All I want for Christmas is to find some things.
The holidays are here, and it’s time for Mia Faircroft to head home for some family time. On this trip, she’s bringing her friend Maria who is going through a hard time right now. Once these besties get back to Mia’s family home, the fun begins. And by “fun,” I mean looking for things.
Faircroft’s Antiques: Home for Christmas Collector’s Edition is a hidden-objects game with a Christmas theme. Even if it isn’t actually Christmas time, we can all use a little more of the Christmas spirit these days.
If you have played any of the numerous hidden object games out there, you won’t find any great surprises with this title. You get the standard, thin storyline to segue from one tableau to another, a strange variety of objects with varying degrees of contrast or subtlety placed around the scene, and a clue option for when you get stuck. There are no time bonuses for finding things quickly and no points system; it’s just the simple goal of finding all the objects on the list.
The game does include some puzzles, as well. These range from object matching to (almost) jigsaw puzzles. The puzzles are there just to shake things up a bit, and they are not very difficult.
One of the interesting features of Faircroft’s Antiques: Home for Christmas is being able to play through the storyline or what the game calls “Free Play.” With the latter, there is no story and no progression; you just pick a tableau and start finding things. To keep this part interesting, the things you have to find may not be the same selection of items you have to find in the storyline version.
Another cool facet of this area is the ability to choose how the game provides you with a list of items to find. You can use the list option, but this is a bit too easy. If you want to be a little different, the game can show you silhouettes or pictures, pose a “riddle” (description), or provide you with a “collection.” If you opt for the collection, you will have several of the same kind of object to find.
As with most of the games in this genre, the artwork is pretty good. The images are sharp and clean. Some of the hidden objects are very well camouflaged, so it’s not an effortless walkthrough. If, like me, you are really nearsighted, the game poses a problem in handheld mode, especially if you’re nearsighted like me. If you play on your TV to make things larger (which is a very good idea given the scale of things), you get to put up with using the Joy-Con and buttons to select and identify the objects. This isn’t so bad since there is no time limit per round, but it can slow things down.
Unfortunately, Faircroft’s Antiques: Home for Christmas is not without issues. I don’t expect much in the way of plot with this type of game, but the story here is really thin. The premise of Mia bringing her friend along for the holidays has very little “good friend” level follow-through on Mia’s part. I started to feel bad for Maria getting left behind or handed off all the time.
As for the gameplay, be careful with the music volume, especially when going from the console to the TV—it gets loud fast. I also encountered a couple of glitches with the game. While playing a card-based match-two mini-game, the cards did not always return to the proper dimensions when they were “flipped.” This caused me to end up with some cards at normal proportions and some skinny cards. It was not enough to hinder gameplay, but it is an obvious error. In one of the hidden object screens, one of the random objects was sticking out through an unlockable container. Again, no detriment to gameplay, but an image error.
The glitch that bothered me most was where the game actually got hung up to a point where I could not progress. In one of the hidden objects screens, I tapped an object I had already found that was required to access a hidden area on the screen. I think I accidentally tapped the screen twice, and with just the right timing to make the game forget I had the item needed to access the hidden area. I was left with one last object to find and no way to access it. In the storyline version, you can’t move on until you clear the screen. Fortunately, after a little experimentation, I found a way out. Much to the chagrin of IT types everywhere, restarting the application and restarting the Switch didn’t’ fix the problem. However, I went back to the map of town, replayed the level I had cleared before, then “progressed” again to the level on which I got stuck and replayed the whole scene with no further issues.
All things considered; Faircroft’s Antiques: Home for Christmas Collector’s Edition is a good hidden object game. If you like this sort of game, the issues might be mildly annoying, but not really off-putting. There is some variety with the way the game presents the clues of items to be found, and the Free Play options provide good replay time. The rating does take a hit due to the issues noted above, but this is a good way to pass a little time.
Review: Faircroft’s Antiques: Home for Christmas Collector’s Edition (Nintendo Switch)
If you’re down with OCD, (yeah, you know me,) Faircroft’s Antiques: Home for Christmas Collector’s Edition will keep you staring at the screen for a while. It may feel a little more appropriate around Christmas time, but fans of hidden object games will find it plays well enough any time.