I have spent many hours searching the house for my glasses, or my keys or, well, anything and everything. It is frustrating and time consuming. Invariably, as I promise myself that I will become more organized and put things away where they belong, I find whatever it is that I am searching for in a place that I have already looked three times. Sometimes, the reason that I can’t find it is because I did put it away.
No, it is not because I am getting older (shame on you for thinking that); it’s been this way all my life.
I know that I am not alone in this because I hear the same tale of woe time and again from others. It makes it hard to understand why people spent time sitting at a computer screen searching for items that are hidden in plain sight. I played Hidden Object games extensively for a period of time and can only speak about my own motivation. It was fun because I wasn’t searching for something that I really needed to keep my life moving forward. It is also a way to exercise your memory.
These games usually have a series of scenes that have to be examined multiple times. Each time the scene is presented more items are added until the screen is rife with objects that may or may not look as if they belong in the picture. See above.
The bottom of the screen documents what objects need to be located. As the user finds each one of the objects listed the name of the item is replaced with another one to find. The trick to scoring well in these games is to remember where the object was located the last time it was found and to select it quickly to receive bonuses.
Variations include showing a shadow of the item rather than the name, or only illuminating a small portion of the screen at a time both of which increase the difficulty of the task.