Game Reviews

Everest: Hidden Expedition

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Everest: Hidden Expedition

Brave climbers who challenge an ascent up Everest endure some of the harshest weather on the planet. Frigid temperatures and unpredictable snowstorms work fast to drain a climber's energy. For many, the best way to fuel-up is to munch on frozen sticks of butter. What normally would got straight to the gut is instantly turned into precious heat, the body absorbing the fat in an effort to survive.

Everest: Hidden Expedition is equally as slick and bland as one of those frozen butter sticks. While the static scenes feature slick detailing and plenty of colour, the lack of variety in gameplay keeps things pretty flat.

As the title implies, you take lead of an expedition team scaling Everest. Unfortunately, the route has been closed and you're advised to find another way up. Uncovering the hidden route to the to the top first means tracking down the person who knows the way, which involves darting across the globe in search of the fellow. From the thick jungles of the Amazon to the bier gartens of Germany and back to the snowy slopes of the Himalaya range the journey goes.

At each location, your objective is to find a list of objects that point you to the next step. You can't just take your sweet time finding clues, though, as it's a race against three other expedition teams wanting to reach the top first. Spanning the length of the screen when held in portrait mode is a meter that notes each team's progress. It adds an element of pressure to your searches, but not so much as to instill anxiety to the proceedings. Instead, it gives the game a more active feel.

Naturally, you're inclined to work quickly. This proves challenging due to some tricky item-placement that borders on the unfair. Regularly items will be partially obscured from view, having been tucked behind another object. Sometimes a listed item conjures up an image of the wrong object. A 'club', for example, could mean a bludgeon or card suit.

The hint system provides a fail-safe for these situations. Should you spend too much time searching for the bludgeon without result, you can tap the recharging 'hint' button, which will draw a circle around the item. Tilting your handset onto its side also helps since it switches the scene into landscape mode for a wider view. You can also zoom in using two fingers.

Plenty of polished features ensure Everest: Hidden Expedition is easy to use, yet that isn't enough for a compelling game. There's virtually no variety in gameplay across dozens of search scenes. You get hours of play, but it's the same from the first minute all the way to the last. Sure, the items differ but the fundamental gameplay remains unchanged. It's great for a distraction here and there, but the motives for embarking on this expedition for longer than a few minutes at a time are hidden to us.

Everest: Hidden Expedition

An ambitious attempt that has difficulty getting farther than base camp
Tracy Erickson
Tracy Erickson
Manning our editorial outpost in America, Tracy comes with years of expertise at mashing a keyboard. When he's not out painting the town red, he jets across the home of the brave, covering press events under the Pocket Gamer banner.