It’s that time again, where I try to review something with a critical eye, and as unbiased as I can be. Of course, why would I review something if I don’t absolutely love it, or absolutely hate it? I’ll try though.
Anyway, today’s topic of review are a few games that I find both fun and absolute hell. What I’m talking about are hidden objects games, where you have to find the target items amongst a mess of a scene. The two games I’ll be reviewing today are:
Why? Because I absolutely love these two games, and I love to hate them, and I hate to love them, and I think you guys would love to play them too.
Manors, Clues And Treasure
Ok, let’s start with what these games are about. I’ll start off with Manor Matters, since that was the one I first played, before adding June’s Journey to my daily plays. As I said before, these games are hidden object games. What that means is, you play a scene, in which you have to find specific items that are either a part of the story that gets played out throughout the game, or something related to the scene you’re playing.
Now, Manor Matters, is a little different to the standard hidden-object game. If you’ve played Gardenscape or Homescape, you’ll probably know what I mean. Instead of being a mystery game, that’s solely based on the mystery, they actually use their levels to help you renovate an old manor, which you first move into, at the very beginning of the game.
Of course, there are a few mysteries that you come across throughout the game, like the mystery of an old treasure trove that the original owners had made, to keep away from pirates, or the mystery of the globe in the entrance hall, or the fountain in the garden courtyard. While they might be the main focus of each section, they’re not the actual focus of the game itself. Like I said, the game is about renovating an old and rundown manor. So, instead of just adding to the collection of items you’ve already got, you’re making each room brighter and more colourful with the furniture you pick out every time you complete a mission.
Why Do I Like It?
It’s simple, I love puzzles and I renovation games. The only downside to most of the renovation games I’ve played before are either pure renovations, so if you know about games like Design Home or Redecor, you’ll know what I mean. You’re basically redecorating a room with objects and patterns that are either presets or you have to buy them using the in-game currency. While I might like these games too, and I might do a review later, there isn’t enough interaction, other than decorating a room or voting for your favourite design, to get those in-game coins, or energy to decorate a new room, or buy the latest items they offer.
On the flip side, you have other hidden object games like June’s Journey or Mystery Manor (not to be confused with Manor Matters). Although I like these games too, with the stylised illustrations and animations, sometimes the levels can be a bit repetitive. Don’t get me wrong, Manor Matters is repetitive too, but not quite in the same way as these games are. What I mean is, games like June’s Journey have you play levels that use the same objects in the exact same positions they were before. The only catch is they might add extra objects to find, to make the level a little more intense.
With Manor Matters, if you play a level and you’re stuck, which will happen, and you replay that level, the objects aren’t always in the same place. In fact, they move the objects around, and the style of the object. So, if you’re looking for a watering can, in the greenhouse, you’ll find five different positions, colours and styles of watering cans in that level, and every time you replay it, they won’t always be in the same spot, or have the same style.
This is why I love this game, I love to hate it, and I hate to love it. It’s because it changes with every play, and this makes it that little bit more difficult. Of course, it gets really frustrating at times, especially when you’re up against a hard level, or a super hard level, but that’s what makes the game interesting, and you can’t help but want to win that level, without the use of your extra help.
Another reason I love Manor Matters is because the animation, the illustrations and the storyline are lighter than the ones you’d find in other hidden-object games. You’ll find that either the story is intense, which tend to be about paranormal activity, or a missing person, or a crime, or the illustration is highly stylised, what I mean is you have the pretty backgrounds, the 1920s style characters, or the Victorian style characters, who are either creepy looking and have an agenda, or they look too innocent to be innocent. Manor Matters strikes a balance with this, because the character animations are light, and the storyline is about finding out the mysteries behind the rooms of the manor, which tend to be about treasure and knowledge about the manor’s past. There is no sign of murder, or ghosts, even if there is a hint of them in each storyline.
Puzzles, Murders And Crimes
Now, while I complained earlier about playing a game that’s all about murders and crimes, June’s Journey, isn’t as bad as some of the other games out there. The levels are actually pretty easy to play and it isn’t just about finding objects.
With June’s Journey, you’re building up a garden, or in some cases an entire island full of buildings, flowers, paths and decorations. Some make more sense than others though, and you’ll find that as you play along. Every month a new seasonal challenge comes out, and depending on what that challenge is, you’ll find different decorative pieces you could add to your “garden”, which may make sense, if you’re diligent enough to place those pieces strategically. Of course, I don’t really have time for that, so I literally place those pieces randomly in my garden, as a testament to how much I’ve played and how much I’ve unlocked.
I’ve said this before, June’s Journey isn’t just a hidden-objects game. In fact, there are puzzles that you have to solve as well, in order to proceed with the next chapter of the story. I say chapter, because when you play the levels, you’re literally playing each level like a page, and when you’ve mastered each level, you move on to the next scene via an open book.
Now, like I said, you have to solve a puzzle before you move on. I don’t mean a riddle, or a jigsaw, which you actually get when you earn card pieces for each character you come across. What I mean is a sort of point and click kind of puzzle. So, you’re given a scene, where you need to figure out how to gain access to a restricted area, or you have to set up the scene for the next chapter. If you’ve played games like the ones created by Her Interactive for their Nancy Drew series, you’ll know what I mean. What you need to do is find the tools you need to progress to the next chapter, and this is what sets June’s Journey apart from the rest of those hidden-objects games.
What’s So Interesting About It?
First off, the fact that you’re solving a murder that’s close to home, for the main characters is one thing. It’s what starts the whole thing off, and unlike the traditional hidden-objects games, it’s not a dark and stormy night, you enter the house of the deceased on a bright and sunny day, and instead of dark and brooding rooms, the levels you play are cheerful and full of light. Of course, there are some that are dark and brooding, but they’re not as bad as some of the very stylised versions that want you to squint your eyes or brighten your screen to be able to see the objects you’re looking for.
What I also love about this game is that you’ve got many different mini games and challenges, not just ever season or week, but every time you finish a level, you’ve unlocked rewards that give you the energy, in-game money and pieces you need to progress. While, yes, a lot of the time you’ll either have to watch ads or actually buy the pieces you need, you don’t actually have to, and you can enjoy the game without the purchases.
Another thing that makes the game interesting is that each scene makes sense, even if some of the items might not. They style the items to look like they should be in the scene, and sometimes, when you can’t find the object, it’s literally just staring you in the face, and you just have to accept the fact that you’re blind.
Now, while this game might be like the others, where the objects you’re looking for are in the same place, and are exactly the same style, what makes it stand out from the rest is the fact that you can freely replay your previous levels, to increase the star rating of each level. What I mean is that for a perfectionist like me, I can replay the levels I’ve mastered, over and over again, until I reach the all-important five stars for each scene. I can replay it, without feeling like I’m on repeat. It takes a number of tries to reach the five stars, and it isn’t too much I feel like I need to move on. Not to mention, you’re given a list of the top 40 players for that level, and that’s another objective you can try to beat, which gives you that incentive to carry on and finish the level.
One Final Word Of Caution
Ok, so both these games have two very different styles, but each one just as good as the other. The only thing I will say is if you like timed levels, Manor Matters is the game you should play. If you like to take things slowly, go for June’s Journey. I like both styles myself. If I’m out of energy for Manor Matters, I can always jump onto June’s Journey to get my gaming fix, without having to worry about finishing the other.
Now it’s your turn! Have you played these games before? Are you playing them now? What do you think about them? Let me know, because I’d love to hear your opinions on these games, whether or not you’re a fan of hidden-object games, or what other kind of games you’re into.
Well, that’s it from me today, I’ll see you guys next time. For now, don’t forget to like, subscribe and follow for more updates and the latest posts here on Feather’s Charm and on my social media accounts. Oh, and share these posts with family and friends, those who you’d think might enjoy these topics and tips! I’ll see you later!