Review: Hidden Expedition: Titanic


Author: Astraware

Version Reviewed: 1.00

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It's time to dive down to the hidden depths in the latest puzzle game from Astraware. The teaser text is good (explore the wreck of the Titanic), the goal is clear (find the Lost Crown of MacGuffin) and all you need to do is hunt through the rooms of the sunken White Star Liner and you’ll find riches and fame beyond anything your Symbian smartphone can produce on the final victory screen. Maybe…

And how do you explore the wreck? Amazingly, by looking at the screen and comparing what you see with a list of 'treasures' that you need to find on your dive. So if you have 'crowbar' on your list, all you need to do is click on the crowbar in the on-screen view of the room you are currently exploring. Find all the items, and you'll successfully complete that portion of the dive, and be ready to move onto the next level.

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Get through all these levels, and you’ll hopefully find the crown you seek. But keep your eyes peeled, because this isn’t going to be easy – at the depth of the wreck, you’ve only got 30 minutes to get through all the sections of the ship. The occasional oxygen tank can be found to give you a bit more time, but less haste and more speed is the order of business here.

I'd be hard pushed to describe a 'click on what you see on the list' game as in-depth, addictive and engrossing, but I'm going to make the effort, because this is a surprisingly nice diversion on your handset. Part of it is because of the simplicity of the idea, you just need to roam your cursor around (or tap on the screen for the UIQ version) and click on the object, but it’s delightfully hard – which I'm enjoying, even though I could see some people getting quickly frustrated. Being told to look for a ‘desktop microphone’ means you’ve got to try and think what that would actually look like, then find it.

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As always, I like the personal touch of Astraware games asking for your name and creating a profile. Perhaps it’s not needed as much nowadays, with phones being much more personal than PDA’s or Palms and so getting handed round less, but it’s still oh so polite and very much appreciated. This is for your profile, and it allows you to easily resume a saved game. With a tight time limit and a lot of rooms to explore, you’re going to need a fair amount of practice to get through it all to find your ultimate goal of the missing crown. It’s good you can stop half way through a room and not lose your progress when you come back the next day.

Hidden Expedition is a good diversion and there’s a guilty thrill in completing each level. It wouldn’t be on my 'must buy' list, but it’s on the 'interesting if you want something different' alternative.

-- Ewan Spence, June 2008

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