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Shards of Time

Score: 78%
ESRB: 12+
Publisher: G5 Entertainment
Developer: Candy Grill
Media: Download/1
Players: 1
Genre: Puzzle (Hidden Object)/ Adventure

Graphics & Sound:

Shards of Time feels like many other hidden object games I've played in the past. While that doesn't make it a bad game, it does make it blend into the background noise quite a bit.

While the visuals of this game don't have anything wrong, they also don't stand out. Each of the game's settings fits the time period they are meant to depict and, quite frankly, do so in a very stereotypical way. Again, that isn't really a bad thing, but it just feels a little bland. Yes, the Old West looks like the Old West, but it looks like pretty much any semi-ghost town you would seen in an old movie. The same can be said for the ancient Middle East time period. On the other hand, I found the modern-day setting to be different enough from the rest of the game to really make me take notice. That being said, I also found the Chinese locations to be the more difficult portions of the game.

Where the visuals of Shards feel very run of the mill, the audio seems to be dead on. Only a few of the characters you meet actually talk, but when there is voiced dialogue, it sounds good and I never got the feeling the performance was phoned in. Likewise, the music used in each of the game's main locations felt right, which was good since you will be hearing a lot of that music as you spend a lot of time in each period.


Shards of Time is what you would expect from pretty much any hidden object/adventure game these days. You are sent to various locations and given some reason why you must hunt through a pile of random objects. Typically, you will return from the hidden object screen with some inventory item that you will need in order to solve some puzzle in the non-hidden object parts of the game.

In this case, you play as Lisa, a young woman whose Aunt Matilda has fallen ill. She leaves a note with Lisa saying that her sickness isn't normal and it is actually due to some dark and mysterious force. You see, Matilda is actually a Keeper, a member of a secret group that controls magic in our world. She asks Lisa, the next person in line to inherit the family's power, to travel through time and put a mysterious amulet back together in order to help Matilda's illness.

In each of the times, Lisa will meet up with someone that knows what she is looking for and that person helps guide her through the various tasks she needs to accomplish before finding the amulet piece. In the standard hidden object/adventure flair, this means doing a lot of hunting and solving some fairly traditional puzzles.


The only times Shards of Time feels hard is when it feels cheap. I found myself using the Hint system on many of the hidden object screens when I came down to the last item in my list, only to find that missing item was either in the darkest corner of the screen or so far buried behind other items that you can't make out what it is. In each of those cases, I felt a bit cheated, but then again, hints are free and have a fairly quick cool-down time. It isn't like other hidden object games where you actually have a set number of hints because you collect them as you go.

Game Mechanics:

One of the details about Shards of Time that actually caught my eye was the fact that any screen could be a hidden object location. I won't say this is the first time I've seen this, but it is rare. While most hidden object games simply have various cluttered locations for you to stare at, each screen you saw was filled with somewhat random stuff and at any point, you could be asked to snoop around to find things, even if there are people in the room. Heck, most of the time it is those people who want you to do the snooping.

Shards of Time also has a habit of doubling up its hidden object screens. Many times, you will be asked to find a certain number of something like wheels or cobwebs for some reason or another. Once done with that task, you are almost always asked to perform a more traditional hidden object search in the same screen.

Like I said above, Shards of Time isn't a bad hidden object game by any means, it just feels a lot like every other one I've played. I would recommend this title only to those that are major fans of the genre and need something else to help ease their addiction, but that's about it.

-J.R. Nip, GameVortex Communications
AKA Chris Meyer

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