Where’s Waldo?™ The Fantastic Journey is a game based directly on the format of the children’s books by Martin Handford. Being from Sweden this is actually my first encounter with the hilarious Waldo with his characteristic striped clothes, hat and round glasses. Where’s Waldo is basically a hidden object game within illustrated book form, and now that same idea is brought to the iPhone. Hidden object games are quite common for the iPhone but I have yet to try one where the level of detail is as high as in Where’s Waldo?™ The Fantastic Journey.
Waldo gets lost a lot, and you have to find him as he travels the world in his lost state. His friends get lost as well, and you have to find Wizard Whitebeard, Wenda and the cute dog Woof as well. Woof is the most organized of them, and you can get help finding objects by tapping him if you have any bones left for him to chew.
The game is touch controlled where you tap the object or person you are searching for. Guessing just tapping randomly will bring dizzy birds where you tapped. Dragging lets you scroll the part of the map you are currently searching. You can choose which object to look for, and the game zooms into different parts of a larger map to help you find what you are looking for. The maps are highly detailed with loads of funny situations, and expressions. Fighting priests, feasting people and whatever human behaviour possible within the frames of a children’s book. I find myself really enjoying looking at all the people cluttering my small screen. Some parts of the images are animated to breath life into the image, and I find myself mesmerised. What snaps me out of the adoration of all the little details is the timer ticking down. A bar at the bottom of the screen refills each time you find an object, but keeps going down and reducing your star rating for each second you hesitate and search.
The timer is there both for the normal and kid level of difficulty, and quite frankly I find it to be quite bothersome and stressful. Thankfully developer Ludia has promised an update that will include a mode without timer. Furthermore they promise scrollable maps as well for those who want to enjoy the illustrations fully.
The graphics is everything in Where’s Waldo?™ The Fantastic Journey, and it is really spectacular. Even though the illustrations are full of details I have no trouble finding my way around them. The menus and overall presentation feels really polished.
The music is good adventure music suitable to the gameplay. Voice acting for the different characters is really good as well, and getting good remarks from Whitebeard warms my heart.
Where’s Waldo?™ The Fantastic Journey is a hidden object game, and you have to ask yourself if that is your cup of tea. I didn’t think it was my cup of tea until I tried finding Waldo, but I still think someone should give him a GPS to find his way around. The timer ticking down bothers me at times as I rather look at the illustrations for a while. They remind me of the illustrations my dentist had in his ceiling when I was a child, and as I never had any dental problems I only have good memories of those illustrations. If you are looking for a polished hidden object game you can’t go wrong with Where’s Waldo?™ The Fantastic Journey.
Where’s Waldo?™ The Fantastic Journey $2.99 40% sale