I remember when I was a kid, every Sunday in the Fall while my dad made chili and watched the Chief’s game (SUPERBOWL CHAMPS 2020!!), my mom would take me to the mall and buy an I Spy book. I was totally addicted to I Spy and as I got older, the love of point and click games grew and I would spent hours searching for this or that. It was almost meditative. As I moved away from the PC and into console-ville, I have had a gaping hole in my soul where hide and seek games used to be, but a game called Hidden Through Time has given me the chance to relive my childhood addiction but better.
Hidden Through Time was developed and published by Crazy Monkey Studios. The game mechanics are SUPER simple, you look for the items on the list and then you find them. That’s it. One thumbstick moves the cursor, the other moves the camera and the D-pad selects the items for small hints and that’s it. You have to find a certain amount of items before you can move to the next level and the points are accumulated so if you have trouble in your current round, you can backtrack to find all items in easier levels so that you can skip the current level. There are four different periods in history that you play through with several levels per time period, each one increasing in size and difficulty.
Additionally, the music that plays during these levels is so calming and relaxing. It reminds me of the music that is played during animated renditions of children’s books, like The Gruffalo. The song is very repetitive but it’s so light and playful that it doesn’t get irritating or old. What’s more, the people and animals on the map move and make noise. Everything is interactive: trees and bushes rustle, people make noise and you can look inside domiciles.
On top of the story mode, there are two other modes available. You can play maps that are made by other people in the community (as well as rank the ones you really like) or you can get creative and make a map of your own for others to play and solve. This has allowed people to get really imaginative and create homages to some favorite games and franchises.
Hidden Through Time is exactly the game that I hoped it would be. Simple gameplay mechanics, cute graphics and relaxing music make for a game that the whole family can play together or you can play alone and decompress. I wish it had a little more variety but other then that, it’s pretty much flawless. You can play Hidden Through Time now on XBox One (reviewed), PS4, Nintendo Switch, Windows, macOS and Macintosh operating systems. I give this game a solid 9.5/10, if only for nostalgia.