I’ve loved hidden object games since I was a kid.
Well, the ones I started out with appeared in magazines that I’d look at in the doctor’s office. Those were only one page with around 10-20 items to find that you had to circle with a pencil. Not at all like today’s hidden object video games where you have to find dozens of items on multiple different screens. Varenje is a quirky hidden object game from Ukrainian independent developer Play Cute.
In Varenje, you start on one or two screens looking for certain items. While searching for those items, you might come across a contraption that’s missing something like screws, and then suddenly you’re looking for screws as well.
As you start to find the items, you’ll be able to fix or use everything in the vicinity in order to move onto more screens. Eventually, once you find all of the items in the area, you’ll move onto the next level. Items can be hidden in plain sight or inside boxes, buckets, and closets. It’s important to explore all of your options.
Along the way you might get stuck, but Varenje offers a hint system to help you out. To get a hint, you’ll need to complete a simple matching puzzle that’ll take only a few seconds. When you’ve solved it, you’ll be shown where an item you need is. I won’t admit how often I used the hint system… but let’s just say it was more than a few.
What’s strange about Varenje is its “story”. In between each level, there are short scenes where a man, presumably you, speaks about having dreams involving finding items. He goes to a mental facility where the doctors try to understand why he’s having these “dreams” while he strives towards getting “the last achievement” on what looks like a PS Vita. Huh.
The puzzle portions of Varenje hold up very well so it’s easy to look past the awkward scenes in between. But one does question the necessity for them – especially considering many of them look and feel completely different from the rest of the game. If you’re looking for a game that you can turn on and play for an hour to wind down at the end of the day, then Varenje is still worth a try. It looks great, plays well, and kept me hooked for the entire duration.