Meet Apple’s game of the year
Hidden Folks, from Dutch indie game designers Adriaan de Jongh and Sylvain Tegroeg, recently scooped Apple’s 2017 iPad Game of the Year award. "With its playful artwork, quaint style and kooky humour, playing it will always make you grin," wrote Apple.
It’s now available on Android devices, so we thought it was high time we gave it a try to see what all the fuss was about. We weren’t disappointed…
What is Hidden Folks all about?
Your goal in Hidden Folks is to find a list of items that have been carefully concealed somewhere within its beautiful hand-drawn worlds. If you think this sounds easy, cast your mind back to all those hours you spent as a youngster searching through your ‘Where’s Wally?’ books. This is the same kind of thing.
A strip of onscreen targets shows you what to look for, and you’ll need to search for them in some seriously huge areas, zooming in and out as you go. There’s always lots going on - tiny people wave at you from buildings, monkeys hide in bushes, and pigs wander around farms. There's a lot to interact with too - you can roll up tent flaps, chop trees or sail boats up rivers to find what you’re looking for. It’s worth taking your time and experimenting - tap on someone who looks interesting, and they could be the very person you need to find to complete the level.
As you progress, the levels become incredibly dense. You’ll need to find characters and items in the middle of hundreds of other similar things. The fact that the game is in black-and-white makes it even more of a challenge.
When you've find your fair share of targets, you get the option of moving on to the next level. Or, if you're a completist, you can keep playing the level you're on and find everything, down to the last tiny worm.
What we liked
The sound is fantastic, especially if you're wearing headphones. Almost anything you tap on produces one of De Jongh and Tegroeg's strange spoken sound effects. Every sound, from balloons popping to car horns honking, has been created with just their mouths and a little bit of skill.
We love this game’s humour too. Every few moments, there seems to be a joke or sound effect that brings a smile to our faces or makes us laugh out loud. We can't think of any other games that are this funny, actually.
This is one of the most satisfying mobile games we’ve played. It's loads of fun tapping your way around a world that feels alive. And because you can search for other things apart from your main targets, Hidden Folks never frustrates or annoys you.
You can buy Hidden Folks from the App Store for £3.99 if you’ve got an iPhone or iPad. If you’re an Android owner, it’s available from Google Play for a mere £2.99. In our view, that’s money well spent.
Have you go Hidden Folks on your phone? Do you enjoy playing it as much as we do? Let us know by commenting below.