reviews\ Aug 27, 2010 at 8:00 pm

Samantha Swift and the Hidden Roses of Athena Review


Over the course of a couple of hours, I set off on a journey across the world with my friend Samantha Swift. During that time I came across precious artifacts, as well as useful oddities and shiny trinkets, all from the comfort of my couch. Samantha Swift and the Hidden Roses of Athena is a casual, hidden object game, that I actually enjoyed.

The story revolves around the adventurous Samantha Swift, and her quest that takes her across exotic locations to gather golden rose artifacts that all make up a part of a shield. Normally, I wouldn’t pay attention to the story in a game like this, but it’s actually tied together quite well with the gameplay.

In a standard hidden object game, you’re presented with an area that tasks you with finding random objects, and then moving on to the next. Samantha Swift does it in a way that most of the items you need to find are actually useful, and sometimes required to progress. Levers will open doors and hidden passageways, shovels will clear out rubble to uncover artifacts, dynamite will help blow up large rocks that block entrances, and wire cutters will help disarm alarms that protect precious artifacts.

Having these items be useful is what ties the whole game together. I don’t feel like I’m tasked to look for hidden things for the sheer sake of finding them. However not all things found are useful. Sometimes you’re tasked with finding a lizard, or an apple, that have nothing to do with progress, only to have more things to look for, presumably to make the game longer.

After you help Ms. Swift find all required items in an area, there are other activities (or mini-games) to do. They provide a nice break from the constant searching. Some require you to solve puzzles by arranging different tiles together to form a picture. Others will task you with navigating a maze, or collecting gears to make a mechanism work again.

Carefully scoping out the areas to find each hidden item can either be extremely easy, or quite challenging. Since the items aren’t a part of the background, they tend to be more colorful, and have an outline to them. Some are in plain view and offer no challenge to find, while others are carefully placed to make them blend in and appear almost invisible. Since there is no timer, you can take all the time you want looking for each item, and if you feel like the game has you beat, the hint system will show an item of your choosing, and it has a cooldown until it can be used again.

The biggest problem was the stylus pointing. Many times I would tap an item that was on the list, and it wouldn’t react. Thinking it wasn’t the correct item, I moved on, only to try tapping the same item later out of frustration, and it would indeed count.

Samantha Swift and the Hidden Roses of Athena is an enjoyable casual game. It’s the type of game you pick up and play for a little while, only to notice a couple of hours went by. Not only is it a fun time waster, but it allows for multiple playthroughs thanks to its varied item lists. Casual fans take notice.


About The Author
Mike Splechta GameZone's review copy hoarding D-bag extraordinaire! Follow me @MichaelSplechta
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