GDC 2016: Quirky indie Where's Wally-like Hidden Folks wins the Big Indie Pitch in San Francisco


Adriaan de Jongh is no stranger at Pocket Gamer's Big Indie Pitch events. His graceful dancing game Bounden took home a prize a few years back, and now he's just won first place at the GDC 2016 pitch in San Francisco.

This time, it was for Hidden Folks: a charming black and white hunt-and-tap adventure best described as an interactive version of a Where's Wally book.

In each stage - which might be a small lakeside scene or a massive metropolis - you'll see a crowded ocean of people, buildings, vehicles, and things. And you'll be given a small list of things to find.

Mostly people, but maybe a snake. Or a mushroom. Or a four leaf clover. Everything is drawn with detail and style by illustrator Sylvain Tegroeg.

Each thing you have to find comes with an amusing hint (you might have to find a speech bubble in the environment to give you more hints), which will give you a clue about where to look for the person in question.

One clue said that a person was hiding behind the truck, so I flipped a switch, moved the truck, and revealed the hidden folk. Because these levels aren't static images - they can be poked and prodded and moved.

bip02

The game isn't designed to be super hard or taxing, but something to chill out and play for a few minutes here and there. Thus, there are no punishments for tapping on the wrong thing, and no timers ticking down.

Which is all part of why the game won. It's sweet, quirky, undemanding, and most of the judges could see themselves quite happily spending some serious time playing the game.

Hidden Folks is coming to Steam, iOS, and even Apple TV sometime later this year.
Mark Brown 18/3/2016
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