There are some weird love stories out there with the destined two uniting against all odds. Robin Hood gets his Marion, and she agrees to trade her upscale living against a tree house. Still that is nothing compared to the challenges facing the love between Vera and Tom. In Mushroom Age you view the adventure from the eyes of Vera. She is just about to get married, but her fiancée Tom goes missing. All of us already married can remember the jitterbugs prior to the day, and a lot of brides and grooms go missing. Vera suspects that Tom is perhaps having another woman in his life, but she realises that the cellular phone is infact a time machine as she is propelled in time and space.
Mushroom Age is a hidden object game with loads of different puzzles. The hidden object aspect of the game either wants you to find a set of different objects or a number of the same object for example bugs. Zoom in and out is done by pinching in and out. There are sparkling effects around objects that can be moved or opened. A lot of objects can be picked up, and added to the inventory on top of the screen. These can then be either combined with other inventory objects or with objects on the playing area. Keys are used in this manner, and it gives the game a point and click adventure vibe. A hint button is shown in the upper right corner, and can be used without penalty. It takes quite a while to recharge, and isn’t too helpful if you have several objects left to find. It is quite easy to find most objects yourself, as they are most often placed in a realistic manner.
There are a plethora of different puzzles, and most of them are really nicely executed. A pipes game connecting pipes to get electricity to all nodes, a laser directing game using mirrors, and a ball bouncing to clear other balls game rank among the best. These could be fleshed out to standalone $0.99 games. The memory game involving massage points was a pain to complete, but still added a bit of variation. There is sadly a rather glaring factual error in the timeline game where you have to place different historical episodes in chronological order. Thanks to the hint button it could be completed anyway, but hopefully this will be corrected in a future update.
The presentation is magnificent, and graphically it is one of the best games for the iPhone at the moment. Clarity, depth and brightness make it really enjoyable. The different characters are nicely drawn, and the limited use of expressions make them come to life in a manner totally suiting the quirky story. The voice acting is also top notch for fauna, carnivore and historical philosophers. Vera and Tom are kind of annoying in how calm and collected they always sound. The music is fine, and you can play your own instead and keep the voices.
The game took me about four hours to complete, and all puzzles are manageable by the average gamer. This is perhaps the only flaw to the game, but it is a common problem with hidden object games. If you stick to it, you will complete it. Even if you use the hint button all the time the game can probably be completed within five hours. Facebook integration shows up at certain achievements, and this will probably please quite a few gamers.
Mushroom Age is the best hidden object game available today, and it gets my total recommendation. It is a highly entertaining journey through time and space. And you get to befriend both a dinosaur and a caveman. To me this is a game best enjoyed on a small screen, but it definately looks amazing on the iPad using the HD version.