Snark Busters: Welcome to the Club

8.5 Overall Score

Written by on August 5, 2010 in

Tired of the same old hidden object game?  Alawar Entertainment has introduced an alternative way to explore in their new game Snark Busters: Welcome to the Club.  In this land where steam powered contraptions abound, the main character is a bored heiress, Kira Robertson. Kira does what many bored heiresses do.  She gets into trouble with the law.  Her past time of choice is to steal police helmets.  Her latest escapade forces her overprotective poppa to take drastic action.  You start the game in a tutorial that helps set up the story.  Kira has been challenged to steal the helmet of the police chief who also happens to be her neighbor.  The player can choose to skip the tutorial but it is helpful in introducing the game controls and the background story.  Once successful in stealing the helmet Kira is horrified to realize her father has decided to lock her up in her room as punishment.   Her house arrest is intolerable for an adventurer of Kira’s caliber.  While trying to find a way to escape her imprisonment she stumbles unto an invitation to an elite club to track and capture the elusive creature, the snark.  This is an opportunity she can’t refuse and so begins her newest adventure.  Kira discovers she can travel to many new little worlds on her quest to find the snark.  Her unexplained disappearance is determined as a kidnapping by her father and a reporter keeps Kira informed of the investigation in short reports over televisions placed in various rooms in the game.

Kira’s search for the snark leads the player through 7 chapters, 30 rooms, dozens of puzzles, and over a dozen mini-games.  The very colorful and bright graphical environments are full of crazy steam-powered gadgets that are the source of many of the puzzles the player needs to solve.  I will give fair warning, however.  Any person of limited short term memory should keep a pen and paper handy to jot down any hints since there is no journal available to refresh memory.  The good news, if the player finds the right combination of numbers to open locks or combinations needed then they will appear on the screen when the player opens up the close-up view of the locked object.

This hidden object game is unique from many others in the genre.  In most games you sit in each room until you have found the required objects.  In most of these games the objects themselves seem to have very little to do with the story line and are not used after they have been found.  In this game the objects have been broken into several pieces.  The player needs to find all of the pieces to complete each object.  Once the object is complete, the player then uses the object to complete a puzzle in the room.  For example, you will find the pieces of a wrench so that you can open a fuse box and pull the fuses.  There is a reason to complete each object.  This is very refreshing and rewarding.

Another interesting twist in the game is that you will not find all of the objects before you can go to the next room.  In fact, many times you will need to travel between several rooms to activate switches and expose all of the pieces you need to complete all of the objects.  You will sometimes need to open cabinets or move objects in the room to find hidden objects.  Each object you need to find is displayed at the bottom of the screen.  All of the pieces that are readily visible in the room are shown in color.  Those pieces hidden from view are shown in red and when you find a piece to an object it disappears from view.  If the player does not know what to do next there is a very generous hint option.  There is a bubble at the bottom right of the screen that fills up until a question mark becomes visible.  Once full, the player can click on it to get a hint.  This is a game with no time limits or points.  It is a true casual game that celebrates the story.  Another nice feature is that the player can click through dialog to set their own pace.

What is the bottom line?  I have to say I love the intricate gameplay features.  It is the hidden object game a very intriguing new twist while embracing the casual game.  The player will not have to worry about a time clock or missing points.  The game focuses on the story and the objects.  The player must find the pieces to the objects and then use those objects are used to solve the puzzles.   This process is very rewarding and much more comprehensive than most games in this genre.  I loved jumping between all of the rooms to uncover new clues and new pieces of objects.  The player goes on a real adventure that does not stop until the game ends.  Gamers looking for the next big thing in hidden object games are in for a real treat.  So come on, join the club.

A copy of the game Snark Busters: Welcome to the Club was provided to The Married Gamers for the purpose of examination and review.

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Author: Melisa Snyder View all posts by

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