Fri, 19 Aug 2011 Treasure Hunt - The Game for iOS
Immerse yourself in this exciting diving adventure - once you get the hang of the controls that is
- Manufacturer: CaraCasa Games Inc.
- Pros: Interesting gameplay; hours of entertainment; value for money; oddly satisfying
- Cons: Needs a better tutorial level; not optimised for iPad; difficult to master the controls
- Price: £1.99
- Star rating:
Treasure Hunt – The Game is a 3D simulation in which players explore underwater locations to find sunken treasure. If you enjoy hidden object games and you're looking for something challenging but fun to pass the time, this could be the perfect app for you.
Start a new game, and you'll be greeted by Oscar the Octopus who will be your guide. The instructions he presents to introduce Treasure Hunt – The Game are in one long, boring looking document, but it's vital to read it if you want to fully understand the game and learn the controls. We wish there was a better tutorial level, in which instructions are given as players explore a location, rather than all in one go.
The controls are difficult to get used to, but with a bit of patience we got the hang of it, and we've decided they make sense after all. To move, drag a finger towards you, as if pulling on the sand or surface along which you are swimming. To stop, drag a finger in the opposite direction. To look up or down, Treasure Hunt – The Game uses gyroscope, requiring players to tilt the iPad in the direction they want to go. This is a nice feature but might put off players who suffer from motion sickness. Developer CaraCasa Games Inc has designed the game so that the faster the player is moving, the harder it is to control, so we recommend moving slowly at all times!
Finding items in diving locations may prove difficult, as some are buried deep under the sand, so you'll need to buy a metal detector. When using the detectors, items made from the relevant metal will glow, making them easier to locate. It can be strangely exciting to see a glow from under the sand when you've lost all hope of finding the item you're desperately searching for.
When diving, you'll need to keep an eye on several things, such as the amount of oxygen left in the tank, and the amount of battery remaining on the metal detectors. When the oxygen and batteries run out, you can buy more in the Diver Shop with money earned by collecting rubbish from the seabed, and finding items for the Excursion Guides. The money system could do with improvement, as we always had enough money to buy everything we needed with plenty to spare, which didn't motivate us to find unwanted items on the seabed to sell for extra money.
Another thing to watch out for is dangerous fish. This is the biggest downfall of the game in our opinion. There is no way to detect if there is a dangerous fish approaching, and even if you can see one, it's hard to avoid them. When a dangerous fish hurts you, blood splatters across the screen and there is a frightening sound effect to accompany it, which we didn't particularly enjoy. CaraCasa recommend that the game is suitable for children aged 4+, but we think it might be a bit scary for some slightly older kids too. It would be better if there was some kind of indication when the player is in danger of being hurt, and an option to turn off the dangerous fish if we prefer or if children are playing the game.
Treasure Hunt – The Game's gameplay and objectives remind us of Endless Ocean, a game for the Wii. Another similarity to Endless Ocean is the relaxing soundtrack, which would make Treasure Hunt a calming game to play after a stressful day, if it weren't for the attacking fish.
There is currently only an iPhone and iPod optimised version of Treasure Hunt – The Game, and although it works perfectly well on the iPad too, we think CaraCasa would do well out of a HD version to allow iPad users to experience the great graphics. We also think that playing Treasure Hunt on the iPhone is much more difficult, as items are even harder to find on the small screen.