Reviews
Out of Sight

Out of Sight

Out of Sight is a decent 3D hidden object game with 20 levels beautifully crafted as stand-alone, miniature worlds. In each of these stages, you will be given a list of items at the bottom of the screen, displayed as images – you’ll need to locate them on the map, and when you have managed to find a certain amount of items, you’ll be able to progress to the next level.

The perspective is everything in this game: the items are usually hidden in intuitive locations, but the majority of them can be spotted only from a certain angle and they often require zooming in because they’re very small. Luckily, the camera controls are pretty good: you can rotate the camera around the level or zoom in / out a certain area by using the mouse or the keyboard (or a combination of both); alternatively the game can be played with a controller too. There is one thing that bothered me throughout the game though, namely that you can’t tilt the camera on a vertical axis. Some items are difficult to spot from this top-down perspective because they’re covered by other objects on top; take for example a thick forest with objects hidden at the base of the trees; they will be covered by branches, and the only solution is to zoom in to the maximum, hoping that you will be able to spot one corner of the object in between branches. Sadly this is not the only case in which this limitation is borderline annoying: there are spots in which you need an almost pixel precision angle of perspective for the item to be visible. On top of that, the game starts with an awful blur surrounding the edge of the screen that takes up around 20% of the visible surface – good thing that it can be turned off from the settings, so do yourself a favor and disable it from the beginning – the option is counterintuitively called “Tile Shift”.

There are some levels in which no light source is present, and the world is enveloped in darkness. These can prove to be a good test for your monitor: I use an average LCD monitor and even if it’s calibrated according to various online tests, I still had a very hard time finding the objects in these levels. While I do enjoy the color palette, it seems to me that there isn’t enough contrast and color accuracy to distinguish the objects clearly from the background, and these levels fully proved this. The pastel colors are very friendly and the shades used are harmonious, but the colors not being vibrant enough makes it even more difficult to spot some objects that are already difficult to spot (imagine for example that you need to find a black radio on a black seat and even fully zoomed in, the radio takes only a few pixels).

Thankfully, there is a very nice built-in hint system. Clicking on an item from the list highlights a small circular zone where the object can be found, with the item being placed at the center of the area. While using the hints seems to only have an effect on the total score, you’ll probably end up spamming it more or less non-stop, especially for those minuscule items that are very hard to locate.

The game advertises randomness for subsequent playthroughs (the items you need to find in each level are always the same, but replaying a level will place them in a different position from the previous attempt). This is true to some extent – the objects seem to have only a very limited amount of alternative locations (from what I’ve seen, 1-2 additional positions, and not even for every object), therefore the randomness is not as high as one would expect. Multiple playthroughs of the same level usually gave me only a couple of items in a different location than the one I was expecting.

In terms of achievements, the game is pretty straightforward, requiring you to find all the items (don’t proceed to the next level without finding all the objects from the current one), plus some additional collectibles that can be found only in certain levels – there is a Steam guide available for them. Lastly, there’s one silly achievement that requires you to spin the camera 1000 times 200 times (was changed with an update) – and mind you, these are full rotations, not partial ones that you otherwise do while playing. So basically this requires idling in one level with an AutoHotKey program for some minutes. Looking at the screen during this time is not recommended or you might get dizzy.

Should you keep Out of Sight in your sight? Definitely, but perhaps it’s better suited for purchases with a discount; the current asking price of $6 could prove to be a bit too high for what it offers. It has low replayability values if you don’t care much about leaderboards. On a positive side, it is a beautiful game and it does provide 1h-2h of relaxing gameplay.

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