LifeisXbox’s Wind Peaks review | Hidden object games, a simple but effective ancient-old way of entertainment. Belgian developer Rogueside made an excellent one for Xbox with Hidden Through Time and publisher Artifex Mundi created a bunch of them too. Now a new challenger in the genre arrives from a brand-new Brazilian studio, named Actoon Studio. It was after I redeemed the code that I found out the origin of Actoon, as I always try to let our very own Brazilian writer, Raf cover games from his country. Alas, you’ll have to do with me now…
Wind Peaks settles itself pretty well between the competition, it lacks the replay value of Hidden Through Time or the ingenious puzzles from Artifex Mundi games but it makes that up with a nice hand-drawn art style and a loose but enjoyable story. Throughout the game, you follow a group of scouts members and developer Actoon Studio intertwined the story extremely well with the search gameplay. Most of the searchable objects have a direct influence on the story cutscenes, which I found a nice touch. Wind Peaks ‘peaks’ early but slowly becomes a downhill experience as the lovely art style becomes repetitive and our adventure with the scouts comes to an end rather quickly and with a massive cliffhanger.
This is a short review, our usual the good, mixed and the bad was difficult because of the nature of this game. We played Wind Peaks for three hours on Xbox Series X.
That story cliffhanger happens after only two-three hours of gameplay, depending on how fast you find the objects. There’s also a lazy approach with the hint mechanic. If you hold the X-button for a few seconds a three-minute timer starts to run and when it reaches zero you’ll get an indicator on the screen that shows you where the hidden object is. I don’t recommend using this as it completely removes the fun and purpose of the game. There are only fourteen levels anyway so searching a couple of minutes for that last hidden object will only get you more buck for your money. Actoon Studio are a bunch of devils though, as they regularly hide items behind larger objects. Only showing you a small corner of the hidden object, another trick they use is hiding objects with puzzles. For example, pressing buttons in the correct order changes up the gameplay a little but it doesn’t help for reducing the repetitive feeling. that really plagues Wind Peaks after an hour or so. Artstyle is solid but the assets are reused over and over again, they tried with dark levels and scaling levels but it just wasn’t enough. A drastic change in environment is something I missed, maybe something they can take into consideration for their next game.
There’s enough interaction when you click on some objects but they don’t really do anything with it. Sure, it is fun to hear a sound when you click on a scout member or see a tree move but they should have used it more for actual meaningful gameplay. Can’t say anything positive or negative about the sound, so I would like to end this review with a positive note about side-quests! You have two of them. building four totems and cleaning up the forest by throwing bottles in the trash, they don’t have any story meaning but do earn you achievements. It is a shame that they didn’t add more of these side-quests, it would have increased replay value.
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