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Them - The Summoning: Chapter 1

Score: 91%
ESRB: Not Rated
Publisher: UIG Entertainment
Developer: Gamatic
Media: Download/1
Players: 1
Genre: Puzzle (Hidden Object)/ Adventure

Graphics & Sound:

Them - The Summoning: Chapter 1 starts you off in your own apartment, receiving a distressed call from an old friend named Grendel whose wife, Albea, has recently passed away. Playing on the large TV in the background is a news channel showing a raid on a pirate ship by law enforcement officials. This impressed me right off the bat. Sure, it loops eventually, but it was a really nice touch that helped the apartment take on a feel of realism. You'll also visit Grendel's large home and your journey will take you around the grounds of his massive estate and beyond.

Everything is nicely detailed and while some things were difficult to spot, either because they were so cleverly hidden or I didn't recognize the name that was used on the list (probably due to language differences and such), they weren't hidden in terribly tricky ways like making a marble the size of a beach ball.

Background music is sometimes present and other times, it will be eerily quiet, with only the ambient sounds of a ticking clock, the chirping of birds, or the chatter of a police station. When music is present, it fits the mood well, changing between haunting and mysterious, then intense when needed. You'll get a satisfying little chime when you have found an extra item and a softer version of the same sound when you find an item in the list. Likewise, you'll hear a soft indicator sound when your Hint has been recharged.


Them - The Summoning: Chapter 1 places you in the role of Cian, dear friend to the fabulously wealthy Grendel and his dearly departed wife, Albea. When Grendel believes he is being haunted by his wife's ghost, he seeks your assistance, only to draw you into a strange mystery where your only help may be Albea's spirit! As strange things occur in Grendel's home and the surrounding grounds, you'll find yourself having to stay one step ahead of a relentless detective and his team, as you try to solve the mystery of what really happened to Albea. To do this, you'll often need to pick up items like keys and tools like Luminol to solve the mysteries placed before you. These items will always be within a hidden object scene, however, so you will know what you need to pick up. They won't simply be sitting on a bench hidden in the background, which is always an aggravation to me when it occurs in Hidden Object Adventures.

In addition to your list of hidden objects, there will also be 10 Extras in every level and finding them will unlock a picture of the scene. It's not mandatory by any means, but it adds an extra level of challenge and they are still fun to find. They will sparkle if you haven't found them all, so they practically beckon you to find them all. Mini-games include spotting the differences between two seemingly identical pictures, rearranging a scene according to a painting, and also matching games. Most are fairly easy and the Hint button is more than generous, should you get stuck or want to skip a mini-game.


Them - The Summoning: Chapter 1 has two difficulty settings: Standard Game and Easy. You can also select to play as either male or female, but your character's profile pic always appears to be male, so I am not sure what difference this makes. In my playthroughs of both difficulty levels, there didn't seem to be a big difference between Standard Game and Easy. Both are very easy, in all honesty. The Hint button is incredibly generous, refilling very quickly, but on the Easy setting, it fills almost instantly. There does seem to be a slight difference in some of the items on your list during the Hidden Object scenes, but pretty much, it's almost the same experience. Whichever setting you choose, rest assured you'll have a mildly-paced Hidden Object Adventure, but one not without it's tense, storyline-driven moments.

Game Mechanics:

Them - The Summoning: Chapter 1 is a point and click Hidden Object Adventure. It's pretty basic stuff as you will be selecting objects in your environment from a list of needed items. Once you obtain an item, the name will either disappear and be replaced by another item or become greyed out once you have found all but the last remaining 10 items.

There will be times when you will have to locate a particular item to either escape a locked room or crack a code on a safe by finding the correct combination, but these items are always within reach. You may need to open some drawers and such to find certain objects, and there are also sometimes hidden objects to be found behind a throw pillow or things like that. The nice thing is that when you mouse over a throw pillow or blanket, it disappears to reveal what lies behind it. It is a nice feature that threw me off the first time it happened, but I learned to be certain to check behind everything by mousing (but not clicking) over the entire area. Also, while you won't get any sort of penalty for clicking in the wrong spot, you will get a notification that your mouse has been temporarily disabled if you click the mouse too quickly, too many times in a row.

Overall, Them - The Summoning: Chapter 1 is a fun and quick Hidden Object Adventure romp. It appears to be Chapter 1 of 3, so I look forward to further digging into the twisted mystery of Grendel and Albea, as it leaves you on a bit of a cliffhanger.

-Psibabe, GameVortex Communications
AKA Ashley Perkins

Minimum System Requirements:

OS: Windows XP / Vista / 7 / 8; Processor: 1.0 GHz; Memory: 256 MB RAM; Graphics: 32 MB graphics card; DirectX: Version 9.0; Hard Drive: 700 MB available space

Test System:

Windows 7, 2 GHz AMD Phenom 9500 Quad-Core Processor, 8GB RAM, Realtek High Definition Audio On-Board Sound, NVIDIA GeForce 8300

Related Links:

Sony PlayStation Vita The Sly Collection Windows Ionball 2: Ionstorm

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