Hidden Memories of a Bright Summer
has a muted color palette since you, as Sarah, will be exploring the aging house and grounds of the estate of your old Aunt Selma, recently deceased. Even though you haven't seen her and Uncle Albert since you were a very young girl and only spent one summer there, she has left you her estate, along with a enigmatic journal and a mystery along with it. Everything has a washed-out appearance to it, so expect to have some difficulty locating certain items, such as the mysterious fragmented tablet that has been broken and strewn across the property, or Aunt Selma's notes to Sarah, which also are scattered about and hard to spot. I am typically not a fan of Hidden Object games that hide items by placing them deeply and heavily shaded in the background or by modifying their size so their appearance is unexpected. This happened quite a few times in Hidden Memories of a Bright Summer
, leading to frustration. Yes, there is a Hint button in the form of your dog, who barks when your hint is ready, but this tended to be annoying and only helped when you were in a Hidden Object scene and had a list of items to collect. If you were simply in the game exploring the estate, the doggie Hint button wouldn't help you a bit, even if the missing tablet piece or note was right in front of you. More on this later.
There is an overall map of the grounds to guide you, but it is an overhead view of the estate and there are pulsing arrows pointing at every area. The areas themselves pulse with light, but it took me a while to figure out that the arrows pointing to each area were one of two different, but very similar, colors. The colors are so close that I didn't notice it for most of my gameplay, which is not a good thing. Maps should be useful. Consequently, I could never really tell where I had already visited and what I had completed.
The music tinkered in the background and was nothing special. It was somewhat haunting, but I was always jarred away from it by the barking dog. There's a loud flute note that plays when you access your tool bag, which contains tools that will help you in your journey (sometimes), and that sound, too, was a bit jarring. You can also hear birds tweeting in the background and other sounds at times as well.