It’s actually been 3 years since the first Hidden In Time graced our consoles… that’s a lot longer than it seems and an awful lot has happened in a relatively short period. Given we were locked in our houses at the time I really enjoyed the light entertainment it delivered for the whole family, and went as far as saying:
It’s a straightforward, engaging and colourful distraction from the day-to-day grind.
Roll forward through what turned out to be a global pandemic and now an ongoing cost of living crisis, and it feels apt that Hidden Through Time 2: Myths & Magic has arrived to bring us more of that colourful distraction. Will it do anything drastically different from its predecessor? Will it visit different eras to the first game? Should I have invested in a bigger TV to see everything on the screen?
There’s a lot familiar with Hidden Through Time 2: Myths & Magic for those that have played the first one, and nothing to worry about for those that haven’t. It’s a very simply setup – load a level, look at the bar on the bottom of the screen that tells you what you’re trying to find, and then hunt for them by moving the cursor around and zooming in and out. Each object comes with a semi-cryptic clue to point you in the right direction, and for the most part they’re logical as well. The only barrier to success if your ability to pick out similarly coloured items that are hiding behind each other. Set across four periods – the 80’s, Greek mythology, Arabian nights, and fantasy – you’ll tackle eight different stages in each period that increase in complexity; as well as seeking out secret objects that unlock bonus levels. Anyone who’s any familiarity with a hidden object game or Where’s Wally/Waldo? will be right at home.
There are some improvements happened over the 36 months or so since the first game, with the main one being what’s termed Reality Shift. At the press of a button the scene moves between seasons or time of day, meaning that the layout changes and offers up new ways of hiding items. Whether it’s going from morning to night or from summer to winter, it’s a neat touch that alters what you’re looking at, and supports the stories that are being told. Hidden Through Time 2: Myths & Magic also has a narrated campaign with each level being introduced and telling a story of sorts. With the classic mythologies it’s detail on what you’re seeing and tries to showcase specific characters; and for the created scenarios it covers more of a tale from beginning to end. It’s not like you’ll be taught lots about Sinbad or Aladdin, but it’s nice to have them referenced verbally as much as visually.
One of the biggest step ons is in the Architect mode where you create your own scenes and upload them for others to tackle. Aside from the Reality Shift option that’s in the main game, there’s more customisation on the characters and models, and the ability to set movement paths. This brings more dynamism to Hidden Through Time 2: Myths & Magic’s user generated content and should allow for additional creativity from those that get stuck in to the tools. Whilst the Architect mode has good tutorials there’s quite a lot to get your head around and early on for consoles there are one or two creators starting to stand out when you search what’s available. Much like the first game, it’s in the online side that the longevity will be, effectively delivering a limitless experience as long as players are happy to keep creating the puzzles.
Hidden Through Time 2: Myths & Magic adds a couple of new features though doesn’t lose what made the original enjoyable – the whimsical design and cute presentation. Tapping on every object either shakes it or causes some bespoke animation, and it makes the isometric projection feel more inviting than it really should, especially when you start peeling layers from buildings like an onion. The only criticism I could level is that it does chug along when the scenes get too busy with hundreds of objects, and that’s only when you’re fully zoomed out. Stay close up and keeping an eye on the details and you’ll not notice anything except how easy it is to get lost in the worlds.
A PS5 review copy of Hidden Through Time 2: Myths & Magic was provided by Rogueside’s PR team, and the game is available now on PlayStation, Xbox, Switch and PC for around £13.
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