Ankh-The Lost Treasures iPhone Review: Hidden Object Game Goes Egyptian

Hidden Object games are widely popular among casual and hardcore gamers. The recent craze of these games has brought many PC/Mac game developers to the app store to showcase these popular games. Ankh-The Lost Treasures by Softdistribution is a direct port from the computer game and plays like your standard search and find game mixed with a few new puzzle elements.

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The game is set in ancient Egypt and opens with a cut scene to tell the story of your journey. A long time ago an Egyptian temple was burned down by looters stealing the Ankh of Eternal Life. These looters were sent by the corrupt Pharaoh who now holds the sacred Ankh. You play as a young women named Thara who wants to find the Ankh and save her father from an incurable disease. You set out on a long journey in hopes to find any clues of the Ankh’s whereabouts.

The game features many brightly flashy Egyptian environments crowded with many different objects. The goal is to simply find objects in order to complete tasks and get you one step closer in finding the Ankh of Eternal Life. You will meet many different characters along the way all asking you to find objects. A list of objects will display on the bottom of the screen and it is your job to search the environment and tap on the item when you find it.

The items tend to be small and hard to see so you can pinch the screen in order to zoom in. The rich environments are somewhat affected by this and become a little blurry. For each scene you have about six minutes to find all of the objects. This puts the pressure on and it’s actually a pretty difficult task at times. Luckily there is a relaxed mode with no timer for those who don’t want the stress of being rushed. Sometimes it is very difficult to find an object but luckily there is a hint system in place.

The hint system is kind of odd and is one thing I did not like about the game. You have to travel back to past environments or places on the map in order to find ankhs which give you a hint. There are only about three ankhs in each location and sometimes it feels like you need a hint just to find the ankh. The timer also runs while you are searching for hints so on many occasions you will run out of time at your current task.

Plus the limited number of hints can hinder future times if you use too many hints at once. Once you find all objects in a scene you will look through your magic crystal ball which changes the scene. The crystal ball reveals hidden map pieces in each location. You must then find all the pieces and then put them together in this puzzle type mode in order to unlock the next location and move on in the storyline. The puzzle feature is great and helps relieve the stress of finding objects constantly.

The gameplay is simple and can be hard at times but it is everything you want in a hidden object game. The storyline is good and the scenes are beautifully done. The graphics all seem to be hand drawn with the characters being a little more technically advanced. The music is done nicely as well whether it is an Egyptian style song or sounds of a sandstorm. It all brings that Egyptian feeling to the game that you want. The music does not get on your nerves either while you are trying to focus on finding objects which is really important in a hidden object game.

Overall the game is very solid. With the trending increase in popularity of hidden object games the competition is tough. Ankh-The Lost Treasures has some very big flaws that hurt it chances of succeeding in the App Store. First the price tag of the game is $5.99 which is really high for the App Store and for a game of this nature. Combine this with the short amount of gameplay this proves to be disastrous. I was able to beat the game in about 2 hours which is not enough gameplay for a price of $5.99. The game also leaves the storyline hanging with a “to be continued” screen which makes for a bitter ending.

If the developers lower the price of this app it surely will succeed and it deserves to do well. The game is fun and one of the better hidden object games on the app store. If you are really into hidden object games then it might be worth you paying the price for it but otherwise wait until it might go on sale. It’s great to see hidden object games like this one make its way to the App Store. The iPhone and iPod Touch are great platforms for these games and it feels great with Ankh-The Lost Treasures.

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