Classic Adventures: The Great Gatsby
Let me preface this review by saying that I have never read The Great Gatsby, nor did I know any of the plot before playing.
Based on the novel by F. Scott Fitzgerald, this game is a period piece
set in the 1920's. The developers did a very good job making sure that
everything was era-appropriate, which helped to make the game more
You will gain trophies as you progress through the game for things like
collecting 500 hidden items, finishing a game level without a hint,
using a hint before you've found any objects on the scene (oh yes, there
is a dunce cap ) The game is NOT timed, but you do have the option of
collecting points, which can be used to "buy" items to customize your
library. Any trophies you collect will also be displayed in your
This game is a straight HOG with a lot of story interspersed. Despite
this, the game can be as immersive as you wish, for you can turn off the
voiced (and visual) dialogue at any time. There are triggers during HOG
scenes where text will appear at the top of the screen and voices of
characters will begin. You may be 1/4 or 1/2 way through the scene
before you hit the right item. It was jolting at first, but I soon
became used to the sudden interruptions and actually looked forward to
them so that I could learn more of the story.
You get points for each item you find, and if you "stagger" the items
(find as many items on the screen as possible before you start
clicking), you'll get a lot of bonus points. The fast-click bonus is a
plus for me, as it gives me incentive to really use my memory to
remember where everything is.
There are two optional "mini-games" embedded in the hidden object scenes:
- Find the Books - Find one book in each scene. Each book you find will
give you bonus points and will be displayed on a bookshelf in your
- Find the Secret Word: Collect letters in the scene to spell out the
secret word. When you click on a letter, it will go to a word box on the
bottom right of the screen. Finding letters gets you extra points. When
you think you know the word, you can try to guess it, and doing so
(correctly) will get you even more bonus points. Also, if you can guess
early, it will remove all of the letters from the scene and give you the
points for those, as well.
The hidden objects start out pretty easy - especially the letters for
the secret word. As you go forward through the game, however, items and
letters get more and more cleverly hidden.
At times during gameplay, there are interactive cutscenes. There is
narration and changing backgrounds to move the story along, but during
these scenes, you have another optional "mini-game" to play: Find
x-number of x-item during the scenes to get extra points. You can replay
the "transition" scenes if you happened to miss any of the items, but
this is also optional.
There are a few mini-games like replacing a flat tire on a car, locket
puzzles, type-the-falling-words tasks, etc. There are quite a few of the
typing tasks, but the SKIP button is immediately available for those
who are not able to type fast.
Something I really liked about the game were the options. You have three
sound bars you can adjust: SFX/Ambience (Clicking noise/background
noises like birds chirping), Music and Voices.
Now we get to the good stuff: The graphics. The coloration, art style
and overall visuals really helped set the tone for the era. Very
appropriate. The thing I appreciated the most about the game is that the
graphics aren't "static". The scenes are not simple frozen scenes in
time. There are nuances of light that play about the scenes that are so
beautifully and skillfully done that you don't really notice them unless
you are paying attention. This is not the usual "beam of light through
the window with dust motes" kind of movement, it's minute changes that
bring the scenes to life without distracting the eye. My favorite effect
was on the hydrangea bushes on the outside scenes.
Two more notes about graphics:
First, this game has implemented a type of moving hidden object scene
I've never seen before. You have a car and typical hidden object scene
in the foreground, with the street and some more objects to find passing
by as you are driving. Fast clicking isn't needed, as you can see them
Second, you will revisit scenes in this game... but the scenes never
look the same. Not only do the hidden objects move around each time the
scene loads, but there are daytime and nighttime views! The artists and
developers really did a fantastic job keeping the scenes fresh and
The story progresses well, is interesting and complete, and yet still leaves questions that make you want to read the book.