Hope Lake, Black Rainbow, and the Need of Substance in Design

Ever hear of the hidden object genre? It’s a strange little point and click subgenre that really came into being through smart phones, a more simple version of the graphic adventure with less moon logic madness and more puzzle minigames and finding the object. The idea is that they’re an easily played casual genre you can enjoy with your brain on low, relaxing games requiring little effort to play, but catch your interest just enough that you can block out the world around you for a bit. It’s also one of the most creative genres out there, I find, especially in terms of presentation and content. You only need to look at Backstreets of the Mind for a good example of this. Mechanically, though, they all tend to fall into the same territory.

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This is where Hope Lake and Black Rainbow come into play. The second one doesn’t have the usual hidden object elements included, but it falls roughly in the same category through its simplistic puzzles and focus on presentation above most else. But Hope Lake? Oh, that is some pure hidden object right there. It’s also the game that inspired this article, because I thought it was a perfect summation of the worst aspects of the hidden object genre …until I played Black Rainbow. But I’m getting ahead of myself.

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Games I Played in 2016 Worth Mentioning

2017 is finally here, and we can only pray it’s not as terrible as 2016 was. I’m personally expecting the real shit in 2018 or 2019 myself. But life goes on, we got rent to pay and stuff to enjoy between the moments of realization of the very real possibility of the end of the world crashing down on us. Before I move on, though, I’d like to take a step back and look at a few games I played in 2016 that I feel need some more attention that missed my favorites list. Some of these were released recently, and others were older titles I just got around to. A few have HG101 articles coming, but not yet published, and others I simply never got around to talking about. They’re all well worth a look for different reasons, most for being good games, and others for …well, you’ll see. With that in mind, here are the games I played in 2016 that deserve some more attention, with no real order.

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