object scenes, but this is nicely balanced with a fair amount of pointing and clicking, and interesting puzzles to solve.
The challenge in Reincarnations lies mostly in solving the puzzles, which are easy to grasp, being quite logical in nature, with a few that require some perseverance to solve. There are in-game Hint and Skip functions to aid you in those testing moments. Take note though that none of the puzzles can be solved through brute-force; clues need to be located first and in some cases used in conjunction with the puzzles to be solved.
Analysis: Reincarnations is overflowing with stunning images, a combination of photorealistic and hand-drawn, and these are saturated with beautiful colours. You can't help but linger in each of the rooms to take in the rich detail and beautifully created ambiance of each. The story is quite simple, in terms of helping a character to escape a dilemma, but the richness of detail in the gameplay more than makes up for it.
Gameplay is sublimely smooth, with intuitive use of objects and logical puzzles, and the navigation is fairly linear and straightforward. Arrows point the way and only very occasionally are there awkward moments. You will find yourself backtracking quite a bit, but this enhances the fun of solving the puzzles and encourages players to take in the rich detail of the scenes, resulting in a more rewarding gaming experience.
There is something deliciously strange about Reincarnations. The graphics include some eerie images suggestive of death, yet the colour and music lighten the whole experience and the combinations result in an unusually charming game, which is definitely worth revisiting.
A Collector's Edition is also available. It contains a bonus story, wallpapers, strategy guide, and more. 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.