If you say “Hidden Object Game” to a “gamer” they’ll either groan or say “what’s that?”. If you say it to an Indie developer, they’ll probably ask you to leave the room. However, I wonder who many of these people have actually played a good one and how many are just parroting a standard response?
There are two types of Hidden Object Games as I see it:
1) Straight hidden object games like Mystery Case Files: Ravenhearst. This is the type that most people think of when they hear “Hidden Object Game”. I happen to enjoy playing them with my family, but I can see why many people find them boring.
2) Hidden object Adventure games like Azada: Ancient Magic and Drawn: The Painted Tower. These are basically point and click adventure games like from the old days, except that they have high production values and aren’t fiendishly hard. Sometimes these games contain a combination of adventure and hidden object elements such as Dire Grove.
I personally prefer the second type of HOG as they are more like the old-skool point and click adventure games and there are some REALLY good ones like Treasure Seekers: Follow the Ghosts. Many non-casual players don’t know what they are missing!
So if you get a chance, join the millions of casual players who love these games and check them out sometime.