Threads of Mystery plays similarly to most other Playdom hidden object games, like Blackwood & Bell Mysteries or Gardens of Time. Your game hub is your aunt's former Fashion House, a mansion that is covered in fog, but can be restored over time with decorations, sewing and design tables, furniture and more. Each item placed in the Fashion House adds spirit points to your total, with different amounts of Spirit Points being required to unlock each scene within the game.
Starting with a Parisian cafe and the Moulin Rouge, your time in Threads of Mystery will see you traveling through Paris, with scenes separated into chapters based on their place in the story and the clues you can find within. These clues add real depth to the storyline, as you'll talk with local residents and historians alike about the era in which your aunt lived, and will uncover conspiracies along the way. There are dozens of letters, postcards and pictures to examine and read (where applicable), which helps flesh out a story that could otherwise be viewed as far too cliche.
Scenes themselves contain 12 hidden objects each (with only a few exceptions), but only six are available to view at a time. You'll unlock different kinds of hints that will point out hidden objects, and you'll be timed and scored based not only on the time it takes you to complete the scene, but also on your clicking accuracy and active combos. The scoring system is fairly identical to other hidden object games, but the addition of a precision score does allow you to earn more individual points per scene than you might in other hidden object games. Still, the amount of points needed to master a scene have been tweaked accordingly, so accomplishing said mastery is still just as difficult and time consuming as it ever was.
As of right now, the social features within Threads of Mystery are a bit hit or miss, as loading a friends' Fashion House will often result in the game freezing entirely, forcing you to refresh the game. If you do manage to arrive safely within a friend's game, you can challenge them to a 60 second match where points are earned based on the number of items you can find in an incredibly cluttered scene within that minute. These scenes are the most challenging within the game, but standard scenes are mostly easy to complete, with proper object naming and only a few items that have had their sizes skewed. Some might be presented with more than one name as you repeatedly complete a scene (a classroom globe might be called a "Globe" or "Mother Earth," as examples), but this design choice really only affects your combo points in a particular scene, and doesn't harm the overall experience.
Gallery: Threads of Mystery on Facebook
With Threads of Mystery, players are presented with an incredibly familiar experience, that only arguably feels new thanks to the addition of a Fashion House as the home location, rather than building a city. Expansions within the Fashion House cost charms and coins to unlock, but without 100% functioning social features, getting friends to stick around in the game, and therefore send you charms, is easier said than done.
This leaves Threads of Mystery to suffer just as other hidden object games do, with a lack of energy resources (or, conversely, scenes that are too energy-draining to play) and too much of a focus placed on finding the same items time and time again only to earn enough coins to unlock additional scenes and repeat the cycle. The Parisian, murder-mystery theme is fresh and interesting, and the new French hidden object scenes are also presented nicely, but there isn't enough originality in Threads of Mystery's basic gameplay to warrant the time dedication necessary to make much progress, especially if you're already heavily invested in Playdom's many other hidden object games on Facebook.
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