In time for Halloween, Difference Games has released Happy Halloween, a downloadable app game available in the digital app stores for NOOK, Google Play, and Amazon. Happy Halloween is a hidden object game providing around 20 levels for Halloween themed searching.
The levels are designed by the critically acclaimed artist Phatpuppy. Each level is peppered with hidden objects that the player locates with a finger tap. The game allows the choice whether to search for objects with the bottom screen showing the items’ pictures or silhouettes of the item listed by word.
The game features multiple difficulty levels as well as a Training Mode for practice. The gameplay modes include Normal Mode (with limited time and hints but including a bonus round after each level), Nice & Casual Mode (featuring unlimited time and hints but no bonus rounds), and Challenge Mode (rotates objects, letters are missing from words, and double-score bonuses are available).
Levels are unlocked by completing the previous level. Nice & Casual Mode as well as Training Mode allow for a leisurely unlocking of all levels. While in Normal Mode and Challenge Mode, too many wrong taps results in a 5 second penalty, and when time runs out it is game over. Overall, the gameplay is the same across levels with similar objects sprinkled amongst all levels. The difficulty differences are in how clearly the objects are portrayed.
Happy Halloween does not require sound whether dialogue or audio cues to navigate the game, and one-finger touches are the extent of the gameplay. The objects have a generous touch area but are sometimes halfway off of the screen, resulting in more difficulty for an accurate touch to trigger the object.
For visual disabilities, the game is largely inaccessible. The Halloween-themed levels are often dark, and objects are repeatedly obscured while hidden in shadow. In one search, I requested a hint only to find the object as a black silhouette located in an area of complete blackness which I never would have found unassisted. In Google Play the game costs $1.99. Disabled gamers who are interested should note that Google offers a refund policy that allows returning an app within 15 minutes of purchase. While no free demo is offered, the Google Play refund allows for a quick couple of rounds to have firsthand experience of how well the gameplay pairs with your disability related needs.