If you live in the US, you might have grown up reading Highlights magazine. One of their memorable features is Hidden Pictures, in which you find smaller hidden pictures within a larger picture. Hidden Pictures by Highlights Magazine presents the classic game for a whole new generation, as an interactive app that can be enjoyed by both kids and grown-ups.
Find the Hidden Objects
In Hidden Pictures, players try to find cleverly concealed objects in bustling scenes. When an object is found, it is highlighted. Players can zoom in and out as necessary, and get hints if they are stuck. Once a puzzle is complete, players earn stars that are used to unlock the next puzzle in the set.
When selecting a puzzle, players also select from three game modes: Free Play (take as long as you want), Timed (solve the puzzle within a time limit), and Directed (find the objects in the specified order). It isn’t required to complete all modes; players can simply select the one that suits them best.
The app has an ever-growing puzzle library, with new puzzle packs delivered on the first Monday of each month. Each puzzle pack includes 12 puzzles that share a theme, for example, Fun with Water, Great Outdoors, All Around Town, and so on. Plus two bonus puzzles in each pack can be unlocked by completing challenges, such as earning three stars in all puzzles. At the time of writing, the app has a little over 60 puzzles.
Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that Hidden Pictures is free to download, however a monthly subscription is required to get new puzzle packs and special contents. When you open the app for the first time, you will be required to sign up for a 7-day free trial. During the free trial, you can play all the available puzzles and decide if you want to continue your subscription. If you wish to cancel your subscription, you can do so by going to your Account Settings and turning off Auto Renewal.
Once you’ve passed the subscription gate, the app contains no third-party advertising and no links to external sites. You will need Internet access to receive new puzzle packs, but once the puzzles have been downloaded to your device they can be played while the device is offline.
Things I Like
Hidden Pictures by Highlights Magazine features an easy-to-use interface that doesn’t get in the way of playing. The app is best enjoyed on a regular iPad, but the inclusion of a zoom feature also makes it accessible on smaller screens. In addition, the puzzles are beautifully illustrated and fun to look at. From a jostling carnival ride to a whimsical perfume shop for skunks, there is always something exciting to find in every scene.
Another factor worth considering is the app’s replay value. Once you have earned three stars in a puzzle, replaying it poses more challenge because the app no longer shows you the items you need to find. Instead, you are encouraged to use your memory (and a bit of logic) to find what items are hidden the scene and where. This could potentially make the app more appealing for older players, who might feel tired of finding the same list of items.
My only concern about the app is that some families might not agree with the obligatory subscription process. I understand that you can cancel the subscription anytime, but the app could be a lot more attractive if we could try several puzzles first without having to commit to a sign-up. That said, the app is worth its price if you like seek-and-find puzzles.
Fans of the hidden object games will be delighted by Hidden Pictures by Highlights Magazines. This interactive app boasts an easy-to-use interface, on-demand hints, and dozens of puzzles in one place. The puzzles vary in difficulty, providing hours of entertainment when you’re on the road or just looking for some good fun. Recommended for ages 7+.
App was suggested for our review but subscription was purchased by us.