I am playing Awakening: The Dreamless Castle (via Big Fish Games), after a quite pleasant experience …

I am playing Awakening: The Dreamless Castle (via Big Fish Games), after a quite pleasant experience playing Drawn: The Painted Tower. It turns out that ‘hidden object’ games are exactly what I’m in the mood for these days: gorgeous, lavish fantasy illustrations that I’m rewarded for looking at closely, with stories that, if not amazing are at least compelling and evocative. Yes, what used to just be hidden picture puzzles are now more like Myst, with puzzles as well as things to find!

Big Fish Games and their ‘hidden object’ games fascinates me because it’s clearly a huge part of the gaming market; Big Fish is thriving and publishes new games almost every day (not all are HO games). And yet among the various gamer circles I intersect, none of them ever even mention this kind of game. I didn’t even know it existed until recently! There’s this massive divide, it seems like. And hidden object games seem like… like the romance genre equivalent within the game industry.

Anyhow, I have to go back to helping Sophia escape her magic castle. I really wonder what she needs all these weapons for…

ETA: OK, so it’s a popular trope so far: tiny girl sent away from her parents for magical reasons and so she can eventually save the world (I think?) but in both Drawn and Awakening there are so many images of the loving parents who gave their child up that it’s really quite melancholy from the perspective of the mother of small children. I know it’s just a standard storytelling trope but the melancholia definitely adds to the compelling nature of the stories for me.


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