Review: Where’s My What?

wheresmywhat_1

From mobile app to home PC, EnsenaSoft’s Where’s My What brings casual, time-killing seek & find gameplay to the Steam marketplace. As much as I love a good hidden object hunt, I think this one was better left to tablets and smartphones.

Imagine pulling open your junk drawer–come on, everyone has one at home or in their office/desk, right?–with a list of random items in hand to quickly spot and collect while being timed with a stopwatch. That’s the basic gist of Where’s My What. Each level has a randomized task list of specific objects that must be found from a jumbled mess of things strewn out across a side-scrolling play space. Looking at the list itemized horizontally across the top of the screen, you must find the items, visualized as cute, sticker-like icons, and click them to scratch them off the list. Making correct selections adds bonus time onto the clock, while an instant time penalty is incurred for miss-clicking objects that do not fit an assigned category.

Most of the item collection goals are vague–animals, something round, something sharp, electrical products, items that belong in a kitchen, cleaning items, tools, letters in the alphabet, numbers, music symbols, toys, paper things, and so on. Occasionally the targets will be more specific, like finding a doll with blonde hair, a black dog, or a sock with polka dots. There are two main problems here though.

wheresmywhat_2

First, there is too much ambiguity with objects that seem to fit a description but for some reason don’t count, or items that fall under a particular classification when the ties are very loose. For example, strawberries, cherries, and pineapples count as fruits, as they should, but also as dessert items, which is a bit of stretch. On the other hand, a tomato, which no one seems to remember is a fruit, counts as a vegetable but not a fruit. When asked to simply find a number, clicking the 8 on an 8-ball doesn’t register, but if the specific task is to find a number 8, then suddenly clicking the 8-ball counts. The logic is baffling. I don’t know about you, but my vacuum cleaner is an electric product, but in this game it only counts as a cleaning item while the game accurately recognizes objects like hand mixers and blenders as both electrical and kitchen items. And for the life of me I still cannot figure out what the game wants me to select when asked to find “Greetings.” It’s such a vague description, and no object I’ve ever selected has counted. At least the tasks are random each time a level is played and replayed, so getting stumped doesn’t derail progress.

The next problem is the simple fact that the music, color palette (which is incredibly bland and underwhelming), item artwork (at least the pictures are somewhat cute), and objectives remain the same from the first puzzle to the last. The lack of variety turns the process of seeking and finding objects, which actually is relatively fun for an initial 10 to 15 minutes, into a snoozefest. The adventure mode consists of 100 stages and takes no more than two hours to complete, with the starting time limit and time bonuses for correct selections decreasing in value at certain intervals in an effort to increase the level of urgency as you go. With the level selection map divided into blocks of twenty stages, the game would have been so much better had each section had its own level theme with different artwork and objects. But since everything looks the same from start to finish, once you understand the object classifications and memorize the picture art, the game becomes so easy that the ticking clock rarely is a factor.

wheresmywhat_3

While adventure mode becomes dull rather quickly, free mode hits the mark better as a quick pick up and play bit of casual time wasting, challenging you to simply find as many items as possible within a starting time allotment of 120 seconds while adding time onto the clock for each correct selection. There’s also a local multiplayer mode, which has two players take turns trying to find more items than their competitor within a firm 60 seconds. I could see kids or parent and child having some fun with this a couple rounds at a time. According to the Steam page, the game is supposed to have a 3-star rating system, but I couldn’t find its existence anywhere, across any of the modes.

Where’s My What plays well mechanically (a mouse is a suitable replacement for putting a finger to a touchscreen) and the core seek & find framework is sound, but with such little diversity of, well, any aspect of game or audiovisual design, there just isn’t enough here to hold your attention span beyond a few minutes. Without any perceivable content additions or upgrades from the free mobile app, it’s hard to justify paying a premium to play on a PC.

SkipIt

Pros:
+ Simple, intuitive seek & find gameplay; interface adapted well from mobile touchscreen to PC mouse
+ Free play and 2-player mode offer bite-sized moments of enjoyment

Cons:
– Some of the object classifications range from ambiguous to outright illogical
– Nothing really changes from the first puzzle to the hundredth
– Greetings? What the hell are these Greetings you want me to find?

Game Info:
Platform: Reviewed on PC (also on mobile devices)
Publisher: EnsenaSoft
Developer: EnsenaSoft
Release Date: 9/27/2016
Genre: Puzzle
Players: 1-2

Source: Review code provided by developer

Buy From: Steam for $4.99

About the Author

Matt Litten is the full-time editor and owner of VGBlogger.com. He is responsible for maintaining the day to day operation of the site, editing all staff content before it is published, and contributing regular news, reviews, previews and other articles. Matt landed his first gig in the video game review business writing for the now-defunct website BonusStage.com. After the sad and untimely close of BonusStage, the former staff went on to found VGBlogger.com. After a short stint as US Site Manager for AceGamez, Matt assumed full ownership over VGBlogger, and to this day he is dedicated to making it one of the top video game blogs in all the blogosphere. Matt is a fair-minded reviewer and lover of games of all platforms and types, big or small, hyped or niche, big-budget or indie. But that doesn't mean he will let poor games slide without a good thrashing when necessary!