Hidden Folks, by Adriaan De Jongh is a Where’s Wally Clone with a few massive differences.
The graphics are hand drawn, black and white, and the sound is all created through mouth, every sound effect from clicking on monkeys, to opening tent doors, they are all voiced by Mr De Jongh and this gives it some great comic relief. Some of the sound effects are basic, but the buzz buzz buzz of the buzzing bees is always fun to listen to.
Anyone familiar with Where’s Wally will know the reference at the top of the review, those that aren’t aware of the series of books, essentially you are tasked with finding Wally in the page of the book as well as finding other items throughout the world. It is this game mechanics that Hidden Folks is all about. You get given a list of items to find before allowing you to move onto the next area. The areas themselves are absolutely ginormous, with you moving around using your mouse, zooming in as you go. Each item you are tasked to find comes with a clue, which gives you an idea to where you can find it on the level. These clues are invaluable as some of the more congested areas would make it difficult for you to find a pair of sunglasses without a rough indication as to their location. As you progress through the levels they get more and more congested, at one stageI had to take a 10 minute break to give my eyes a rest from all the action going on at once. In between some levels you are given a smaller area to look through as a kind of interlude and to give your eyes a rest, included is also a section where you have to clear the path for the character, allowing them safe passage through the level.
The game is a fantastic example of what an independent developer can achieve, the game just works. My personal favourite level is the desert level, which has areas of a festival where you can switch on the music and watch the characters dance around, then scroll to the east and you stumble across a Mad Max style area. Its these little nods to popular culture that also add a great little aside, finding Q-bert was a great addition.
Overall, this is a game that will appeal to people who like both hidden object games, as well as someone looking for a bit of light relief. With its low price point at £5.99 I don’t think it’s a game you can pass up on if you are a fan of Where’s Wally.
Hidden Folks finds itself a Silver Award.