The Secret Society: Hidden Mystery
System(s): iPhone, iPod Touch, iPad
Release Date: Dec, 12 2012
Publisher (Developer): G5 Entertainment
ESRB Rating: “Everyone”
G5’s The Secret Society: Hidden Mystery is a free casual hidden item adventure game that will have you transporting to all sorts of interesting places around the word to look for lost items, and your lost uncle. You will meet interesting people and discover a secret society of magic users.
G5 creates a lot of casual phone and tablet games, especially ones designed for the iOS. If you want to play this one make sure you have iOS 4.5 or higher.
The Secret’s in the Pictures
It all starts when you receive a strange letter from your Uncle Richard’s secretary saying that he has mysteriously disappeared. You also find out that you are part of a secret society called the Order of the Seekers that has the magical ability to teleport to any location through a photograph. Since you are Uncle Richard’s only living heir, and the only one with the magical ability to move through photos, it’s your job to find out what happened to him and protect the society from the dangerous men trying to find its secrets.
Secret Society: Hidden Mystery is played by going to different locations via a stack of photos your uncle left you, and finding all the hidden items on the screen. You are also asked by Uncle Richard’s butler and secretary to find various things that are missing (because it’s somehow your responsibility to find stuff they lost but whatever.) These items go into different collections that you can complete throughout the game. Along with collections there are also achievements you can unlock and experience to earn different levels.
You unlock the various picture levels as you play Secret Society: Hidden Mystery by spending some of your coins and by finding the pieces, since the photos have all been ripped up and scattered throughout the different locations. You can either wait to find the pieces as the game progresses or you could use your diamonds to unlock the levels instead. This is not recommended though unless you are really impatient because diamonds are a lot harder to come by than coins. G5 included options for you to buy coins and diamonds using real money. Of course you don’t need to pay for anything. It’s just if you want lots of extra coins and diamonds.
There are over 20 locations to visit and G5 will be adding more over time. Along with the hidden item puzzles, there are also three other games you can play: a block sliding game, a pipe connecting game, and a memory match game. All three games need to be unlocked as well or bought with diamonds.
Search and Ye Shall Find
As you play and search for items you earn experience and coins. Experience is needed to advance in level (which gives you perks like more energy) and coins are needed to buy items and unlock picture levels. You also get those things from helping find lost items. Each time you go into a picture you spend energy points. You start out with 50 and every three minutes you get another point (it maxes at 50 though.) So it takes about 17 minutes for your energy to fully recharge when you are empty. You can also use items to recharge your energy such as coffee. You can either find the items while playing or you can buy them with your coins. So this means you can’t play the game for very long unless you buy a lot of recharging items or wait for your energy to recharge.
You can also use the coins to buy puzzle aids. There are no free hints in Secret Society: Hidden Mystery like there are in other hidden games. Instead, you can use six different items: dynamite which finds 5 random items for you, a clock which adds more time to the clock, a compass that points you in the right direction of an item, an eye that finds on object and two other items that aid you in the dark locations. You start out with five of each and you also find them during gameplay. You get a new “eye” helper after every level.
You will need to visit each location several times and earn different rankings. It is always the same scene, but the items move around to make it harder and different each time. Sometimes the list of items show up as silhouettes that you have to find which make it a bit easier. You also only have 5 minutes to find all the items on the screen and you are penalized 10 seconds for randomly clicking too many times.
There isn’t much of a story with Secret Society: Hidden Mystery. You will talk to people here and there and find clues that will help you locate your uncle, but it is mostly just casual gameplay.
So Secret Society: Hidden Mystery is a nice little casual hidden game that is fun to play, even if you can only play it in short spurts. The use of collections, achievments, and the three non-hidden object games give it more variety and something to accomplish other then finding scads of random items. The lack of a real enthralling story makes it less of an adventure game.
It’s challenging and a bit repetitive, but that is usually to be expected from hidden games. The energy limits of each play make it a short experience each time, but that also means you won’t beat it too quickly. And hey, you just can’t beat the price!