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Review: Nightshift Code

Table of Contents

Quick Info

Gore & Brutality Magic Sex Civility Religious Objections
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Additional Notes

Summary of major issues
The story itself is told via comics, and the heroes scuffle with the villains from time to time. At most, this results in characters appearing bruised.

Screenshots

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Figuring out a code

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Rummaging through the messiest backseat in history

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Finding an Apple Tree on a map

General Information

Genre:Hidden Object ESRB Rating:NR - Not Rated
License:Commercial My Rating:Children (6+)
Played on:Martha
Available from: Steam
Save System:In story mode, your progress is recorded as you go, so you can quit at any time.

To pause the game, bring up the pause menu by pressing ESC.

Game Overview

Hidden object games are fairly basic, as all they need is a cluttered scene for you to search through. But these games usually aren't that much fun when that's all there is. You need a reason to be looking for there random objects. The typical solution is to craft the game around a story, and that's where Nightshift Code manages to shine.

As you complete various hidden object scenes and minigames, you're presented with short comics that tell the next part of the story. This blends the gameplay and story surprisingly well, as the events in the story can change the way the game works. For example, in one part of the game the heroes need to break in to someone's apartment at night in order to find clues, and in the hidden object scene that follows, you can only see the portions of the room that are in your flashlight's beam.

The story centers around a museum's security guard named Mike. On night while he was working, someone attempted to steal one of the artifacts on display. When he went to arrest the thief, she offered a compelling counter proposal: she knew where his long lost father was, and that the papyrus she was stealing was a clue to his whereabouts.

Intrigued by this, and emboldened by some of the hints she dropped, Mike helps her steal the papyrus and together they set out on a journey that takes them around the world in search of his father and the treasure he'd hidden away for years.

Although this game is a little old, it's definitely a fun adventure that's worth picking up if you're a fan of hidden object games or are interested in trying one out.

Pros

Two game modes
The primary way to play through this game is via the Story Mode. As the name suggests, this mode has you play through the game while following the plot. The secondary mode, Arcade Mode, lets you simply focus on the hidden object puzzles and try for a high score.


The story drives the game
Everything, from which scenes you search to what minigames you play, is governed by the story. Each character has their own reasons for being involved in the plot, and since it often appears like anything could happen next, the player has more reason to become invested.


Hints are there to keep you from getting stuck
Can't find an object? Use a hint to find it instantly. But, you can't just spam the hint button to rush through a level. You can only use three hints before you run out. To get more hints, just be patient and they'll recharge over time. Unused hints carry over to the next level too.


Muliplayer friendly
This game supports profiles, so one installation can record how far many different users have progressed in the game.


Cons

Short and limited replayability
While this is a great example of a hidden object game, it's still fairly short compared to many other games. On average, you'll be able to complete the game in about three hours. The story itself is six chapters long, but while it's a good story, it's not really interesting enough to re-read frequently. Most players will probably complete the game once and then move on to something else.


Concerns and Issues

Cutscenes depict some violence
In the comic book style cutscenes, both the good and the bad guys get involved in fights or gunplay. However, very little of this is brutal or graphic; the most you'll see are some scrapes and bruises after the fight. Otherwise, people are threatened with guns or placed in overly complicated death traps, per the norm for adventure stories.


The good guys trespass from time to time
While the heroes are technically saving the day and doing good, they do sometimes bend the rules in order to do so. The most blatant examples involve trespassing in someone's apartment and the villain's yacht. Of course, the entire story is kicked off by someone stealing from a museum, so things were already morally gray at the start of the adventure.