[Review] Hidden Through Time – Nintendo Switch

Written by Paige Detlefsen
  • Developer: Crazy Monkey Studios
  • Publisher: Crazy Monkey Studios
  • Release Date: 12/03/2020
  • Price: £6.99 / $7.99
  • Review code provided by Crazy Monkey Studios

Introducing: Hidden Through Time Switch Review

Hidden Through Time is a hidden object game, but like the Where’s Wally kind. The only video game like it that I’ve played before was a Bible-themed one. By contrast, Hidden Through Time takes you to different time periods and has a map editor to make your own custom levels.

Where the Ankh is it?

The gameplay is what you’d expect for the most part. You can zoom in and around to try to find the listed items at the bottom. Some hints are helpful, while others are little jokes or references. There are a couple distinguishing features, such as tents and other buildings that can be opened to find objects inside. When doing so, some objects may seem to float as they don’t disappear. People and animals may move around the area to obstruct your view or make it hard to find them. 

There are four different time periods: the stone age, ancient Egypt, the middle ages and cowboy America (called Becteph, whatever that means). In the twenty-six stages of the game you’ll start going through these themes with levels starting from very small to sprawling. The difficulty isn’t completely linear. You don’t need to clear a level to get to the next one as they’re unlocked by a certain number of found objects. Although when exiting to choose other levels, I’ll get pushed to the most recent one whether or not I’ve done the ones between. 

You can play with the touch screen and I find that’s the best way to play this, though the cursor is still acceptable. When making levels I use a mix of both. 

In the level creator, items are grouped by time period but you are able to mix them up as you please. There are three layers objects can be put on and you can toggle in and outdoors for buildings. The tools are simple enough to get a hang of, though an actual tutorial rather than one screen would have been nice. You can set walking paths for animals and people. You’re also able to create hints for the items you choose to make objectives (please do that!). Then, once you’ve saved and beaten the level you may upload it for others to play. Playing through the story mode allows you to learn how certain items work and can be hidden. The only restrictions are that there can only be one of each chosen objective, and there can be no more than twenty special items.

You can search for other players’ levels online, and can search by time period, likes or choose a random stage. Most levels seem to be themed rather than difficult, and trying to make one myself I can see why. Still, I found some pretty complicated ones that had lower ratings. 

Jester You Wait

Hidden Through Time Nintendo Switch

The game has a stick figure style. Even the dinosaurs and other animals have stick legs. It’s very cute and helps to keep it simple enough that the objects themselves set the scene. The story mode has some very creative level designs including a rock sculpting competition and an outdoor dungeon. Other interactions like lighting a fire add to appearances but don’t reveal anything.

There appears to be only one music track which is relaxing but can get old fast, so eventually I just turned it off. Pressing animals, people and certain objects will give different sound effects which is a nice touch. The only bugs I’ve encountered is that one stage says I’ve completed it when there’s still an item not marked off. Sometimes when loading in it will take a bit for everything to properly appear.

Conclusion

It’s hard to state how long it would take someone to get through the story levels. Although, it is hard to imagine the game taking more than a few hours, depending on your ability to find objects. Playing other people’s levels or the more difficult task of creating your own can add a lot of playtime, too. Hidden Through Time’s cute stick figures and moving parts help to make it more enjoyable. The level creator expands this game’s value a lot more than the affordable price it’s already at. The only issues this game has (asides from one bug) is the repetitive music and lack of proper tutorial for level creation.

Pros

  • Level creation and player levels
  • Varied level designs even within the time themes
  • Cute art style

Cons

  • Repetitive looping soundtrack
  • Tutorial for level creation too minimal

Verdict

A perfect fit for those that will enjoy picking through charming dioramas for lizards and wizards.

4/5

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