Hidden Folks Review: A cute and whimsical Where's Waldo for the digital age

Move over Waldo, there’s a new bunch of findable characters in town!

Growing up I had a plethora of books and games dedicated to finding things. Where’s Waldo, I Spy (shoutout to my fellow Canucks), and Where in the World is Carmen Sandiego were just a few of the titles that would occupy my time and give my parents a few minutes of peace before I was causing some sort of ruckus or fighting with my older brother.

While I haven’t picked up a Where’s Waldo book in 15 years, Folks made me feel just like I had one in my hands again, but the experience was even more mesmerizing than I remembered.

Play Folks today!

Gameplay

As you can imagine, the gameplay in Hidden Folks is pretty straightforward. You are given a list of characters, animals, and objects you have to find in each scene by tapping around the screen. Each item comes with a tiny hint that helps you locate the object, and when you find so many objects you can move on to the next level.

“Before you know it, the levels become complex and massive.”

The levels start out pretty simple and small, but before you know it they become complex and massive. In fact, by the time I hit the fourth level I spent so much time scrolling through the level just to see everything, that I opted to continue playing on my iPad. I also found the larger screen helped reduce eye-strain from staring at small characters on the screen for long period of time.

You also don’t spend a 100% of your time looking for characters in huge areas, there are a few levels where you simply need to help one of the characters make his or her way across the terrain. These levels offer a pleasant, but short reprieve from the standard gameplay and gives your brain and eyes a couple minutes to relax.

Design & Sound

It’s hard for me to believe that all the levels, characters, animals, trees, and other scenery in Hidden Folks is hand drawn. Sure, all the stick figures and line art definitely looks the part of hand-drawn, but the sheer amount of artwork involved makes it almost insane to believe.

Everything you tap on has some sort of animation, big or small it doesn’t matter, everything can be interacted with. Tents can be opened, shrubs can be cut down, people will jump or move, and all of that was drawn by hand. If you don’t appreciate the work and craftsmanship behind the charming art found in the game, I would argue that perhaps Hidden Folks may not be the perfect game for you.

Going hand-in-hand with the game’s childlike drawings and its overall charm is the mouth created sound effects. Once again the amount of work put into the sound is mind-boggling. The Hidden Folks description in the App Store cites the developers have included more than 960 sound effects and I believe it.

Everything you touch has a unique sound. No two characters sound alike, different vegetation makes different noises while being chopped, and every animal lets out a different call, once again showing off the creativity on display in things game.

“Everything you touch has a unique sound.”

As impressive as the vast sound effects library is, I did find myself getting annoyed at the various beeps, bleeps, boops, and woops that the game shouts out at you pretty often. While I enjoyed hearing every new sound for the first time, hearing that sound for the 20th time gets on your nerves.

My Verdict:

Pros:

Huge levels with lots to findHand-drawn childlike art is superbChallenging to find everything

Cons:

Sound effects can get on your nerves

Hidden Folks is an amazingly crafted puzzle game that strives for simplicity and succeeds with flying colors.

Finding everything on each level is quite the challenge and Hidden folks will make you flex your brain power to figure out certain hints that accompany each findable person or object.

The hand-drawn art is as charming as it is impressive and you’ll spend just as much time looking around each level enjoying the design as you will squinting your eyes trying to find Beekeeper Barry.

When it’s so easy to see all the time and effort the developers put into making Hidden Folks a unique experience. It’s a no-brainer to purchase the game for $3.99.

Play Hidden Folks today!

What do you think?

Have you been playing Hidden Folks, I’d like to know what you think! Leave a comment below about your experience with the game.

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