Yesterday, Amazon released it’s first social game – Living Classics for the Facebook platform. Here is a promotional video for the title:
The premise of the game is very interesting and well thought out, the player is searching through old storybooks to find a family of foxes. Since the stories are well known classics like Wizard of Oz, Alice in Wonderland and King Arthur, it’s easy to jump right in. However, the game has taken the ever-popular Hidden Object genre of casual games and dumbed it down a bit too much. Instead of finding “hidden” objects from a list, the player must click on objects that are “moving.”
The moving objects can be anything from a hat wiggling, a light blinking to a leaf blowing. They are typically minimal wiggle movements and not full animations. I find this mechanic to be too simple to be fun and does not have enough meaningful challenges for the casual adult. Having to keep my eyes tuned to movements detracts from the premise of the game – instead of enjoying the pictures from these awesome stories, I find myself zoning out just to look for wiggles. Plus, it is time-based so I want to do it as fast as possible leaving no time to take in the artwork at all.
In traditional hidden object games, the player is often looking for objects that are needed to complete certain tasks tied towards advancing a story. Living Classics doesn’t take advantage of the strong story elements in this way and I’m a little disappointed.
It does seem like a younger audience would enjoy the mechanics of this game – perhaps ages 3-8 played along with their parents or grandparents. Since Facebook is ages 13+, I wonder what Amazon is trying to do with this title on FB. I could certainly see this working well on the Kindle Fire however – but might need some finessing to get the UI usable for this younger audience.