Hidden Through Time is a game in the same form and style of a find-and-spot puzzle book. While the game does what it aims to do with simplicity and safeness, it is still an enjoyable pastime for family-friendly fun. With excellent visuals and a light-hearted sense of humor, this game is worth the modest price tag of $7.99. And, as an added plus, it is one of the easiest opportunities for a platinum trophy.
A Story Mode Without a Story
While a ‘Story Mode’ is available, there is no story to speak of. Instead, twenty-six levels are playable. Every several-or-so levels comes a new historical period to play through, totaling to four. This quartet is the Stone Age, ancient Egyptian times, the Middle Ages, and finally the American frontier (Wild West) period. Levels within sets get harder as you progress, adding in a more busy environment of characters and objects as well as more objectives to complete. This is a healthy dose of content for an inexpensive game, but some kind of presentation would have been ideal as well as an actual plot to live up to the title of ‘Story Mode.’
Seek, and you Shall Find
Mechanically-speaking, this is one of the most basic games you can play. Each level is a map with items to find, and discovering them all advances the level. You can zoom in and out and move across to get a better look. Because many of the levels take place within villages and encampments, homes can be clicked on to reveal their interior contents. Some other intractable objects include chests and even breakable rocks that get shaped into statues. Depending on the thing, clicking on stuff can make a comic or even mysterious sound effect. While you can sometimes click randomly on a smaller level to succeed, huger areas require a methodical search. Either way, the witty clues and challenging layouts will keep puzzle-solvers interested. That is if you do not search up the solutions online.
Each set of levels captures the look of their respective time periods well. There are details within the environments and characters that are well-researched, like the presence of Egyptian soldiers equipped with oxhide shields. The art style makes these historical settings look lovely and sprightly. The pastel color scheme is not too soft nor harsh in vibrancy — achieving a pleasing visual balance. In another graphical area, animations are given proper attention also. The way the characters walk, dance, and flail about with their stick limbs is amusing. Even with a lack of mouths and other facial features, humans, creatures, and animals are expressive.
Play, Create, Share
Once done with the main missions, you may be inclined to take a gander at the selection of online puzzles created by the community. While a small amount is here as of yet, only more levels will be built over time. The levels created so far are pretty good and can even rival some of the story mode’s for sheer head-scratching objectives. Want to publish your own levels? Well, there is the ‘Map Editor’ for that. Here, you will get access to the full selection of assets used to create the scenarios of Hidden Through Time.
While not as accessible as on the Switch and PC versions, the creative tools available work well enough. I wish there were a 360-degree spin function or the ability to customize characters, however. As seen above, I tried to recreate the town of the ‘Hidden People’ from the animated TV series ‘Hilda,’ so the chance to change clothing or hair color would have been instrumental in a faithful recreation. Nevertheless, I am very happy with how the map editor can get my creative juices flowing.
A Good Puzzle Through and Through
Hidden Through Time is a pleasing game of spot-and-find that will give you hours of head-scratching entertainment. With a growing set of online creations and a neat map editor, this is also a promising catalyst for a close-knit community. Even with the slight hiccups it has, the modest price tag for the game is wholly worth it.
You can buy Hidden Through time on PSN here.