The Stone of Destiny iPhone, iPod Touch Review

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Hidden object games are growing in popularity, as evidenced by Mystery Case Files on DS making an impressive showing in the charts, and the recent announcement of a Where’s Wally game.

Stone of Destiny contains over 25 elegantly presented scenes filled chock-a-block with a random assortment of items, like some kind of junk-filled box of Quality Street. You’re given a list of ten items to find, and a time limit in which to find them and away you go.

You can double-tap the screen or tap the magnifying glass icon in the corner to zoom into the scene, but there is only one level of zoom. If you tap wrong places or items too many times in quick succession then you’ll lose some of your allotted time. However the time limits are fairly generous and you can also use a hint (which regenerates around every 40 seconds) with no penalties. The time limit is also per-chapter rather than per-scene, meaning a speedy result in one scene gives you more leeway in the next.

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The game is well presented, with hand-drawn comic-style story, and each location being selected from a world map screen. It’s a shame the game has no music at all, and only a faint popping sound when an item is found.

After each chapter, which usually consists of around four or five scenes to be completed, there will be some story progression and a simple mini-game puzzle either involving sliding blocks, untangling lines or placing stones. Although there is no time-pressure on these puzzles and they’re unlikely to tax your brain too much, they are still a welcome break from regular gameplay.

Later levels will show you the silhouettes of objects rather than naming them, presenting a new level of challenge for your eyes. Thankfully, this gameplay element is never overused and means that the scenes can include some items that can’t be summed up in one word.

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There is a simple satisfaction in seeking out and poking the requested items, and some blend in so well with the scenes that it can be quite a challenge to find them. Although the items are always in the same places, on subsequent playthroughs the lists you are given will differ, providing some variety.

Features like multiple profiles and the fact that the gameplay is suspended when pressing the Home button are much-appreciated efforts that other iPhone developers would do well to take note of.

There isn’t much that you could criticise Stone of Destiny for; it’s a sturdy title and good example of its genre, making it one of the more tranquil games currently available on iPhone.

7 out of 10
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