Deadly Association HD ($4.99) by Microids is a crime-based hidden object game for the iPad, where players will join forensic police inspectors Chloe Cunningham and Paul Baxter as they search for the murderer of a young woman named Nancy Boyle.
This is a game with adult themes, including rape, murder, and suicide. It’s quite dark and violent, so it is definitely not a hidden object game suitable for children or sensitive adults.
In this game, you’ll be investigating a murder by completing hidden object puzzles that emulate detailed crime scenes. The goal, as in other hidden object games, is to locate the requested objects to move forward through the story.
Despite the murder mystery theme, this is a straightforward hidden object title, so if you have played any other hidden object games, you will be comfortable with this one. Finding hidden objects is done by tapping, and though this game has stellar graphics, its hidden object puzzles can be tough to solve.
You see, the game often requests bizarre items that you may not immediately recognize, leading you to tap on several different unknown items, earning a penalty. For example, I was asked to find a jar of medicinal plants, and I had no idea what that was meant to look like, and once, when I was tasked with finding a “baby-doll,” it ended up being a shirt.
Luckily, as in other hidden object games, Deadly Association HD has a hint system to help players when an item seems impossible to find. You’re given a limited number of hints to use, but you can find more by tapping on stars in hidden object scenes.
This game incorporates tilting, which is used to view the sides of each scene. While I appreciate the novelty of this mechanic, it ended up being more frustrating than anything else, since the tilting prevented me from playing the game in the car or in any other moving environment (because the screen kept moving). It also only added about an inch of real estate to the game, which didn’t seem worth the effort.
In addition to finding hidden objects in Deadly Association, you’ll also complete several crime-related mini games, including repairing a torn photograph, deciphering sets of fingerprints, and matching up pills after a suicide. These games provide a nice break from the monotony of finding objects.
Though this game is on the darker side, I did appreciate the murder mystery story line, which was quite different than the story lines behind most hidden object titles that I’ve played in the past. Deadly Association has a well-written plot, and as it turns out, murder investigation goes very well with the hidden object genre.
This wasn’t the best hidden object game I’ve played, but it did have challenging gameplay, compelling characters, and a thought-provoking mystery behind it. As I played, I was continually wondering who did it and making guesses about the culprit, so I can safely say that this is an engrossing title that both hidden object and mystery game aficionados will enjoy playing.