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For: Windows 8

A simple pleasure

Product: Adera | Developer: Hit Point Studios | Publisher: Microsoft Studios | Format: Windows 8 | Players: 1 | Version: Europe
Adera Windows 8, thumbnail 1
If Telltale's The Walking Dead games have taught us anything, it's that linearity isn't as much of a chore if the narrative that's pushing you down the gameplay corridor is an entertaining one. In a way, Adera posits the same lesson but in hidden object rather than point-and-click form.

Although quite often it's happy to blur the distinction between the two genres, and it throws in some other puzzling set-pieces as well, before wrapping the whole package in an intriguing archaeological adventure.

Searching questions

The game starts with main character Jane Sinclaire waking up after a helicopter crash. She's in a strange desert canyon, and it's up to you to lead her out of there and solve the mystery of how she got there.

Cue lots of finding things, solving puzzles, and the sort of soft, logical gameplay that makes for a peaceful way to spend a sleepy Sunday afternoon. There are none of the great leaps of imagination sometimes required in adventure games – if you find a broken bit of a machine, you can bet there'll be a broken machine in the not too distant future.

The game drags its challenge up through sliding block puzzles, but even these are skippable after a while. It all adds to the idea that story is king - it would be nice if you finished this puzzle, but don't get too upset if you can't, because something cool is about to happen anyway.

Softly softly

And so the story chugs along at a decent pace, with mysteries revealing enigmas revealing conundrums. You'll slot things in to place, root around set screens for different items, and uncover the secrets that lie behind the weird orb you're carrying around with you.

If you're an adventure game veteran then Adera will probably be too tightly managed for your liking, but if you're looking for something to waste a few simple hours on, without your brain ever really having to get out of its lower gears, then this is going to be a special treat.

Adera is a game that lets you sit back and enjoy it at your own pace, and that's something that mobile gaming doesn't offer very often.
Reviewer photo
Harry Slater | 10 January 2013
Simple and easy, Adera probably won't get your adrenaline pumping, but its story is one that's worth experiencing
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