|Publisher: GameHouse Genre: Puzzle & Trivia|
|Min OS X: 10.2|
GameHouse’s recent release, Little Shop of Treasures is an elegant little game with plenty of fun for fans of the hidden picture genre.
The game is similar in some respects to Nickelodeon’s television show, “Finders Keepers,” which debuted in the 1990s, and the popular book series, Where’s Waldo, by Martin Handford. Oddly enough, the Treasure Shop in the game looks amazingly similar to the Finders Keepers house of the television show.
The basic storyline for Little Shop is that you’re trying to raise money to open your own little curio shop by working at several other second-hand stores around town. Your job is to help customers who come to you asking for certain items. However, rather than deal with the issue of money, your rewards are based on time. You get a higher score in the game by finding all the items fast within a certain amount of time. You get a bronze star for serving 10 customers before your time runs out. If you manage to serve another five, you get a gold star, too.
In each level, you get several opportunities to receive hints on what the items look like that you are searching for. The hints don’t give any indication of where the items may be, but they do provide pictures, which can be very helpful. You also can earn additional hints if you click on question marks that show up among the junk during the game.
In playing this game with four of my kids (ranging in age from 10 to 21), I found that they really liked working in pairs. I sat for quite a few hours with my 10 year old identifying objects while she clicked them. In fact, she would have been hard pressed to find very many of them without my help because she had no idea what they might look like based on their descriptions. If you have never seen an antique coffee grinder or a bamboo rice steamer, you may appreciate some help identifying them. I used to have the same sort of fun years ago helping my kids find Waldo. In addition to being fun for kids, Little Shop would also be great fun for grandparents to play with their grandkids.
Because you’re working to fund the renovation of your own shop, you make the rounds of the same second-hand shops over and over. In between levels, you see your weekly planner. It shows where you’re working on any given day and also what your chores are at your own shop. Eventually, you open your own Little Shop and get to help customers there.
When you have finally completed all rounds in a given shop, then you get access to Blitz mode for that level, which you access from the Main Menu. In Blitz mode, you have to find all the items in the shop in the shortest amount of time. Biltz may seem a bit daunting, but it won’t be that difficult, since by the time you can play it you will have seen that same level, with all the same items in the same places, time after time.
Little Shop of Treasures will provide many hours of fun for those who love to hunt for intriguing booty hidden amongst rubbish.
Pros• Interesting picture finding game
• Addictive gameplay
• Enjoyable storyline
• Attractive interface
• Attractive soundtrack
• Unlockable Blitz mode adds challenging replay value