World Mysteries from Brazilian developer Vostu is a new hidden object game for Facebook. It came in second place on our emerging Facebook games chart late last week, and has been showing healthy growth since its launch in late December, with numbers really starting to pick up in early January.
World Mysteries is a hidden object game that bears more than a passing resemblance to Zynga’s recently-released Hidden Chronicles. Both see the player investigating the disappearance of their uncle under mysterious circumstances, both revolve around restoring the mansion to unlock access to additional scenes and both feature an attractive female “guide” character to talk players through the early scenes.
There are two main parts to World Mysteries, as with Hidden Chronicles: the restoration of the mansion — though in this case the player is restoring the interior, not the exterior — and the search for the titular mysteries. Said mysteries lead to the truth behind the disappearance of the player’s uncle. Purchasing objects to decorate the mansion earns Mystery Points, which in turn unlock access to further scenes in the second part of the game: the search for hidden objects in various locations around the world.
In these scenes, players are challenged to locate a list of objects scattered throughout a static image. In order to complete many of the game’s quests, it is necessary to revisit these locations several times in order to earn additional trophies. Each time the scene is replayed, the image and object locations are the same, but the list of objects to locate is randomized. This means that over time, players will learn the location of specific items in the scene and be able to quickly find them all for a much higher score. Bonuses are provided for quickly finding objects in rapid succession, and bonuses are given once all objects have been found depending on how much time was taken to complete the scene. As with most hidden object games, the objects the player is tasked with finding typically have little to no relevance to the narrative reasons for being in the location, and are frequently presented in physically-improbable situations — a scarf wrapped around the Eiffel Tower in Paris, for example.
The game’s social features primarily revolve around visiting friends’ mansions to leave them gifts, and also in comparing scores on the leaderboards for each stage.
Monetization for the game is handled through the sale of both hard and soft currency in exchange for Facebook Credits, though prices in the app are listed directly in U.S. dollars rather than in Credits. Hard currency may be used to purchase premium items to decorate the mansion. These items typically carry a much higher Mystery Points value than those bought with soft currency, so progression through the different scenes of the game is quicker when spending money. Hard currency may also be spent on energy-restoring items and hints for use in the hidden object scenes. Certain objects also require the player to acquire specific building materials to construct them, and hard currency may be spent on immediately acquiring these rather than finding them through normal gameplay.
The popularity of the hidden object genre on Facebook is such that World Mysteries is seeing slow and steady growth in user numbers even though Zynga’s Hidden Chronicles has approximately fifteen times more monthly active users. So long as the users keep coming, Vostu will keep expanding the game with additional cases and scenes to explore, and a “Collections” feature along with two additional types of hint are set for inclusion in an upcoming update — at this time, they’re marked on the interface, but blocked by a “Soon” banner.
Future development on the game will also hopefully include some improved translation from the original Portuguese — some messages are riddled with spelling and grammar errors, and the icon which indicates the game is loading still says “Carregando.”
You can follow World Mysteries’ progress with AppData, our traffic tracking application for social games and developers.