Hidden object puzzle games, a subset of point and click adventure games, are not widely known for their storytelling elements. Adam Wolfe is a game that seemed to have changing that preconception as its raison d’etre, as the game has quite the emphasis on its incredible story. Players are constantly engaged in the story at all points of play and that works quite well at making it stand out from the pack, as hidden object games are almost quite literally a dime-a-dozen on Steam. So, will Adam Wolfe mystify you, or will you get frustrated at what may constitute a pixel hunt? Let’s find out.
Adam Wolfe, the titular paranormal investigator, is the character that players will connect with as he deals with demons, ghosts, or the disappearance of his sister. Each episode has its own kind of self-contained story, though it all has plot threads that are further explored from one chapter to the next, giving continuity throughout all four of the episodes. The story is simply the best part of the game, and something typically unheard of in hidden object games- there’s action, mysterious superhumans, ancient evils, and more, enough to keep you clicking on from one episode to the next even though you have to get up for work at 6AM and its half-past 2.
Hidden object games typically play very similarly and Adam Wolfe is no detractor from that part of the formula: You spend a lot of time clicking. The UI is easy enough to navigate so no one should ever have trouble with the controls even if you’re extremely new to these types of games, or new to gaming in general. This is a very casual-style game, in that there’s little challenge and you primarily interact with the game through a single input. Puzzles are very, very easy to decipher, and there’s not a moment, at least not that can be easily remembered, that devolved into a pixel hunt for the next object to interact with in order to push the story forward.
There are a variety of mechanics players use to unravel the mysteries abound in Adam Wolfe’s world, such as the ability to touch objects and divine information about the owner, piecing together crime scenes by deciphering information from the past, and more, so this is actually quite the welcoming title for those new to hidden object games.
Pseudo action sequences are another mechanic that pops up in Adam Wolfe from time to time, in moments where players will be thrust into combat and chaotically press quick time events to survive. The mechanic is cuter than it is interesting, but the overall tone and story buildup tend to make even these sequences satisfying. Scenes are directed extremely well in Adam Wolfe; some seem as if they copied the presentation directly from a motion comic. This is definitely one of the premiere stories for this genre, and a lot of gameplay and presentation factors have a hand in making an impression upon the player.
Players just starting up Adam Wolfe will almost immediately notice an almost profound difference in visuals between this game and what someone would normally think for games of this genre. Proper voice acting and music will be noticed almost immediately, which is a pleasant surprise given how many budget games on Steam tend to ignore such integral components of game design. The visuals are typically quite well done: Adam Wolfe looks much better in motion than in screenshots, though some of the animations leave a lot to be desired (since there are crudely morphing 2D art for animations in some scenes).
Overall, you should know what you’re getting into with Adam Wolfe: As a hidden object game, you click a lot and solve puzzles. Those who are easily frustrated by overtly obfuscated puzzles can easily enjoy Adam Wolfe as much of the puzzle design is on the simplistic, novel side of the spectrum. Those who can appreciate a good story, even though by the end it may have a plot hole or two, will most assuredly enjoy Adam Wolfe as its fantastically written and has superb presentation for its price. People who hate hidden object games with a passion may still not want to take the plunge into this game, but if ever there was a gem to change such a person’s mind, Adam Wolfe would be it due to its high-quality sound design, art direction, and storytelling for a budget game.