This latest entry into the hidden object category takes place in Abra Academy, a school for witches. Players help Wanda survive four years of school by finding hidden objects and adding them to the cauldron.

Unless you’re a fan of hidden objects regardless of the storyline or mini-games that occur between hidden objects puzzles, Abra Academy offers little to make it stand out from the other games of the hidden object genre. The game, however, does a good job of hiding many objects as they blend naturally into the scene. The game hides things so well that I needed help from the fairies to find them.

Unfortunately, those same fairies are a distraction. They’re flighty creatures that quickly moved around their little cage making it difficult to concentrate on finding the objects. Also, the number of fairies equals the number of hints available. Unless there are only one or two hints left, figuring out the number of hints remaining was tough.

The same thing applies to knowing how much time you had left. The cauldron, where the objects enter, sits on a fire. When the fire dies down, time is running out. But how much time is left? 30 seconds? Five minutes? You can extend time by finding four wooden matches in each scene, which keeps the fire burning bright.

Ironically, trying to click the stick thin matches to get more time leads to losing time because when you click too fast, a mean gremlin comes out and steals time. Other complications include having to back out of the scene to get to the main page to pause the game. You can’t pause the game from within the scene. The game does not include a help file. The only help comes from professors and students who pop in with advice. I couldn’t remember everything they said.

Mini-games appear when you complete a period. These games were more frustrating than fun. Most of them have letters or objects flowing in a jagged line making their way into a cauldron. As they move, they jerk making it dizzying and difficult to pick them up.

The game’s ending was anti-climatic. I graduated, I got a diploma and that was that. Disappointing. The game does offer a good way to keep the eyes sharp for hidden objects games.

System Requirements

  • Windows 2000/XP/Vista
  • 500MHz or faster Processor
  • 128MB RAM
  • DirectX 7.0 or higher

[tags]Meryl K. Evans, games[/tags]