Hidden Through Time
Gameplay 8
Graphics 8
Sound 8

Hidden Through Time is a charming little game that challenges you to locate a variety of small objects amongst levels full of hand-drawn characters and objects. The visuals are bright and colorful while the four different time periods ensure plenty of variety. Although the 26 levels included with the game can be completed in no time, Hidden Through Time also features a nice level editor and access to tons of user-generated content to increase its longevity.

Gameplay: Very easy to pick up and play, but it’s also very easy to get hooked.

Graphics: The visuals are quite charming and are packed with some nice detail.

Sound: Nothing spectacular, but fits the theme of the game

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Hidden Through Time

Developer: Crazy Monkey Studios | Publisher: Crazy Monkey Studios | Release Date: 2020 | Genre: Casual / Hidden Object | Website: Official Website | Purchase: Steam

Ever since the Where’s Wally? (called Where’s Waldo ins some countries) books appeared on the scene people of all ages have had fun trying to spot the iconic character amidst detailed illustrations. However, there have been surprisingly few games that have attempted to recreate this formula. The only real standout title that springs to mind, apart from the officially licensed titles, is the 2017 release Hidden Folks. It has taken quite a while, but finally, a new challenger has emerged in the form of Hidden Through Time by Crazy Monkey Studios.

Hidden Through Time challenges players to locate a series of small objects amongst the clutter of large levels full of hand-drawn people and objects. As the name suggests the game is split into four different time periods, so levels start out with a stone-age theme before moving on to ancient Egypt, the medieval ages and finally the Western era. In total there are 26 different levels for players to work through and while they start out very easy, it’s not long before they are not just bigger, but also have more items that need to be found. Unless explicitly choosing this setting in the options menu players do not have to find every item on a level to progress to the next one. Instead, new levels unlock once specific milestones are reached, which means if you do well on early levels you could unlock two or even three new ones to try out for when you eventually do become stuck.

Within the four themes based on the time periods that we mentioned earlier the levels also all have their own unique settings. For example, the stone age levels have a T-Rex Attack and Rock Expo while there’s a Jousting Tournament amongst the medieval levels and a Gold Rush level for the Western era. This ensures that the game has plenty of variety and interesting levels for players to search with a fine tooth-comb. The levels themselves are bright and colorful with the art style looking like something straight out of a children’s book. The little characters with their stick-figure arms and legs look quite charming and the levels have just enough animations to keep things lively. Levels are viewed from an overhead isometric perspective and you can move around the screen for larger maps as well as zoom in to find those tiny items like knives, bananas or snails.

All of the items that you have to find on the level are displayed at the bottom of the screen and if you are stumped you can hover your mouse over their images for a cryptic clue of their whereabouts. Most of the items are pretty easy to find, but some of the smaller ones are hidden quite well. The game doesn’t feature a ton of interaction when it comes to clicking on things, but you can peek inside buildings to see what they are hiding. It’s a pity that as neat as the visuals are they are not really hiding that many funny secrets or scenes like the Waldo books that had seemingly endless easter eggs to discover. When it comes to visual options, Hidden Through Time allows players to select the resolution of the game, set it to full-screen mode, allow it to run in the background and enable or disable Vsync.

It doesn’t take very long to complete all 26 levels on offer, but you can reset your progress for either the selected map or all maps if you feel like playing through the game again. However, what really sets the game apart from the competition is the inclusion of a level editor. It is this that allows you to not only create your own levels but also connect online to play levels created by other players. Theoretically, this means unlimited new levels, but as with all games that allow user-generated content you are going to find plenty of bad with the good. Thankfully, Hidden Through Time allows you to sort through the online maps by like percentage, most played, most cleared, clear percentage, most recent and oldest. It also keeps track of levels that you have already played and you can rate levels as well as mark your favorites. We found some really nice levels created by other players, but there were also a few that simply consisted of a blank screen with the items that needed to be found plonked down in plain sight. Seeing as some of the Steam achievements require players to complete a certain amount of online maps it was inevitable that suck low effort attempts would pop up to ease the grind.

Creating your own levels is as easy as clicking and dragging as all the objects at your disposal are arranged into categories. All the objects in your selected category are then displayed at the bottom of the screen and can then be dragged to where you want them. You also have access to basic tools like flipping and duplicating objects along with an undo and redo feature. Overall, it’s a very simple editor, but very easy to use and with a little time and effort you can come up with some nice maps. Of course, you are still limited to the four time periods along with their objects, but at least you can mix and match them for some unique levels.

The audio in Hidden Through Time is pretty mellow and while the number of music tracks feels a little on the low side they never became annoying. You can, however, enable or disable the sound, ambient sound and music or adjust the sound levels for each independently. We have no problems with the user interface either and everything can quickly and easily be accessed with just a few mouse clicks.

All in all, we had fun with Hidden Through Time and although it didn’t take very long to discover everything on every level there’s still plenty of user content to work through. The fact that the game has no timers or click limits makes it a very relaxing experience and it is also a family-friendly title that can be enjoyed by players of all ages. Experienced players may find it a little on the easy side, but once again there is plenty of very difficult user-created levels to take on. If you are looking for something that will help you to unwind without requiring a major investment in time or brainpower, then Hidden Through Time comes highly recommended.

System Requirements

  • Requires a 64-bit processor and operating system
  • OS: Windows 7 or later
  • Processor: Requires a 64-bit processor and operating system
  • Memory: 4 GB RAM
  • Graphics: Geforce GT 430 (1024 MB) / Radeon HD 5570 (1024 MB)
  • DirectX: Version 9.0
  • Storage: 500 MB available space
  • Requires a 64-bit processor and operating system
  • OS: Mac OS X 10.11 (El Capitan) or later
  • Processor: Intel Core i5-4570 (4 * 3200)
  • Memory: 4 GB RAM
  • Graphics: GeForce GT 755M
  • Storage: 500 MB available space
  • Requires a 64-bit processor and operating system

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