While hidden object games have been a thing on mobile for some time, a new trend of hidden object game is starting, and I’m totally okay with it. This trend has players searching for things in more of a “Where’s Wally” style affair rather than looking for random objects in a clutter of other crap. Under Leaves is the latest of this “find-’em-all” genre, and it’s absolutely stunning.
Under Leaves is playable on both iOS and Steam, however for the sake of this review we opted for the more casual mobile experience. That evening we set our iPad on the bed, and my wife and I put our thinking caps on and began.
In Under Leaves players are tasked by a series of adorable animals dotted throughout the world to find a certain numbers of items from leaves, flowers, and acorns, to urchins, starfish, and sea snails. Each of the animals can be found in their homes throughout Earth which is a lovely touch, too.
While the game is aimed at a much younger audience, I can’t deny that my time with the game was enjoyable. Sure, it only took us a few hours to get through it all, but there’s so much to explore it’s a truly wonderful game.
What makes Under Leaves a little more than just another hidden object game is that when players pick levels they learn where each animal’s habitat is located in the world, it’s a little touch, bot a lovely one. Also, as players progress through the game each location gets populated with more and more animals and their families.
There’s a total of six locations around the world where 21 animals can be found. There’s also no text to go by, just a single bubble with what you’re require to search for and how many. It’s an incredibly simple game but it’s absolutely a joy to play.
As you’d expect with hidden object games things begin pretty simply, however as players progress levels get much busier as more animals populate the location. This makes finding some of the objects a little tougher, in some places almost impossible. However there’s the ability to receive a hint by solving a slide puzzle of the game’s logo. These hint puzzles again begin easy, but as you require more and more hints, these puzzles become a lot harder too.
Visually the game is made up of hand painted graphics all of which are absolutely charming, from the lush forests of South America, to the deep oceans of South Atlantic Ocean the level of detail is lovely. Even when you zoom into each area there’s hardly a loss of quality which is nice. Though if I were to be critical, I’d say that the ocean levels are probably the most difficult due to the sheer level of blues found within.
While I can’t vouch for the PC version of the game, the iOS version was responsive and even handled two people jabbing at the screen at once, which you can definitely expect if you’re playing the game with little ones. Even swiping between screens wasn’t awkward, it was overall a pleasant experience on mobile.
Overall, Under Leaves is an incredibly relaxing and pleasant game, even if you end up getting stuck it’s not too difficult to find a solution. However, if you’re looking for a game to keep you occupied for some time, you might need to look elsewhere as we probably got two hours, tops out of the game. Though you know what they say about too much of a good thing…
Under Leaves launches on PC and iOS on April 27.