Faircroft’s Antiques: The Forbidden Crypt

Faircroft’s Antiques: The Forbidden Crypt

Faircroft Antiques is in my opinion one of the best hidden object series on Steam (and outside Steam as well), with its games having substantially good writing and an entertaining storyline, plus they are among the longest HOGs out there, each offering around 10h of pure fun.


The games follow the adventures of Mia Faircroft – a young art restorer who travels all around the world and helps people refurbish their antiques, but also mends their hearts with her positive and kind personality. In Faircroft’s Antiques: The Forbidden Crypt she is summoned together with her best friend Maria to restore the cathedral of the quaint Italian town of Porto Nacosti, but soon enough she gets trapped in the dark secrets of the town’s most influential family who also happens to own the crypt and all the mysteries buried inside.


Faircroft’s Antiques: The Forbidden Crypt is an old-style HOG that focuses more on hidden object scenes and minigames and less on the adventure aspect, which is basically almost non-existent here. Instead, the sheer amount of conversations between the characters and their identity development could indeed place the Faircroft games at the border between a HOG and a visual novel.

There is a good variety of hidden object scenes, consisting of identifying objects based on a list of items, their image, on their silhouette or simply by solving a mini-riddle. The game has 20 chapters in total, each of them inviting the player to solve around four different hidden object scenes and a couple of minigames. The ample dialogues between the main characters, which are presented before and after every scene, unravel the main plot bit by bit, but also deepen it by adding new storylines or twists. The exchanges between Mia and Maria are exceptionally entertaining because of Maria’s witty personality that doesn’t shy away from always making bold remarks about every situation, while also keeping the joking tone at a warm banter level perfectly fit to showcase the closeness and affection between the two friends.


In regards to the story, the games can be played independently of each other, although there are two recurring characters from Faircroft Antiques: Treasures of Treffenburg together with some references to their backgrounds. While nice-to-have, this knowledge is otherwise not needed to fully understand the current plot and besides, this information is also hinted at during the dialogues.


All the locations are beautifully drawn and decorated with small animations. The objects to find seem to be randomly generated, and they appear slightly on top of the background (they don’t fully blend), which makes them stand out a little bit but this way they’re easier to find. This is by no means something bothersome, and it doesn’t look “cheap” or “glued on”, but it does break the immersion a tiny bit. On the other hand, the color palette is consistent and harmonious throughout the game and even if some of the objects don’t seem to fit in the context of the scene (which is a given with all the HOGs), they’re placed in rather intuitive locations on the screen, somewhere where you would expect them to be.


One characteristic of the Faircroft’s Antiques games that I particularly like is the scene arrangement. The locations are presented in a Monopoly-board-like manner with a map of the city in the center and the 20 different scenes displayed around its outside border, linked to buildings that are highlighted on the map when mouseovering their corresponding location. The ones that you can’t visit in a chapter are grayed out, while the active ones also indicate whether you have to solve a hidden object scene or a minigame. You can therefore choose which of the locations you want to visit first, namely which storylines you want to explore first. Mia also tells the player at the beginning of the chapter what goals she needs to pursue and which locations correspond to each of these goals.


Faircroft’s Antiques games are a must-buy for HOG lovers, especially since they cost close to half of an Artifex Mundi game and offer twice (or in some cases even three times) the playtime and depending on your taste, a much more entertaining and well-crafted story. Out of the 4 (soon to be 5) installments published on Steam, Faircroft’s Antiques: The Forbidden Crypt is the only one that offers Steam achievements (also very easy to obtain, and none of them being timed), and for me this is a great bonus over the other Faircroft’s Antiques games which are otherwise equal in price and quality.

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