Zynga’s Latest Game: Hidden Chronicles–an aperçu

Damn you, Zynga—damn you!

Just when i thought i’d gotten good with corralling my Words With Friends addiction habit—only playing my turn via iPod right before sleeping so as to not get sucked in throughout the day—you go ahead and release a game i’d actually play while logged into Facebook (which i’m already on for a godforsaken amount of time as is). Good thing this game isn’t for iOS devices—yet, since i’m sure it’s coming one day.

I haven’t logged into Mafia Wars, one of Zynga’s first suck-you-in-Facebook games, in at least a year, and i’ve shied away from all of their Ville titles, as well as putting a stopper on EA’s The Sims for Facebook. But now, you’ve gone and done it. I’m hooked. And i’ve only played for about 15 minutes (as i’m writing this; proof below).

Messy office desk showcasing fervor to write immediately about Zynga's latest addictive cash cow

Hidden Chronicles is pretty much one of those bar/pub touch screen games: you know, the ones with the half-naked debutantes or random PG-13 scenery, with hidden items (things that don’t quite belong, like a plunger or rubber ducky in a department store dressing room scene), that you have to click on before the time runs out. Well, now instead of a touch screen, it’s on an LCD monitor. There are clues to find certain items, too, as well as powered-up items and hidden joints. Oh, and it’s social, too. Not that you or i thought anything by Zynga wouldn’t be.

It’s interesting how they’ve taken bits of Mafia Wars, such as the annoying energy system, where you’re not able to play until a certain amount of time has passed or you purchase more moves (all about the Benjamins, as usual). I can’t say i’m mad at them, though—stick with what works and makes bank.

I’m not a fan of the whole let’s-make-this-a-whodunit-a-la-Clue-or-Sherlock-Holmes cut scenes so far, but i guess it will appeal to other people or demographics. I just want to find the hidden treasures! Eff the murder mystery and whatnot. I can attribute this disdain to the old school hack-n-slash videogamer in me: just give me the bad guys to slay and the troves of rewards. I don’t really care why i’m doing it. I wonder if the storytelling is just saved for the early, tutorial missions? ::shrugs::

Due to the fact that i’m playing this on a computer that lacks speakers, i can’t talk about the zany sounds i’m sure it has or the annoying score, which all of the Zynga games possess. I was too lazy to switch to the iMac where i’m writing this post. I have John Mayer as my aural ambiance anyway. Nothing beats that. Well, ‘cept some Zeppelin or Sabbath or a slew of others, but still, that’s neither here nor there, since, it’s all about the gameplay.

Ahh, now that i decided to actually read the Help screens to figure out what trophies do, i learned that the clues in those aforementioned cut scenes actually assist in me finding hidden items, thus earning more monies and bonus points.

It’s pretty in-depth, the features of this game, as i play more and read. They’ve definitely gone all out creating a Clue mixed with Mafia Wars and CityVille (on the home screen, there are options to add lamposts to the environment and uncover other buildings and places to search for even more clues along your quest—a quest i’m really not sure has an endgame since, well, i haven’t been playing too close attention lol).

Overall, in my 15-25 minutes of playtime so far, i’m a fan. I’m sure you’ll see my Facebook statuses and probably Tweets about it in the coming hours, days, and possibly weeks and months, as i continue my descent down the rabbit hole.

Cheers to Zynga. But, still damn them to hell.