Letters from Nowhere HD has a different story, different mini-games and different scenes to explore, but in the end it’s still your traditional hidden object game. Thankfully that suits me just fine, and even though it doesn’t stray to far from the formula it manages to suck you in anyway. The story gives you just enough to make you want to know more, and there are enough gimmicks that the hidden object scenes feel fresh even though you’ve played them a million times before. Even the mini-games are passable, both figuratively and literally. Letters From Nowhere doesn’t break any new ground, but it does what it does really well.
In Letters From Nowhere you play a woman whose husband has gone missing. The police are no help, and all you have are clues from a series of letters left at locations throughout the city. The story is told via the letters and comments from the wife as she searches the various locations. Each location has a list of objects to find, and one location in each chapter will present you with a mini-game in order to claim one of the objects you’ve found. These special objects will help Audrey unravel the mystery of her husband’s disappearance. There is also an object in each location that is found by dragging one object on top of another.
In addition to the list of objects there are three stamps hidden at each location. As you find objects on the list or the stamps you’ll be rewarded with points. If you find multiple items one after the other you’ll earn bonus points as well. I was a bit frustrated that you only seem to get a fraction of a second before the “timer” is reset between finding items, but if you’re quick enough you can rack up a lot of bonus points. If you have the jack-in-the-box power up you can also get 15,000 bonus points for each location you find it in. In most hidden object games the points seem to be a statistic more than anything, but in Letters From Nowhere you can actually buy power ups with these points.
There are four power ups that can be purchased once each per chapter any time you’re on the map screen. Besides the Jack-in-the-box there is a camera that will reveal the location of 6 objects you haven’t found yet, a thermometer you can drag around that will get hot when you’re close to a hidden item, and a palette that will change all the item names in the list to pictures. I personally prefer the jack-in-the-box and camera combo. The one thing you need to keep in mind is that even though you’ve purchased the power ups, you still have to find them in each scene in order to be able to use them. You also have to buy them over again in each chapter.
Visually the game offers what you’d expect from a G5 Entertainment product. The backgrounds are very well drawn and nicely detailed, with subtle animations here are there when appropriate. Audrey looks good, though she’s the only character I’ve really seen so far. I do like how the city map is drawn and the fact that it actually has stuff going on in it. The main issue, as with most hidden object games, is that sometimes the objects blend in way too well with the background.
The sound effects are decent enough. They cast a good voice for Audrey, although it does sound a bit stilted at times. As with the visuals, that is the only reference I have to go on at this point as far as characters go, so hopefully if there are more characters later on they will sound just as good. The music is quite enjoyable and sets a somewhat ominous tone to the whole proceedings.
Letters From Nowhere is a fine example of a low frills hidden object game that still manages to draw you in. You won’t necessarily walk away from the experience mumbling “wow” under your breath, but I have to admit I’ve had a hard time putting it down so far. I just can’t wait to find out what Audrey’s husband has gotten himself mixed up in.
|Title:||Letters from Nowhere HD||Developer:||G5 Entertainment|
|Reviewed Ver:||Min OS Req:||3.2|