After a first look at the game, courtesy of creative director Cara Ely, it's clear that Hidden Chronicles is an intriguing, more mature step for Zynga. And much of that is likely thanks to Ely's expertise: Before joining Zynga, she spent five years crafting hidden-object games for companies like Sierra Online and iPlay. In short, she knows her stuff, and it shows in Hidden Chronicles throughout. But while it's a slightly more mature experience, Ely promises that newbies won't be left behind.
"This is a game for everyone. If you've ever read Highlights magazine at the dentist's office, that's sort of the childlike version, Ely tells us. "Thematically, we do have this mystery, we have this element of 'The Da Vinci Code' a little bit. There's this thread line of a mystery throughout. I think the storyline is certainly a bit more sophisticated."
Gallery: Hidden Chronicles on Facebook
So, instead of wasting valuable words discussing how Hidden Chronicles plays, an attempt should be made to explore what's new about this hidden-object game. When compared to the downloadable item-finders of yore, Hidden Chronicles is far more social, boasting leader boards and even 60-second scenes that Facebook friends can challenge one another with, called Fast Finds. Ely likens these to the turn-based play of Words With Friends.
But that's only how it's different from traditional games in the genre. How does it stand out from its social competition? Players can also find, yes, more hidden-object scenarios to complete by exploring the manor's massive acreage. "You can see something we've really learned from CastleVille," Ely admits, "players love exploring and finding new things on their game board."
Hidden Chronicles appears to do a wonderful job in the visuals and sound department, a Facebook experience perhaps only a studio with Zynga's resources can provide. Ely's vast experience in the hidden-object world shines throughout, and will especially blow away those who have yet to play such a game on Facebook. And while even those that have might have a similar reaction, Hidden Chronicles looks as if it's an (far more robust) echo of those games. Hidden Chronicles launches today on Facebook in 15 languages.
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What do you think of Hidden Chronicles based on this first look? Is this different enough for you from what's already available? Sound off in the comments. Add Comment.