Hidden object games used to be solely about finding objects in scenes, until Big Fish Games came along with Mystery Case Files: Return to Ravenhearst and revolutionized the hidden object genre. From then on, most of the games that have really caught on are of the HOPA (hidden object puzzle adventure) format – a sub-genre that we extensively cover here. While hidden object fans can still go to traditional online retailers like Big Fish Games for reliable best new releases, many also look to mobile as an increasingly popular alternative. Hidden object games for Android and iOS (iPhone and iPad) are usually “endless”, regularly updated with exciting features, incredibly addicting, and of course, free to play!
This comprehensive guide to hidden object games for iOS and Android covers all of the things beginners need to know when thinking about trying out the genre, as well as avid genre fans who simply look for variety in their mobile gaming experience.
The Basics of Hidden Object Games for Mobile
While many game studios offer a mobile version of their premium HOPA titles on the App Store and the Play Store, the more common format of hidden object games on mobile takes on the freemium model. Freemium or Free-to-Play (F2P) games are incredibly popular for mobile gamers, not only limited to hidden object fans because they are completely free to download and get started. However, in order for developers of these games to make profits and maintain the game, many F2P games offer in-game purchases. These purchases often come in the form of in-game currencies or upgrades that can accelerate the player’s progress through the game. Of course, these purchases are totally optional, although many players prefer to pay as a way to bypass long wait-times, unlock more features, and explore more opportunities within the game.
As for hidden object games that take on the F2P format, the majority of them is quite similar to one another in terms of game mechanics and gameplay. Players are often asked to complete numerous hidden object scenes in varied locations, level by level, meanwhile collecting the necessary resources to progress further. These levels usually require some sort of an energy currency to play, these are automatically reloaded after a certain wait time or can be purchased through the game’s store. Many games also offer additional features that go along with their respective themes and help switch things up once in a while. This can include puzzles and mini-games, an integrated storyline, customizable locations, and more.
If you are looking to get started with playing hidden object games on mobile and are unsure where to look in the crowded App Store, then this guide will hopefully help you choose your next favorite title.
Best Hidden Object Games for iOS and Android for Beginners
Launched back in 2015, Pearl’s Peril was at the forefront of the first wave of hidden object games for mobile. Join Pearl Wallace as she travels across the globe to get to the bottom of her father’s apparent suicide case. Not only does it feature stunning graphics, but Pearl’s Peril’s engaging storyline also makes it highly accessible and addicting. If you are new to the genre, why not try out one of the genre’s pioneers?
Hidden Hotel: Miami Mystery
Although recently released, Hidden Hotel: Miami Mystery is growing at an exponential rate. This is totally understandable since the game’s light-hearted tone and bright colors make it appropriate for everyone in the family. The game takes you room to room, exploring a variety of hidden object scenes, while you also have the chance to decorate and customize a luxury hotel. This is the perfect game for a quick break from work or a relaxing fun on the weekend. If you ever get stuck, we also have some helpful tips and tricks list right here!
Best Hidden Object Games for iOS and Android for Advanced Players
The Secret Society: Hidden Mystery
From G5 Entertainment (the studio behind the evergreen hit Hidden City), The Secret Society is one of the most talked-about hidden object titles for mobile – constantly securing its spot in the top charts. This game is made for players who prefer challenges and complexity. It features a plethora of detailed scenes, inventive puzzles, and layers upon layers of fun gameplay elements. Those who are less familiar with the genre will also appreciate the game’s top-notch production design and captivating storyline. With regular updates, The Secret Society will keep you entertained for months on end.
Time Gap: Hidden Objects
From Alexander the Great and Cleopatra to Napoleon and Lincoln, you will get to interact with all the history’s greatest leaders in this hidden object game from Absolutist. For more advanced players, Time Gap’s fast pace and collection of mini-games will satisfy their desire for a little challenge. Still, the game’s exciting time-traveling game makes it a worthwhile play for players of every type. With dazzling visuals and a fun theme, Time Gap is a must-try for hidden object lovers everywhere.
Best Crime Hidden Object Games for iOS and Android
If you would like to exercise their case-solving skills, Criminal Case should be right up your alley. Join forces with the police of Grimsborough as you explore a variety of crime scenes and collect evidence. Thanks to Pretty Simple’s creative minds, there is never a moment of boredom with the game due to the diversity of scenarios and characters. Criminal Case is super easy to jump into and is unbelievably addicting? Are you ready to catch the killer?
Homicide Squad: New York Cases
Homicide Squad: New York Cases is another exciting title from G5 Entertainment, perfect for those who look for a little more thrill and action. A series of murders are happening all around the streets of New York City and Detectives Turino and Lamonte are tasked with the mission to restore peace to the Big Apple! Search for evidence, interrogate suspects, and analyze clues in this riveting hidden object game.
Best Spooky Hidden Object Games for iOS and Android
The Paranormal Society
As a new member of the Paranormal Society, a special unit dedicated to investigating otherworldly cases in Victorian-era London, you have to prove to your colleagues that you do belong in this elite club. As London is bombarded with malevolent phantoms, you are out on the streets to find answers. In this paranormal-themed hidden object game for mobile, you will be experiencing magic and spirits first-hand as you progress through creepy locations and meet with spooky and memorable characters.
Haunted house is a popular theme for the premium HOPA genre, but it is not often that we see the theme utilized for a mobile game. Mystery Manor combines hidden object scenes and puzzles in an attractive package filled with fantasy creatures and spooky ghosts. Throughout the game, you will be hooked in by its exciting storyline while you collect cryptic clues and exercise your mind through a series of challenges.
Best Fantasy Hidden Object Games for iOS and Android
Seekers Notes is arguably one of the most gorgeous hidden object games on mobile yet. Travel through the cursed city of Darkwood as you search for the Magical Map that will lift the curse off the once-vibrant city. The game’s well-crafted and complex mechanisms will entertain you for countless hours and the magical elements give you something to look at in every scene. Can you uncover the mystery of Darkwood?
From the mastermind of hidden object games, Big Fish Games comes a sensational fantasy free-to-play game for iOS and Android. Find out what lurks beyond the dark gates of Midnight Castle as you encounter various imaginative characters from fairies to dragons. Apart from its stunning graphics and entertaining gameplay, Midnight Castle also features a social element that allows the player to collaborate with friends for even more fun!
We hope you enjoy this guide to hidden object games on iOS and Android! Feel free to send us emails for more suggestions or check out our classic casual games guide for some familiar favorites and our Match 3 guide for more puzzle fun!