Under Leaves Review

Developed and published by Circus Atos, Under Leaves is a super relaxing hidden object game with some interesting illustrations. With a variety of different landscapes and animals to explore it provides an interesting experience. Under Leaves does have some accompanying background music, but in the heat of the search, I can’t say I remember too much about it, which can be seen positively in the fact it is not distracting.

The gameplay on offer here is as simple as it comes; you are provided with two maps with spots that shows different animals and the locations they can be found. Selecting an animal opens up an interactive picture with the animal in the foreground. Clicking the animal provides you with the task of searching for a set number of the thing or being the animal likes to eat.

You then have to look for the things the animal likes to eat on the current page and more often than not other pages on offer. It does start very simple and the things you need to find tend to be quite obvious. You are also given a zoom option for some of the trickier ones to find and I did have to use this a bit at the tail end of the game.

Some of the things can be very mean spirited to find as they are camouflaged into the background quite well. It is made increasingly more difficult as all the pictures you are searching for are all in variations of the same colour as the background. I understand the necessity in doing this as the game would be too easy otherwise, though this is still pretty easy all things considered.

Me and my wife played this together and enjoyed the experience as this is a pleasant game to play together, or with kids. However, with the combined effort of my keen vision and my wife’s experience of hidden object games on her phone, we steamrolled through the game in about an hour and obtained the full 1000 Gamerscore (I think you just caught Ian’s attention…-ed) as we didn’t use the hint feature that was on offer highlight the things you couldn’t find.

You can redo some of the levels if you wish just to start over again and keep it going but that’s where the game falls short for me. I grew up on the Where’s Wally (Waldo for Americans) books, those books were super busy and tricky to find anything as there were a lot of red herrings. But it was the illustrations themselves and the variety of things to find which made the books so enchanting. Under Leaves only has you looking for the food of the animal you clicked on and is completed once you found them all. It does tell you their Latin name if you have any interest in that but I felt a bit more variety of things to search for could have improved things here.  

There is also no risk, danger or competition to be had as you don’t have a time limit to work against and there is not even a timer to show you how long it took you to find them all. These could have been used to raise the challenge or increase the longevity a little. But now that we have completed all the animals and maxed the achievements it doesn’t have any pull to entice you back playing it which leaves it as a one and done kind of game.

Conclusion

Under Leaves appealed to me in both the concept and to my childhood memories. This is not as gimmicky as other hidden object games and it’s far more functional than the Where’s Wally games on previous consoles. It is a relaxing game to play through, but it is very short and lacks that something extra which could have made the game more interesting and given it some replay value.

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This game was tested and reviewed on Xbox. All of the opinions and insights here are subject to that version. Game provided by publisher.
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Good
  • Wonderful Illustrations
  • Simple and effective controls
  • Very relaxing
Bad
  • Very Short
  • Misses a timed mode or timing features
  • Needed more things to search for
5.5
Average
Gameplay - 7
Graphics - 7
Audio - 5
Longevity - 3
Written by
Gaming, or, games in general, are in my blood. Just shy of an addiction but still an obsession. From opening my mind on the Commodore 64 I have kept up with the generations of gaming, currently residing on the Xbox One. Gamertag: Grahamreaper

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