BigFish Games has released Hidden Expedition: Titanic (download free trial here), a new game that is essentially a spin-out or line-extension of its best-selling Mystery Case Files (MCF) game franchise. The "I Spy" gameplay goal remains identical - pick out a set number of objects in a room before time runs out, with each level getting progressively more difficult to solve in the given time limit.
How is Hidden Expedition: Titanic different from Mystery Case Files? Outside of the the different venue, it's pretty similar in look and feel, but with enough twists to keep most fans happy with the outcome. For example, BigFish has added 2 different types of minigames at the end of each level, either a puzzle game or an I Spy game with silhouettes instead of actual objects. In addition, the user has to solve 2-3 rooms in each stage, as well as the
subsequent minigame, all before the oxygen tank timer runs out. Asking for a
Hint or clicking on the incorrect object both result in subtracted time
from the oxygen tank, but you can often find an extra oxygen tank on
each level to help you solve the puzzle. That's a change from MCF where there are a set number of Hints on each level, and where there is no actual penalty for clicking on the wrong objects.
Hidden Expedition: Titanic is a beautifully produced game, with gorgeous sound effects and a highly detailed set of levels with nice graphical touches such as bubbles pouring out from the oxygen tank. There is some educational information about the Titanic experience as you solve the levels, and a thin exploration-related storyline, but it's not really relevant to the game progression, nor is the idea that the user can find and collect gems along the way. There are a total of 17 levels, and the game play seems to get harder in a natural way, giving a fair amount of experience for the money.
Verdict: a very polished underwater extension to the best selling Mystery Case Files franchise - go download it here