Train Your Brain to Find Hidden Objects

Posted by Conor Murphy on January 28, 2011 in Tips and Tricks -- Share:
Train Your Brain

Have you ever found yourself staring at a hidden object scene wondering why you can’t find an object? Sometimes objects are hidden extremely well and are very difficult to find. Other times objects are in clear sight, but are difficult to ‘see’ because you aren’t clear about what you are looking for.

In this post we’re sharing some tips that will help you train your brain to be more efficient at finding hidden objects. We hope you find this helpful!

For those of you who are interested in puzzle help, go check out the our Top 10 Puzzle Solving Tips.

Objects as Silhouettes

Rather than placing an actual object in a scene, silhouettes are commonly used. Look for such objects on walls blended in with wallpaper patterns, in the sky, or on the floor.

Hidden Object Game Tips - Silhouette

In the example above, paw print can be seen as a silhouette within the fireplace.

Related Objects

In some cases an object you are seeking may be part of a larger family of related objects. For example, ‘baseball’ might refer to an actual baseball or another object from the game of baseball (a glove, a hat, or a bat). Moreover, there are many collectibles related to the game of baseball that are viable candidates (baseball cards, posters, or clothing).

Always consider the scope of the object you are looking for. Is the object very specific (a pencil or a paint brush) or is the object more vague (a shoe or chess). In the case of the later, you need to think about all the related objects.

Hidden Object Game Tips - Related

Although the scene asks you to find “baseball”, the object is actually a baseball card.

Multiple Representations

Many times, there are a number of ways to represent an object. For example, if you are looking for ‘queen’, you may be looking for a picture of the Queen of England, a queen of diamonds playing card, the queen chess piece, or a queen bee! This type of word play comes from what are known as homonyms. In a strict sense, homonyms are defined as words with the same spelling and different meanings.

Homonyms should not be confused with homophones which are words that are spelled differently but sound the same. Examples of homophones include air/heir/err, ate/eight, and role/roll.

Stay open minded with regards to how the object you are looking for will be represented in the scene.

Hidden Object Game Tips - Homonyms

If you look closely you will see the knight in the scene is actually represented by a knight chess piece.

Obstructions

You’re never guaranteed to see all of an object you are looking for. Many times part of an object is obstructed by another unrelated object in the scene. Keep an eye out for objects sticking out from behind other objects in the scene.

Hidden Object Game Tips - Obstructed

In the example above, the card is partially obstructed by the map on the wall.

Concealed Objects

Although this could be considered part of the Obstructions category, sometimes object are concealed inside of drawers, behind panels, or under carpet. You have to open the drawer, slide the panel, or move the cover to see the object. As such, we recommend attempting to open any and all drawers or panels in any hidden object scene.

Hidden Object Game Tips - Concealed

In the example above, the coin is concealed in the drawer. Only by opening the drawer can you find this item.

Camouflage

Camouflaging an object is a classic way to hide it in plain site. In Hidden Object Games, there are at least three variations on this technique.

  • Color Camouflage: The classic way to hide an object. Placing object with similar colors together makes them difficult to see as individual objects.
  • Shape Camouflage: Placing an object with a unique shape among other similar shapes makes it blend in very nicely. Especially if it also has color camouflage characteristics.
  • Scenery Camouflage: Often, an object is placed in a location on the screen where it makes sense. This prevents our minds from seeing the object as ‘out of place’. Imagine a painting on the wall of a sky. Imagine if a sun was added to the picture. Very few of us would see the sun as out of place.
Hidden Object Game Tips - Camouflage

In the example above, the bow is camouflaged in such a way that it appears to be part of the hat.

Apply a Grid System

Rather than trying to look at the entire hidden object scene and pick our individual objects, try breaking the scene up with a grid system. Then, you can focus on each section individually. Of course, the grid system is in your head, but it can still help manage the total scene.

Here is an example of what we are suggesting:

Hidden Object Game Tips - Grid System

By applying a grid system like the one shown above you can focus on smaller areas and not feel so overwhelmed during your search.

Use a Hint

Most Hidden Object Games offer a built in hint system that allows you to get immediate help with finding objects you just can’t seem to locate. While the total number of hints available typically isn’t unlimited, for the most well hidden objects, the hint system can be very handy.

In Return to Ravenhearst, the Crime Computer also acts as your hint system and can be a game saver!

Hidden Object Game Tips - Hints

Most Hidden Object Games offer a built in hint system so help is always near!

Game Walkthroughs

Game walkthroughs are available for most Big Fish Games. If you’re not against using these helpful tools, they can help you tremendously with everything from hidden object scenes to puzzles to brain teasers.

The Forums

Last but not least, our game forums are a great resource when you need help with any of our games (or just want to hang out and chat!). Every game has it’s own forum section. Head over and check it out if you’ve never been there before.

Written by

Conor is a Marketing Manager with Big Fish, working out of the Seattle office. In his spare time he enjoys watching science documentaries and playing old school adventure games. Get in touch with him on Twitter! or Google+