What is hidden in the Funny Wood? Hopefully not Pete from TouchGen Unleashed Podcast.
Now this feels like a setup, and a proper one at that. How can I get past the title of the game when the name of our head honcho at TouchGen is Mr Nigel Wood. I better get it off my chest right away because Funny Wood is a weird name in itself, but it gets weirder when I associate it to my boss. No disrespect or anything, and I would never call Nigel funny in a bad way. He has humor, and a great attitude. If it would be someone perhaps deserving a bit of funny it would be Dave LeClair, but then Funny LeClair would not work would it. That is if someone makes a bakery oriented game called Funny (L)Éclair.
Now when all that personal stuff is sorted, and I have insulted a couple of TouchGen founders I can carry on with the actual review of Funny Wood.
Funny Wood is a hidden object game in the vein of Where’s Waldo. You get a variety of objects to find in a cluttered scene. There are lots of things happening all over the scene, and the game gets even harder due to clouds, bubbles or other environmental effects covering the scene. You can swipe, or tap and drag the clouds away but it does take some extra time. Once you find something you are looking for you tap it, and get a positive feedback. Once you have found all objects the scene ends, and you either get new objects for the same map or progress to the next with a short story.
The objects you are looking for is found in a pocket that you can tap to bring them out full screen. Not having them available all the time makes the game much harder, and I have to go back to the pocket quite often to brush up on the shapes and details of the objects.
Once for each scene you can use the magnifying glass that immediately finds one of the hidden objects. There is IAP to buy other helpful tools, but then the game is kind of not what it was supposed to be. A hidden object game with all-seeing, and all-powerful is like playing Doom with unlimited ammo for the BFG.
When I get tired playing hidden object games I start tapping everywhere, and hopefully I find something. This tactics isn’t that successful in Funny Wood because of the clouds/bubbles/obstacles, and the fact that the game is really picky on tap recognition. Even when I see the object I am looking for clearly it can take two to three taps for the game to register.
There are two game modes: story, and survival. The story mode is a slow pleasant journey to a party among friends. Survival mode is timed, and makes me stressed out. It is one thing not finding that darn tennis racket when I have unlimited time, but on time it becomes much more frustrating. Not finding the correct item can mean that the initially generous time runs out slowly. I write slowly because it soon feels slow.
Game Center integration brings online scores, and 50 trophies and achievements. This is the only real motivation to improve times, and keep playing after all the six scenes have been unlocked. Given how random hidden object games can be it is hard to feel motivated to beat scores. Sure if you play it together with someone on the same iPad it might be a possibility to reduce time taken.
The strength of the game is the nice colorful presentation that gives a real feel-good vibration. The scenes remind me of the posters found at the dentist with a lot of stuff going on. Some characters in the scenes have sound effects, and just finding those can pass the time. Overall this is a really kid friendly game both when it comes to gameplay, and subject matter.
Funny Wood is a slow paced hidden object game with some issues bringing it down. For one the haphazard tap recognition annoys when the correct object isn’t picked up when tapped. Furthermore I dislike the fact that the objects I am looking for aren’t seen unless I open the pocket. I think this is a good distraction for kids aged three to seven, but definitely not a game for teen or adults. A split recommendation then: thumbs up for your kids on iPad, iPhone or iPod, and thumbs down for those looking for a challenging hidden object game.
Hidden Wood HD $0.99 iPad only
Seller: Chillingo Ltd.
Funny Wood $0.99 iPhone/iPod version