The Hidden (3DS)

Game Review

The Hidden Review

USA USA Version

Posted by Philip J Reed

Hide and don't seek

Hey, kids — remember the movie Ghostbusters? Remember how exciting and fun it looked? Well, be prepared to have that illusion siphoned out of you by The Hidden, which takes the concept of ghost busting and marries it to the embarrassment of walking in circles in public places.

The Hidden bills itself as an "augmented reality ghost hunting game," and we can't fault it for that description, because anybody who enjoys this title has an augmented view of reality indeed.

You are a new recruit at G.E.I.S.T. (which we're convinced stands for "Gaming Experience Inferior to Severing a Toe"), and your job is to investigate mysterious spikes in paranormal activity. Of course, you're equipped with your trusty 3DS, through which you can view the world as you spin around in circles shooting enemies that look more like half-melted gummy bears than ghosts.

Horror games, by their own nature, thrive on atmosphere. The Hidden doesn't seem to understand this, as playing this game in your secure living room strips away any "fear of the unknown" that you might bring to the game by default. But, then again, there's a lot that The Hidden doesn't understand.

The game consists entirely of spinning around until you find a ghost, then zapping or capturing it, and waiting for another wave to appear. Actually, that's not entirely true, as during the waiting periods the game require you to "patrol" the area, which boils down to walking in circles through your house until the plot decides to advance. Nothing happens during these periods; you simply walk around — sometimes for several minutes — until the game decides to let you do something. We think the game is attempting to build suspense. All it's actually doing, though, is giving you several dozen opportunities to trip over your dog.

While walking, messages from your colleagues may or may not appear on the bottom screen. They consist of poorly scripted banter far more often than they contain helpful information, but you'll be glad to see them as they're often the only thing breaking up the experience of walking and waiting. These messages come through so infrequently that it's almost like there really is somebody on the other end, slowly pecking away at a keyboard, as you wait for something to come through and break the monotony.

In fact, if you don't want to spend money on this game, here's a way you can play it for free: ask a friend to send you four text messages over the course of an hour and a half while you pace slowly around your bathroom. Congratulations — you're playing The Hidden!

The fact that the entire game is played through the camera limits interactivity to a devastating extent. Unless you're given something to shoot there's nothing you can even do but wait, and that does not good gaming make. It does at least attempt to incorporate familiar surroundings into your experience, which isn't that problematic until you realise one thing: the game needs more than one level.

Yes, once you're finished busting the ghosts in your own home, you're done until you can find another area with a different WiFi connection from your own. This is so the game knows you aren't trying to play through the entire thing in your house. Because, hey, why on Earth would anybody want to play video games in their house?

You'll need to visit friends' houses, Starbucks, McDonald's, the library and anywhere else with a unique WiFi connection so that the game can recognise them as different "locations." As all you're being asked to do is spin in circles with a game console, it's difficult to comprehend the necessity of this decision. Why can't we play through the entire thing in one place? Why interrupt the experience? Why force people to travel to several locations if they don't want to, or can't?

If you bought your 3DS for the sole purpose of spinning around in the middle of Starbucks while concerned bystanders call the police, then The Hidden is the game for you.

The instruction manual hilariously suggests "work" as a location you can use while playing The Hidden. Nintendo Life takes no responsibility for your termination if you follow this advice.

One would think that with a game played entirely through the camera, that the small amount of graphics and sound effects necessary would receive extra attention, but this is first-year art student stuff, and the sound effects are the stuff of late night science fiction movies. Nothing in The Hidden is unique, except for the fact that it practically requires you to walk into traffic while playing it.


The Hidden, to put it simply, is a mess. It's a glorified tech-demo at best, and we're being supremely generous by using the word "glorified." At heart, The Hidden aims to show you all the real things you can do with the 3DS's camera and gyrometer, but in reality, it just makes you wish you were never born. The need for multiple WiFi hotspots needlessly complicates an already irritating experience, making The Hidden a misguided endeavour at every step of the way.

From the web

User Comments (45)



Megumi said:

I'm guessing this is that Ghostwire I heard about before?...I hope not, anyone have that game? (heard it has been released as a mobile or something)



FonistofCruxis said:

@Eureka This isn't Ghostwire but there are similarities so its understandable that you thought it was that.

I had already heard about how bad this game was so I'm not surprised its the first 1/10 3DS game.



Corbs said:

This game had a lot of potential, but sadly, all of that potential was brutally wasted. I played the one level, and then when I realized I was going to have to drive into the city to play more, I did the only decent thing I could do. I sent it to Phil. LOL Sorry Phil.



Geonjaha said:

Wow, can it really deserve a 1/10?
Great review though, thought it was pretty funny.
Who the hell would want to play games in their own home?! XD



ueI said:

Wait, this is a RETAIL game? The review was funny enough when I thought I was reading about the eshop's greatest flop, but the thought that somebody could be charging full price makes me want to throw a 3DS at them.



rafaelluik said:

I clicked on this thinking it was a "hidden" review of the Nintendo 3DS hardware and software!



BudrSbastig said:

This could have been fantastic! check out spec trek on Ios.........I honestly use that as part of my work out!



FriedSquid said:

"If you bought your 3DS for the sole purpose of spinning around in the middle of Starbucks while concerned bystanders call the police, then The Hidden is the game for you."

(rushes to buy a copy)



SLiM said:

Instead of a lump of coal, the naughty people will instead be receiving this game in their stockings



TheGreenSpiny said:

How is this any different than Face Raiders? Face Raiders was terrible... trying to use the gyroscope to aim was a imprecise pain. The 3DS's camera is terrible too. Why would people want to use that for games? The only thing cool about face raiders was how it rendered your face on the game.



Xkhaoz said:

Darn, I was hoping the 3DS would live until next year before receiving a 1/10 game.



Detective_TeeJay said:

I was wondering...do you guys ever get angry letters from the gaming companies responsible when you give their games 1/10?



brandonbwii said:

I was hoping this game would be decent. Majesco is the only company taking advantage of the 3DS camera. I also hear Face Racers is pretty bad.

I'm still waiting for a game that shows that good gameplay can come from an AR gimmick.



Ren said:

Very funny review, I love this kind of writing. thank you for a good laugh.



kdognumba1 said:

Looks like Santa has a new digital version of "a lump of coal" he'll be giving out this year!



HanuKwanzMasBif said:

@TheDarkness Face Raiders was free. It was essentially a tech demo like the reviewer compared this game to. Face Raiders didn't force you to walk around for 20 minutes waiting for an enemy to show up. It also didn't force you to use Wi-Fi, much less using a different Wi-Fi spot every time. And I didn't have any trouble aiming in Face Raiders, personally.



crazyj2312 said:

I feel bad for the reviewers who have to play the games, but the rage and frustration put into the review is absolutely hilarious.



Katernity said:

i got this game for my birthday. it wasn't even possible to play because i live in an apartment. it kept telling me to walk further away. since i don't have a yard and our neighborhood doesn't have sidewalks, i would have basically had to wander the streets while holding the 3ds in front of my face in order to play.



Ducutzu said:

How is the the actual ghost fighting, compared to Face Raiders? Is it more complicated, or more simplistic?



Shock_Tart said:

"If you bought your 3DS for the sole purpose of spinning around in the middle of Starbucks while concerned bystanders call the police, then The Hidden is the game for you."

that quote made me laugh so hard. im not even going to waste my time with this game. ill go for a ACTUAL horror game that i dont have to walk out into traffic to play.



Jack_Glenn said:

This is embarrassing (as is everything published by Majesco). Ghostwire will be so much better than this — it will have an actual story.



Shock_Tart said:

yeah, i have to say the concept for using the ar system to make a game was interisting. BUT as a lover of horror games and well games in general just by reading this. this game faild in every way shape and form. to be honest i dont get why this game wasnt just canceled by the creators. no way am i ever going to be walking around to different locations just to finish a game.



Shock_Tart said:

also i see a lot of wow the 3ds got a 1 rated game already quotes. please dont blame nintendo for this abomination of a game. it was the creators not nintendo. the 3ds is a great system. the ar thing is a great function, i very much enjoyed the ar card games. this game however was a complete and utter failure through no fault of nintendo's at all.



nocdaes said:

I wonder if this will be released with a lower RRP, like £19.99?

I think it's a really cool concept and one that is well worth exploring in the future, but this particular version looks badly thought out and stripped down so probably on balance deserves the 1/10.

The idea of augmented reality within games is definitely worth exploring though and there are some exciting possibilities.



saikun said:

"The instruction manual hilariously suggests "work" as a location you can use while playing The Hidden. "

double facepalm



NovemberJoy said:

I was thinking about buying this, as it seemed very interesting. However, the execution seems quite off.

Important Question:What kind of person decided to suggest "work" as a place to play this? He's probably laughing his *** off at the fact that at least one person did that, and got fired.
Important Question 2:Why did the developers use the mentality of "You beat one level! Now go somewhere else with a WiFi connection and we'll let you play the next level"? It doesn't make any sense. Really, what would you think of somebody walking around with their game system, playing The Hidden? Doesn't Majesco know that such a thing is extremely embarassing to most people?

Important Question 3:Why does the game force you to just wait around until it decides that you should do something? It's like a certain Japanese game called Takeshi no Chousenjou, where you have to make a map readable, and both of the options that work require you to just wait. If you touch the controller too early(or, in one of the options, too late), the map disintegrates, and you have to get another one. That is, if you actually get the map...



Katernity said:

I got this game for my birthday-before i saw any reviews. the review is spot on. i actually thought the first level was fun, when i played in my house, but that's all you're allowed to play unless you take it to somewhere else with different wifi. worst idea ever.



MrAndrewJ said:

My wife got this for me as a birthday present two weeks ago, I'm having a lot of fun with this under a few uncommon conditions.

I'm in a rare environment where there are a lot of homes with WiFi around. It's like the Homeowner's Association actually banned 10/100 cable here. I also actually ENJOY playing video games on my feet, and am happier when the game offers physical activity. Plus, it's really warm here this winter. I'm also friends with real, working, professional clowns. Looking like a fool was already a personal lifestyle choice.

Gripes: The Hidden feels more like an indy-film science fiction endeavor than horror. The other human characters are really interesting on the surface. Sadly, the game limits their banter to a chat room where they use mood-killing user icons. Worse, their chats happen during the AR sessions but at no other time. I like the brightly colored ghosts, as I tend to play after working hours, but they look familiar. Too familiar. Matching those wavelengths on the scanner is a really frustrating experience but it's the only mechanic I have found to be bothersome.

I am enjoying this game. I can easily see everyone's frustration, but it does as advertised with enough competence that the 1 doesn't reflect my experience. Of course, I'm the guy who says "I like it" after 46 negative comments. I also once got the NES game Amagon for my birthday. I promise: it could be much worse.

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