Developer: Adriaan de Jongh, Sylvain Tegroeg
Publisher: Adriaan de Jongh
Tested on: PC
Hidden Folks – Review
We love puzzle games just as much as the next guy, but sometimes they are done in such a bland or cliché fashion that we can’t help but feel that the genre fails to inspire developers to try something new and exciting. This is where Hidden Folks comes in, a small indie game by Adriaan de Jongh and Sylvain Tegroeg, which first seemed like a glorified ‘Where’s Waldo’, but eventually proved to make us smile with delight. We ventured out to find all those hidden folks in Hidden Folks.
Hidden Folks comes without an actual story, safe for the topics of the maps you’ll have to find hidden people on, or the small hints at the bottom of the screen. The latter are quite amusing to read through, as some of the hints are a bit cryptic and feel like a line right out of a story book. Nonetheless, the game itself doesn’t have a story, and it is something that would not have enhanced the overall value of this title.
Hidden Folks is presented in a beautiful, yet simplistic black and white hand drawn art style, which immediately makes you smile the moment the game starts. Characters are done in a very simple fashion, as they don’t even have faces, but each has their own unique set of clothes, while each environment proves to differentiate a lot too. First you’ll find yourself in the jungle, which is followed by farmlands, a desert and so on, all proving to be fun environments to find either ‘folks’, animals or items. The fact that everything is black and white, makes it somewhat an even playing field to find whatever it is you’re supposed to be looking for, as some of the larger pictures would have been too crowded if it was all done in color.
The sounds and music in this game are simply hilarious, not because it is done poorly, or there’s a lack of it, but simply because all of the sounds you’ll hear come from the mouth of one person. Nothing beats hearing a chicken, that sounds like a grown man stressing his voice to sound as such, or a crocodile screaming, or even the ‘zip’ sound of a tent opening u. This part of the game is probably the most creative one, as there are so many different sound effects to hear, simply by clicking on all possible interactive objects on the different maps. We were simply amazed.
Hidden Folks is a short but sweet puzzle game in which you’ll have to find, well, hidden folks, objects, animals and so forth. You’ll be browsing through hand drawn environments filled with people, animals, objects, buildings, and so on, and you’ll have to point and click on the target you’re supposed to find. Even though this sounds extremely simple, the game is a bit trickier than just pointing at the target that needs to be found.
Many of the hidden targets are often behind other objects, be it behind a bush, a window, in a tent, and many other possibilities, thus the game will require you to click these items as well to open them up, adding some extra challenge to the search. Those who still can’t find a target or two will be pleased to hear that the game allows you to press on to new maps, if you have already reached a specific amount of hidden items. If you’re a true completionist, you can click the icons of the thing(s) you’re looking for in the bottom bar, which will then give you a small clue as to where to find said target. Overall this is the concept of the game, and there’s not that much more to it, and we don’t really mind at all.
Hidden Folks is one of those rare exquisite small indie games that takes something extremely simple and transforms it into something renovating, that simply drives you to keep playing. While the game currently doesn’t have that much content, it’s still worth looking into, be it because you’re mad because you were never able to find Waldo, simply for relaxation, or because you’re the biggest puzzle fan out there. We’re looking forward to seeing more projects from this publisher.