Have you ever thought about being an antique dealer? I don’t mean on the high end, buying and selling priceless, authenticated works of art. I mean sifting through people’s attics and garages, trying to find some expensive item that’s been mistaken for a piece of junk. If so, then there’s a good chance Pickers is a game you s hould check out!
This is an unusual but obvious entrant into the "hidden object" puzzle genre. Instead of the focus being on solving a mystery or gathering clues, Pickers has you sifting through people's collected hoards in various locales throughout the country for no other reason than profit. The main campaign of the game is fairly straightforward. You have thirty days to find the creme de la creme of second hand collectible goods, and at the end of each day try to turn a profit on what you’ve picked (hence the title of the game). There’s a huge load of junk to sift through, along with a wide variation of locations, but you can only purchase seven items each day. The challenge is to pick the best items at the hottest times, buying low and selling high!
Graphically, Pickers does it's job pretty well. This kind of game really requires clear and eyecatching graphics, not only for presentation, but also to make the task of visually searching for interesting items as easy on the eyes as possible. Every item you come across has some beautiful 2D detail, and there’s some pleasure to be had in mentally cataloging each and every item you come across, trying to figure out which object in the horde will be your best bet or match the different categories. The environments and characters are well-designed as well, hovering somewhere on the border between realistic and cartoony. Suffice to say, the game is easy on the eyes – or as easy as it can be when you are, quite literally, digging through other people’s trash. The gameplay in Pickers is really simple. As previously noted, each day you can pick a maximum of seven items from a very wide variety of items and location. You’ll have to negotiate with the item’s owner, trying to haggle them down as low as they’ll go without upsetting them...which could lead to a temporary inability to deal with them further. Afterwards, you can decide whether to risk your item in an auction, netting a fraction of it's price/worth...or price it for sale in your store - where NPCs will try to haggle you down from your initial list price. If you’re the sort of person who just loves to play the auction game in MMOs, this may actually be a title to look at.
The interface and controls are really easy to learn. Honestly, it’s hard to screw up. If you’re interested in an item, click it and get a little information about it. If you dislike it, just remove it from your inventory and back to the pile it goes. The haggling and price-setting is equally direct, and chances are there will never be a moment where you’re at a loss for what you should do next. In addition to the general polish this game has, there’s also a huge variety of locations to explore and items to consider. It’s conceivably possible that you’ll eventually have memorized just about every item in the game, but seriously… that would require quite a lot of play in this game, and by that point you can hardly say you didn’t get your money’s worth.
Oddly enough considering the game’s concept, Pickers has turned out to be quite a bargain itself. While the gameplay has a very tight focus - sifting through items to buy and sell may wear on some gamers – if the prospect of hunting for treasure in a marketplace instead of a dungeon appeals to you, this is definitely one game to check out.
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