Let me start off this review by saying that I'm not too well-versed in hidden object games (yet). I played a free-to-play hidden object game years ago and remembered liking it well enough. I love finding things in games. Anything. Collectibles, secret areas, shinies, etc. Heck, I love searching for and finding things in real life, too. I'm a married woman and I still insist on my mother hiding my Easter basket every year. I'm not sure what's sadder; that my mother actually listens to me and hides my basket every year, or that she still gives me one at all.
Nonetheless, thanks to the Steam queue, I have been introduced to the genre yet again. I purchased a few on a whim one day, and Abyss: The Wraiths of Eden was the first I played. I was in a casual game type of mood after putting much thought and effort into a lengthy RPG, and this game was really enjoyable in that respect.
The game opens up with your character's voice laying out the prologue to the story, and it made me giggle a bit because she sounded like a generic Microsoft computer voice at first. While the environments in this are beautiful and colorful, the entire game has a type of B-movie feel, with iffy voice actors, a "meh" story, and no sense of danger at all. The game definitely tries to throw some creepy moments at you, but never did I feel like my character was in danger or that a save would need to be reloaded. The game isn't scary at all for adults, but for young kids, it might be sufficiently creepy on rare occasions (and this game is definitely E-rated).
Abyss surprised me in that the game, while in the Hidden Object genre, was not overflowing with hidden object puzzles. I saw one review mention there were too many of them, but I wished for more. The game relies on an exceptionally well done and intelligently designed point and click adventure model for most of the gameplay, and the hidden object screens are mostly a distraction that include an object or two that you'll need to take from the hidden object puzzle and insert into the story gameplay. Sprinkled throughout the game there are also various mini-puzzles that go from sliding puzzles to jigsaw types to wire connecting puzzles. Not once did I feel like a puzzle was out of place or overly complicated. Even if (say, for kids) a puzzle is too confusing or hard, you can skip it. The game encourages you not to via some unlockable achievements, but it is an option. Unlike many point and click games, I never felt like combining objects to meet a goal was unnecessarily complicated. All of them made sense, so this game never frustrates.
Overall, while I did wish for more hidden object puzzles, I felt like Abyss: The Wraiths of Eden surprised me in its quality. It's relaxing and takes you on a nice little journey over about a four hour playthrough (I played on Expert despite being fairly new to the genre and never once was frustrated, so it's definitely casual!). While I would personally advise you to wait for a sale because I go by the $1.00 per hour of gameplay rule, I definitely recommend this game to anyone looking for a casual romp through some pretty environments. I'm giving this a 7/10. This is a great game for kids or for adults looking for a shorter game with little commitment. I was pleasantly surprised with this game, and I now consider myself a fan of the Hidden Object genre.