The Needles

The Needles: Find Your Own Way Home: The REO Speedwagon Game Review

Andy Chalk | 15 Dec 2009 21:00
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Let's cut right to the chase: Amazingly, Find Your Own Way Home, the new hidden object game based on 80s hit-makers REO Speedwagon, doesn't suck. No, scratch that; the amazing thing is that someone not only had the idea of making a videogame based on REO Speedwagon in the first place, but they then managed to talk other people into helping make it happen. The fact that it's actually pretty damn good is absolutely mind-boggling.

In Find Your Own Way Home, players step into the shoes of Ruby, a "hip" but wickedly disorganized reporter for the fictional television show Entertainment Now who's following REO Speedwagon on its latest tour across the country. On this particular day, Ruby is scheduled to make her very first "red carpet report" at the release party for the band's latest album, but as you might expect, shenanigans, misadventures and a missing lead singer add up to unexpected trouble and an amusingly thin yet oddly entertaining excuse to play through the game's 70-plus levels.

The hidden object gameplay should be familiar to most gamers by now and will take all of about 30 seconds for beginners to pick up, but Find Your Own Way Home slips in an occasional twist. Some variations are included that require players to find objects in a specific order or combine them to accomplish other tasks, such as feeding a cat or turning on a television. Production values are impressive, with attractive, hand-drawn levels, various achievements and "digital souvenirs" to mark the player's progress through the game and a storyboard-style narration that moves things along between levels. A timed gameplay mode adds a little extra snap to the proceedings, although, keeping with the "casual" concept, a more leisurely untimed option is also available.

While conventional HOG action is the name of this game, other types of mini-games pop up here and there to add a little spice to the mix. Most are fairly simple, although one or two are rather clever; the video editing puzzles are quite well done and "Escape," a simple stealth game, actually manages to serve up some legitimate videogame tension. None of it threatens to hang up players for more than a few minutes, however. Casual games are lightweight fare as a rule but even so, Find Your Own Way Home is especially forgiving. It boasts a generous hint system that keeps things rolling and no penalty for excessive random clicking during the object hunts, a sure relief for the compulsive clickers out there.

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