NOTE: This is a review of the iOS version of the game, but there shouldn’t be many big differences from this and the PC version.
Short Version: It’s really cute, simple and full of heart! Have you ever played Where’s Waldo? Well, this game is essentially that, but better. It’s a good game to play on your phone or on a giant PC screen at an affordable price. It is a well-made little thing that I highly recommend.
Long Version: This will probably be one of the shortest reviews I have ever written so far. There really isn’t much to say about this game, other than the fact that I enjoyed myself immensely with it and you should probably check it out. Similar to my feelings regarding She Remembered Caterpillars, I found it very pleasant to not be bombarded by press releases and a million trailers, and instead just bump into a little something that’s charming, fun and has a unique spin on a game everyone knows how to play.
Hidden Folks is an independent game by Adriaan de Jongh and Sylvain Tegroeg, who essentially created an interactive, better version of Where’s Waldo? By creating many hand-drawn environments, characters and mouth-originating sound effects, they have brought a charming little world that is fun to look at and to find stuff in. Of course, all the levels are super crowded and contain a lengthy list of things to find, rather than just one particular object. On phones, it’s difficult to truly demonstrate how big these maps are, but on PC, the bigger and wider screen allows you to see everything, making for probably the coolest screensaver you’ll see in recent memory. Speaking of cool, the sound design makes this game even cooler.
This game has a small thing that distinguishes it from many others, and that is that every single sound you hear in it is composed of mouth noises. From animals to foliage and machinery, everything is just a bunch of people making noises into a microphone, which adds an enormous sense of cuteness and charm that will certainly leave a lasting impression. The only piece of criticism that I would like to add about the sound would be that many of the noises are simply way too loud. While there are many noises that lie comfortable in the background, there are many things that you tap on the screen that simply made my ears hurt, specifically the monkeys. No matter how much I would fiddle with the one sound slider, some sounds would always be too loud in relation to everything else. Out of the very little criticism I can still give about this game, the rest of it lies on the gameplay.
Human Animal Noises
Look at the picture, find the thing and tap on it; pretty simple to understand, right? Well, yes, but because this game tries to go further beyond just that, it essentially starts to become a point and click adventure game. I say that because many objects that you need to find aren’t always out in the open. Sometimes you have to go through bushes, tents and trees to find things that are hiding inside of them. This is fine, but I wished that the game were a little bit clearer about the different ways in which you can find stuff and to what extent you can interact with the environment. Eventually, you figure it out, but I would’ve liked to not struggle so much during the initial levels.
Overall, Hidden Folks is a solid game. It’s perfect for short spurts and contains the right amount of charm and heart that will probably make you want to go back to it multiple times. Whether it’s on a phone or on a PC, both versions are visually pleasing, fun to play and affordable. It doesn’t revolutionize anything, but it does its best at what it wants to be, and I couldn’t ask for anything more than that.