Hidden Expedition: Smithsonian Hope Diamond Collector's Edition
Another Great Hidden Expedition Game, But Too Short - Collector's Edition Review
This is a review of the Collector's Edition after playing the full game.
I've been waiting with great anticipation for the next release of the Hidden Expedition series, as it is one of my favorites. I have to say that I wasn't disappointed except for one thing: it was too short! Just when I was really getting into the game, it ended and that surprised me a little bit. Unlike earlier Hidden Expedition games where you return to previous locations for more HO scenes and/or puzzles, this one is pretty much one and done with each location. It therefore moves a lot faster, especially compared to other Hidden Expedition games.
I love the storyline, and I think it's great that the Smithsonian Museum was involved in the development and added real historical information as a highlighted feature. It makes not only for a fun game, but a great educational experience.
Most of the puzzles weren't very challenging, with the exception of a few head-scratchers. I played in casual mode so the quick access to the Skip button in the more difficult situations was nice. The HO scenes were also relatively easy, but I liked the mix of locating objects by the "shadow" hints with the traditional HO word clues.
Here are what I feel are the pros and cons of the game:
1. Nice graphics, although it was weird to have a mix of live action and animation. I'd say pick one or the other, but that's nit-picking. The visuals overall were outstanding.
2. I liked the background music. Very soothing.
3. Great storyline. It's nice that the game didn't follow the usual formula seen in many HO games today #evil spirit kidnaps a relative, e.g.#
4. Adding in an educational component via the Smithsonian provides an added layer of interest to the game. It's nice to learn some historical facts about the Hope Diamond while engaged in a video game.
1. Too short! The game ended very quickly, especially compared to earlier Hidden Expedition games. I felt this one took about 1/3 of the time as others in the HE series.
2. HOS and puzzles were too easy for the most part. In previous HE games, there were a lot more challenging areas.
Overall, I thought the game was great and would recommend it to others. The pros way outweigh the cons! However, because of the shorter duration of play, I'd recommend buying the standard edition rather than collector's edition as I don't know how much more value you'd get out of the CE for your money.
December 25, 2013
Enjoyed & was also disappointed
Two of the prior Hidden Expedition games (Devil's Triangle and Uncharted Islands) are on my list of all-time favorites. They were fun and also challenging and long. One of them my wife and I played together over much of a weekend and enjoyed every minute. So, I had expectations. I was excited to see another, *and* a game made with the Smithsonian, to boot -- yea, yea, heaven and bliss.
The positives: Enjoyed the tasks, enjoyed the scenery and the time spent in the Smithsonian. Thought the level of challenge in the HO games was very good, with only one instance of the list-name not matching the picture :) (a "sparrow" to me looked like a chickadee :) which could be due to regional differences in sparrows :) or that I'm a picky birder :) ).
More positives: Liked the thinking of the devs in the bonus content - that you had to solve another puzzle to unlock some things. (Except, see challenge level in re: puzzles). Liked the Custom choice of difficulty - yes, I used it.
The negatives: Most of the puzzles/mini-games were easy. There were a few exceptions that I can think of, but most of them did not make me really think and work at in order to solve. That's not to say I didn't enjoy some of the more unusual ones, I did, and I liked the fact that they kept instructions hidden so I could try to figure out the How myself. But.... I want to use the grey cells. Clearly I am in a minority because puzzles are getting easier and easier and easier with each passing year, so devs must think this is the thing to do - make puzzles that appeal to the folks who don't want to do them in the first place. (a puzzle that requires you to simply input the solution that you found on a piece of paper is NOT a puzzle....)
The biggest negative: This game felt short. I don't keep track of my time because I think that's a useless bit of info since it's so personal. I did not feel like I had taken a long adventure with lots of ins and outs and this room to explore and that. The bonus game felt short, too.
Maybe I'm nuts and if I were to count the individual locations in this HE versus the # in the last two HE games they would be the same. Maybe my expectations were unfair. But, I was, for the most part, enjoying the game, and suddenly it was over. "Suddenly" is how it felt.
January 8, 2014
Not really a major challenge.
Overall, a good game, but not really challenging. One or two of the HOPs were good, but I finished the game and all the bonus content in a few hours.
The graphics and sound are very good - I tend to play these at low volume and turn the music off, so I can't really comment on the musical content.
January 3, 2014
Educational but a bit rote
I've always loved the Hidden Expedition games. This one certainly had the most to offer for people who love to learn. And I love to learn! I do hope that there are more HE games in the future based on Smithsonian collections.
That said, one of the key factors I was really looking forward to was largely missing this time around: HE's loopy style of fun. I spotted occasional flashes of the line's signature goofiness in the first third of the game, but the story soon moved into a more rote type of adventure--the player vs. a greedy bunch of thieves. We've got plenty of those kinds of games out there already. I look forward to seeing future HE games that once again marry globe-trekking intrigue with writing that doesn't take itself so seriously.
December 30, 2013
Good Game but too short and too easy.
Title pretty much sums it up. Game was way too short and the puzzles were no challenge at all, they were probably the easiest I have seen in one of these games. For the most part the hidden objects scenes everything was obvious although there were a few challenging ones. Everything was pretty much straightforward in this game on where to go, u had minimal rooms in which to use stuff as u really didn't have to go back and forth through a ton of area. Good game, enjoyed it, wish it was longer and a bit more challenging.
December 24, 2013
Fun while it lasted
So excited to see another Hidden Expedition HOG. The graphics were vivid and gorgeous, yet the game was over rather quickly. Done in less than 6 hrs. Is the price worth it? I'll let you decide.
December 26, 2013
Does it Get More Exciting?
I'm in the Smithsonian...does it get more exciting? The game is very well done, however, I'm getting a wee bit bored....
December 25, 2013
Expect a Great Addition
Great start. Like being in a Raiders of the Lost Ark. Love the morphing objects in the HO's. Like the switch up through the HO's. This is a nice fallow up other their hidden series. Interactive map. Great art work. Well done on the jump back that got you started in this adventure. Carried out real well. Add this to the must buy list.
January 3, 2014
Terrific story line, excellent graphics - NO ghosts, spirits or magic. As usual, I played on the easiest level and with the sound turned down as far as I could - but it would not turn off. Hence my rating of 4 stars rather than 5. I think I should be able to decide if I want to listen to music or not. Good system of collectibles, and morphing objects. Highly recommended.
January 1, 2014
Great Family Game
A good game for the entire family to learn about the Hope Diamond. There are six chapters and a bonus game. The puzzles and hops are fun. You also can collect objects and Smithsonian symbols.
December 31, 2013