Review: Adventure on Lost Island: Hidden Object Game (WiiWare)

Short and sugary sweet

Playing Adventure on Lost Island: Hidden Object Game is a lot like eating a doughnut – it looks good, is very sweet and the experience feels nice. Before you know it, though, it's gone. ATeam definitely had a young audience in mind when making this game, with its winsome tone, brightly coloured graphics and simple gameplay, but while some players may be turned off by all the frosting and sprinkles, those with a sweet tooth strong enough will find themselves happily chewing through this game. Due to small portions offered, however, most will be left feeling a little hungry.

The premise of the game is simple: you are shipwrecked on a magical island, meet a fairy who promises to get you home, and then set off to collect the items she needs to help you escape. Each level puts you into a stationary view of a scene, and in it a bunch of different objects are strewn about. Using the Wii Remote, you search these areas for three items the fairy needs and are tasked with finding each one of them five times a piece. Once you have the pointer over the object you want, you click the A button to grab it, and at the end of the level are awarded Star Power depending on how quickly and accurately you found the items. There are three possible scores on each level, with one star being the lowest and three stars being the highest.

To keep this mechanic from becoming too monotonous, the game adds different variables to the mix, like gusts of wind that serve to jumble up the scene or fluttering birds that disorient your view. In the first level, which takes place on the shore, waves will periodically wash over and mix up the shells you are trying to collect. This can often relocate the one you just spotted, costing you more time and lowering your score. Later in the game, these distractions get a bit tougher, with bats that steal items off the screen and objects that change colour, requiring you to correctly time your clicks. Since the amount of Star Power you are awarded also depends on accuracy, each time you miss or click the wrong item your score gets penalised.

The graphics in the game are simple but quite nice, with a bright 2D presentation and levels that are very cheery and colourful. The animations at times can be a little stiff, but since there is not a whole lot of action in the game, it is never really an issue. The music is surprisingly good, with a feel far more epic than clicking on coloured constellations demands.

The most action-oriented segments of the game come in the form of boss battles, which you are treated to every few levels. In these stages, baddies show up to steal your objects and you have to use the Wii Remote to keep them at bay. In the first battle, you are rushed by a band of ghosts and must smack them away as they weave their way towards you. In the second, you face off against a dragon, and must volley back the fire balls it launches at you. These battles serve as a great way to add some diversity to the gameplay, and it would have been nice to see even more, but sadly you only get two. After the final few stages are completed, the credits roll without a final boss.

All in all, the entire game can be completed in under a half hour, and it only takes about a half hour more to max out your scores. Still, all the levels can be played with up to four players at once, and the competitive nature of this mode can make thing a bit more fun. At the end of each multiplayer bout, a winner is awarded based on accuracy, completion time and the amount of stuff they found in the level. You can even play through the credit screen with other players, trying to snag the most shooting stars that whiz passed the screen.

Conclusion

Adventure on Lost Island: Hidden Object Game may be a simple affair of clicking objects, but it adds enough variety to the mix to keep the game from becoming too repetitive. Still, the only moments that really stand out in the game, the two boss battles, are over in a flash – as is the game itself. Once finished, there is some incentive to go back and improve your scores, but even that can be achieved pretty quickly. Most of the replay value you'll get will come from multiplayer mode, and if you are looking for a good game to play with your family, this could be for you. At 500 points it definitely offers some fun, but it is one incredibly short game, and such a tiny morsel may leave you a little unsatisfied.