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Samantha Swift and The Hidden Roses of Athena

For: DS
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Swiftly does it

Product: Samantha Swift and The Hidden Roses of Athena | Publisher: Easy Interactive | Format: DS | Genre: Casual | Players: 1 | Version: Europe
 
Samantha Swift and The Hidden Roses of Athena DS, thumbnail 1
Any fan of hidden object games will know of the Samantha Swift series for PC, starring a young explorer who is always on the lookout for hidden treasures in long-forgotten tombs and crypts.

Having forged success with the click of a mouse button, it made sense that the series would eventually come to a touchscreen. Enter Samantha Swift and The Hidden Roses of Athena for the Nintendo DS, a port of the original PC game that started it all.

The Hidden Roses of Athena is one of the most enjoyable hidden object games you can find for Nintendo DS, although don't expect it to last much longer than a half a dozen hours.

Sweet-smelling

The plot is solid, and gives progression a real edge. Sam finds a most incredible hidden treasure, but her evil rival Ravena Stryker steals it away, making all Sam's work meaningless.

However, all is not lost, as she also discovers the locations of six Roses of Athena, which together will make a sacred shield. You're tasked with visiting each location, and collecting the roses before Ravena can find them.

Over 50+ gorgeous scenes, you're given a list of items that need finding, and all you need to do is poke them with your DS stick to pick them up.

Unlike some other hidden object games, Samantha Swift feels like it has direction and focus. You can use some of the items you find to open up new pathways in the current scene, and sometimes even visit past scenes to unlock new areas from there.

Rather than feeling like you're simply finding things, moving on, repeating, Sam Swift gives you a sense that you really are exploring hidden tombs and moving deeper and deeper towards a huge find.

Swiftly swiftly

Every now and again you'll come across a puzzle that utilises the touchscreen and breaks up the item-spotting action.

These puzzles are usually good fun, and provide plenty of variety. Each mini-game fits to the current area or setting, and again gives you the sense that you're really moving deeper into the unknown.

Although the puzzles are great, they're also a little too easy. We didn't find ourselves challenged at any point, and would have much preferred it if the game threw us a curve ball sometimes.

A little too swift

While The Hidden Roses of Athena is a great experience, it's also extremely short. You'll easily be able to complete the game in just a couple of sittings, and you may even have it finished in one if you have a particularly lengthy commute.

There are special objects hidden in certain scene that are added to a museum in the main menu, lending the game a little bit of replay value if you feel like going back through and finding them these morsels. 

Multiple playthroughs also provide different item lists, but knowing where all the secrets are and how the story is going to pan out puts a bit of a downer on play.

If you like your hidden object games, Samantha Swift and The Hidden Roses of Athena is definitely one to check out. It's short, but it's sweet.
 
Samantha Swift and The Hidden Roses of Athena
Reviewer photo
Mike Rose | 23 June 2011
Samantha Swift and The Hidden Roses of Athena is perfect for hidden object fans, although it's rather on the short side
 
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