The second hidden object game we looked at was Flux Family Secrets – The Ripple Effect. While still a hidden object game, the approach and style is somewhat different from Awakening – The Dreamless Castle.
This time around, you’re in a more modern setting. As a young woman investigating her heritage, you receive a mysterious letter with instructions to visit a mysterious mansion. After a meeting with the mysterious inhabitants there, you discover that you are a Flux, a time-travelling family. Apparently history has gone awry and they need you to visit various times and locate important historical objects to set things right. As you go, you discover clues that the Fluxes may not be what they claim to be.
Each mission you undertake has to do with certain milestones in history, centred around topics like Discovery or Literature. Within a topic, there are three people needing your help, all historical figures related to said topic, such as William Shakespeare or the Wright Brothers. Using the time machine, you travel to specific locations where you need to find a certain object for each of the three historical figures. The game tells you the location and the date where you are travelling, and also features little tidbits of trivia, which can be quite interesting and educational.
Your searches take place across three rooms, one in each time period, per mission. One might be in ancient Egypt, another at Abbey Road Studios, and the third at Shakespeare’s Globe Theatre. Your job is to search for various historical objects that are missing from the three scenes. These are in pieces, which are very well hidden in the scenes. You may spot a round object masquerading as a lid for a pot, for instance, or a thin object hiding along a line in the scene. A lot of the objects you’re searching for actually look like they belong in the scene. Fortunately, there are hints to help you along. Once you’ve reconstructed an item, you need to find where it belongs, which may be in one of the other scenes. Replacing objects in the scenes may reveal new objects as well.
There are many puzzles along the way, which also reveal certain objects that you need. The puzzles range from colour sequences to music sequences to lock-picking and more. Some are well done, whereas others will have you accepting the 20 minute penalty to your score just to skip them.
The game itself looks all right, but you’ll soon realise just how low the resolution actually is when you make use of the zoom function and see the pixelation. This detracts somewhat from the experience. The animations can be laggy at times, which is unacceptable in a game that really doesn’t require much in the way of processing or graphical power.
Flux Family Secrets is quite fun, and the storyline is rather intriguing, but you may find yourself a bit bored with the repetitive nature of the tasks. Every mission starts to feel the same as you search for a handful of items, solve puzzles and move on. This game is perhaps best played in small doses.
The objects in this game are rather well hidden and look like part of the scene, making it quite a good challenge. However, the game does not always pick up your click on a certain object the first time, leading to frustration. And for every interesting and well-designed puzzle, there is an equally irritating one waiting for you around the next corner.
Design and Presentation: 3/10
While the scenes themselves look pretty good, they are rather low resolution, which is disappointing.
There are many missions in this game, so it will keep you going for a good few hours, and many more if you’re interested in improving your overall game time.
If the idea of time travel and learning a bit of historical knowledge appeals to you, this might be the hidden object game for you.
Last Updated: January 17, 2012