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The Secret Society – Hidden Mystery (iOs) Review

 
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At a Glance...
 

Formats: iOs
 
Genre:
 
Year:
 
Publisher:
 
Final Score
7.0
7/ 10


User Rating
no ratings yet

 

We liked?


Tons of content available, with loads of scenes to play and mini games to keep things fresh.

Not so much?


You are very limited by the freemium model. Even if you're willing to put money into the game, you'll soon find yourself stuck playing the same scenes over an over for just a few minutes at a time.


Final Fiendish Findings?

Imagine hearing that your eccentric uncle has disappeared, leaving you as his sole heir. Such is the hook for The Secret Society – Hidden Mystery, a hidden object adventure from G5 Entertainment. Sadly, things aren’t as easy as taking the money and running. For one thing, somebody has to figure out what exactly happened to […]

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Posted October 2, 2014 by

 
Full Fiendish Findings...
 
 

Imagine hearing that your eccentric uncle has disappeared, leaving you as his sole heir.screen520x924

Such is the hook for The Secret Society – Hidden Mystery, a hidden object adventure from G5 Entertainment. Sadly, things aren’t as easy as taking the money and running. For one thing, somebody has to figure out what exactly happened to your uncle – and that’s definitely going to be your job. And of course, there is the matter of your previously undetected magical powers to deal with as well. This is bound to be an eye opening adventure all around.

As you begin the game, you quickly learn that your uncle was a member of the Order of Seekers, a mysterious group that has the power to move around in magical photos. As it turns out, you also have this power, and your uncle has passed his seat in the Order along to you. He’s left one picture for you to explore, and this will be your first venture into finding the answers you seek. There are many, many other magical photographs available as well, but if you want to unlock them you’ll need to go through a series of steps first. Your uncle has destroyed the photos in order to protect the Order, so you’ll need to find all the pieces of each photo, reassemble them, and then pay to unlock the location. Once these steps have all been completed, you will be free to play the new location.

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You read that right – even after finding the pieces and reassembling them, you’ll have to pay a ton of coins to unlock each location. Coins are earned easily enough as you play, by completing various puzzles and tasks, but it’s still a little disheartening to pay multiple times to unlock a single location. Once you have it unlocked though, you’ll be able to play it as many times as you like. In fact, you’ll need to play each location over and over, and then over and over some more. Each time you play a puzzle, you have the opportunity to pick up items from it. These range from items for various collections available to you, to useful special items to make puzzles easier, to actual usable in-game items like those picture remnants we talked about earlier.

The only way to find out what you’re going to get each time is by playing the puzzle. There is a list of possible items for each one, but what you actually earn is pretty much a crap shoot. Sometimes you get a whole bunch of items, sometimes you get a single collection item, and sometimes you get nothing at all. And you just have to keep playing those same puzzles time after time until you get the items you need to advance. It’s a bit monotonous, to say the least. Most hidden object games reuse the same puzzles multiple times, but in The Secret Society, they are replayed so many times that it really gets boring fast. The items do move around a bit from puzzle to puzzle, and the list of items needed changes slightly, but there’s no doubt you’re finding the same items in the same scenes, in an endless loop.

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Well, it would be endless, if you were allowed to play as long as you wanted. Like most “freemium” games, The Secret Society – Hidden Mystery greatly limits how much you can play in a sitting (unless you’re willing to pay up, of course). The way this is done is by utilizing the idea of energy. Your character has only so much energy to use (your energy max is determined by your level), and each puzzle takes up a set amount of that energy. You use energy up each time you play any puzzle, whether you solve it or not, and once your energy is gone you’ll need to either come back later after recharging or buy energy items to replenish yourself. Energy items, like much of the items in the shop, are purchased with diamonds (which are rather hard to come by in any significant quantities without purchasing them). Once your initial stash runs out, it quickly becomes a “play for five minutes at a time” sort of game.

If you’re a fan of mini games, you’ll also have an option to use your energy on those. They seem to generally offer up fewer items than the hidden object scenes, and they cost quite a bit more in energy. Added to that, they are really quite short, so it’s hard to justify spending your energy on them when you’ll only get a brief bit of play before completely draining your reserves. There is a nicely done Bejeweled clone amidst the old standards, but it is timed at just one minute, which means that there just isn’t any drawing out the fun to be done. You need to finish up quickly. In fact, all of the puzzles – both hidden object and mini games – are timed, so you may find yourself wasting a lot of energy and ending up with nothing if you are unable to complete your puzzle in time. This is easier to do than you’d think, since you’re only given a portion of the list at a time. You can’t find an item until it appears on the list, so you really do have to move fast to uncover everything.

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The Secret Society – Hidden Mystery is a massive game (really, so make sure you space available) that offers a ton of variety in both hidden object scenes and mini game fun. Unfortunately, it takes a reeeeally long time to unlock each and every piece, which leaves you just playing the same puzzles over and over, for just a few minutes at a time. If you’re willing to put up some cash (and really, supporting developers is always a good idea) you can speed things up momentarily, but you’ll soon find yourself right back where you were, playing a little and waiting, until you find yourself willing to invest again.


Amy

 
U.S. Senior Editor & Deputy EIC, @averyzoe on Twitter, mother of 5, gamer, reader, wife to @macanthony, and all-around bad-ass (no, not really)