7,281 Posts

Reviews for Hidden Expedition: Smithsonian Hope Diamond CE

[Post New]by shorenuf on Dec 19, 13 1:54 AM
I like this developer's style, and it remains evident in this game. As it is a collaboration with the Smithsonian, you will also learn some history along the way. The artwork is quite lovely, clear and precise with a wonderful scale. No live actors here; voice overs are done in an unusual way. I played for about 1/2 hour -- saw one puzzle, 2 HO scenes, several tasks, all rather easily accomplished.

• HOs are interactive, with lists and object outlines.
• There are several kinds of collectibles and some morphing objects
• Typical achievements -- 10 items in 10 seconds, etc.
• Transportable map
• 4 levels of difficulty including custom -- you can make this really tough by turning off cursor changes, black bar hints, and map indicators

CE includes:
Strategy guide -- 7 Chapters, Bonus Chapter, lists of collectibles locations
Bonus Chapter
Replay HOs, Puzzles
An extra room when you finish the entire game
Other usual fluff

I appreciate the work that went into the content of this game. I hope I see some unique puzzles. I have said more than once, there is only so much that can be done with the casual HOPA formula. I don't expect to be challenged, although on the hardest mode it is a bit of a click fest, but I would probably be entertained by the story and the presentation. Sometimes that is enough to fill a quiet afternoon.

ETA: As predicted, an activity, not an unpleasant one, but nothing terribly challenging about this adventure. Beautiful to look at, an interesting enough story, some factoids to learn about. One reviewer here called this a blatant advertisement for the Smithsonian. Um, why not? It's famous, it's an American institution (although Smithson had never visited America when he bequeathed his fortune to us), it's a great place, everyone should have a chance to go to Washington and explore the 19 museums and zoological park complex. Um, look at all I learned!

Edited on 12/20/2013 at 8:00:05 PM PST

590 Posts

Re:Reviews for HE Smithsonian Hope Diamond CE

[Post New]by Nilosh on Dec 19, 13 2:55 AM
On several occasions I have voiced my opinion on what I consider to be a five star game and Hidden Expedition: Smithsonian Hope Diamond Collector's Edition is a perfect example. Always a favorite series of mine, today we have a game that not only deserves five star, but also clearly deserves to be awarded the game of the year title.

This series not only provides great storylines, but also educates and entertains at the same time. Our story begins on a train where we find our selves held hostage by a band of notorious thieves who are after shards of the great Hope Diamond which, once collected, have immense healing power. Our mission is to collect the shards before they do and our adventure begins.

What an adventure, filled with riddles, clues and puzzles. This game offers it all. Excellent graphics, very life-like and voice-overs are very well done along with mouth movements which is a plus for me. I love the sound effects, plenty of ambient sounds that add realism to the overall gaming experience. Our menu offers four modes of gameplay, one which allows you to customize your settings which I prefer. The game looks sharp and sophisticated, KUDOS to the developers for all the intricate details that they have added.

Our adventure begins and as soon as we jump off the train, we find ourselves at the famous Smithsonian museum which by the way I have yet to see. Game features include an H.E.L.P kit that holds your fact cards which you need to collect, your list of objectives and clues. There are hidden symbols that are scattered throughout the game, and you have a map that can also be customized to show you areas of interest and allows you to travel.

Game play is fun and there is alot to look out for. You will notice that some inventory objects need to be combined and some require use of those dormant brain cells if you play without any assistance whatsoever. There are interactive hidden object scenes with a morphing item in each, so keep those eyes open. Mini-games are plenty and some and very well conceptualized. There are also riddles that need solving and you have a list of achievements to earn as well.

What I love most about this game are the facts that I learn. I know it may sound trite, but Hidden Expedition always manages to thrill me with their adventures and information about things we don’t spend much of our lives thinking about. In my opinion, this is a game that will not only thrill the kids, but also those who are explorers at heart. Filled with adventure, hidden secrets and a few challenges, this game puts many CE games to shame.
Thank you to the Developers for continuing this wonderful series,

1,080 Posts

Re:Reviews for HE Smithsonian Hope Diamond CE

[Post New]by orphaned on Dec 19, 13 3:02 AM
dear Nilosh:

thank you for saying what I wish I could and most definitely agree with!!!

learning makes it even more enjoyable!!

a perfect review for a perfect game!!

thanks to all for making it possible.

Edited on 12/19/2013 at 3:06:00 AM PST

12,214 Posts

Re:Reviews for HE Smithsonian Hope Diamond CE

[Post New]by DragonLadyOz on Dec 19, 13 3:03 AM
Great game, can't find any faults. I have even enjoyed the puzzles so far.
Highly recommended. Very clever story development.
Everything that Shorenuf and Nilosh have covered - and a bobblehead collection. What more could a player ask for?

Edited on 12/19/2013 at 3:06:35 AM PST

339 Posts

Re:Reviews for HE Smithsonian Hope Diamond CE

[Post New]by dianaluna on Dec 19, 13 3:12 AM
Wow--what a game! It is have to love a game that quotes Dickenson and Emerson. I enjoyed every minute this demo and I am bored by many of the HOGs. There are no cute helpers and though I like spooky and scary, this is a refreshing change.
The HO scenes have more than one step--not just spotting objects. For those who like there are cards to collect, symbols to collect, achievements to earn and morphing objects. The Map works--the hint button is good and the puzzles are fun with a quickly charging "Skip" button. There are objects to combine & a Journal.
This game shows real thought...kudos to devs. I think most fishies will enjoy this one. Definitely give this a try!

1,378 Posts

Re:Reviews for HE Smithsonian Hope Diamond CE

[Post New]by angelfish106 on Dec 19, 13 3:43 AM
I have to agree with everything Nilosh says; this is a terrific game. Superb graphics and a highly entertaining storyline that I found myself totally immersed in. Excellent voices, realistic ambient sounds and wonderful cut scenes just add even more to the whole experience.

The HOS were a touch cluttered but not impossible to find anything and the addition of morphing objects within the scenes make them much more interesting to complete. I got through 5 puzzles in the demo time (which for me was the full hour) and none were too difficult to solve. I love those puzzles where you have to connect wires to make an image, so hopefully there will be more of those! And I had a fun time trying to match the bobbleheads....the only one I recognised was Lincoln!

There are collectible fact cards which are very interesting to read, especially for those like me who aren't familiar with American history (I'm from the UK) and Smithsonian symbols to find too. Custom settings for difficulty so you can choose how much help you want or how long hint/skip takes to refill and a transportable map.

There's not one negative thing I can say about this game. I've loved all the Hidden Expedition series, Everest still being one of my all time favourite games. I think this one is destined to join it. Thanks to BFG and Eipix; this is a definite buy for me

Edited on 12/19/2013 at 3:44:27 AM PST


Re:Reviews for HE Smithsonian Hope Diamond CE

[Post New]by heatherington on Dec 19, 13 4:50 AM
Great great game. The "I's" have it. Everything that is reviewable is just fantastic. I'll be getting this as soon as possible. Music, graphics, game play, etc. I particularly enjoyed the kitty kat. Was wondering if we were going to drug the poor thing or just feed it. I forgot the morphing item in the second H.O. so I guess that will mess up my score, but the nice thing is I can play it over and over!

629 Posts

Re:Reviews for HE Smithsonian Hope Diamond CE

[Post New]by edmee1947 on Dec 19, 13 5:05 AM
does not grab me at all!well done though,but does not interest me very much!i'll pass this one

1,823 Posts

Re:Reviews for HE Smithsonian Hope Diamond CE

[Post New]by LovetoMissLisa on Dec 19, 13 5:33 AM
Huge fan of the "Hidden Expedition Series"! They get better with each new one. Great job Developers! Highly recommend! Happy Holidays to Everyone!

Great game! Best graphics and storyline. All the bells and whistles! The best and greatest of games! I love it!
‘ ‘

“These are my terms" for hogs, I hogs, frogs & adventure games.

The absolute best of the best! It has everything you want in a game and things you didn’t know you wanted in a game.
It is a rare beauty and a must have! Beyond expectations! I really love it!

Great game! Best graphics and storyline. All the bells and whistles! The best and greatest of games! I love it!

Good game. I like these little gems! This game is for true lovers of these types of games.

May be a likable game for some, but not for everyone. It’s just mediocre.

Don't run away with this pig’s foot. LOL

Rolling in the mud! Don’t go near it or you'll get soiled.
‘ ‘

1,080 Posts

Re:Reviews for HE Smithsonian Hope Diamond CE

[Post New]by orphaned on Dec 19, 13 5:45 AM
dear LovetoMissLisa:

absolutely hilarious!! LOL! LOL! LOL!

an oinking good show!!!

now shall want you to be piggish about a review!!! actually, shall insist!!

any "baconators" in there too?!!


Re:Reviews for HE Smithsonian Hope Diamond CE

[Post New]by JustTheFacts on Dec 19, 13 5:49 AM
Heart Stopping Action!


It’s high adventure and thrills in this latest game in the Hidden Expedition series, developed now for the first time by Eipix, a name that is well regarded by just about everyone for their unique ability to keep us entertained. This game will be another feather in their cap, despite a distinctive shift into their own style and away from the series. It is not a major thing, and I believe the game is the better for the change.

I love that this game starts with us jumping out of the window of a fast moving train – that definitely IS in keeping with the feel of the series, and is spectacular and different from the old car accident intro! The graphics are a delight, crystal clear, bright and great to look at. The cut scenes are so exciting, the voiceovers great. Music that builds up the tension to intense! Special effects very effective! *grin*. Baby scared the living daylights out of me.

So, accept that this game has all the essentials. The emphasis is on HOPs, and they come in many forms – also characteristic of the series. In the demo for this game I noted:

• Standard Interactive List
• Silhouettes
• Objects outlines
• Multiples (Find 12 feathers)

The puzzles are less obvious, although there really is quite a few of them too. I found them a step out of the ordinary, and not particularly difficult. Some inventory items can be combined, added to or changed within the inventory bar. Of adventure there is plenty, and heaps of help with directional hint, a H.E.L.P. kit which includes objectives, journal, and fact cards. There is also an interactive jump map. Custom build your own difficulty settings. And the SG.

All this is great – I love the game for this much. But then there are all the extras.

• Bonus Chapers and SG
• Collectibles: fact cards x 20, morphing objects (in HOPs) x17, Smithsonian Emblems x49
• Achievements also available from the H.E.L.P. kit
• 18 replayable mini-games and 22 HOPs
• A souvenir room (your guess is as good as mine, but there’s an achievement related to it)
• Pictures (of the team), movies, music – with interesting new ways to access these

Just for the record, YOU are the cute helper. *evil grin*.

Personally, if I hadn’t just blown all my xmas ‘mad money’ on half price games, I’d be playing the full version right now. I think it’s a classic in the making.

(Bonus Content Review 2nd page bottom)

Edited on 01/08/2014 at 7:59:58 AM PST

257 Posts

Re:Reviews for HE Smithsonian Hope Diamond CE

[Post New]by CoolGrammy1 on Dec 19, 13 7:45 AM
Oh dang another MUST HAVE game...just when my wallet is nearly empty....I will add it to my list. I love the collaboration by these developers and the little historical info on the Smithsonian is great.

1,911 Posts

Re:Reviews for Hidden Expedition Smithsonian Hope Diamond CE

[Post New]by bfgWendwater on Dec 19, 13 8:49 AM
Hey All!

What do you think of
Hidden Expedition: Smithsonian Hope Diamond Collector's Edition
? We’d love to hear all about it! You can share your review here in the reviews thread, and on our website as well. Just pop over to the
Hidden Expedition: Smithsonian Hope Diamond Collector's Edition
page HERE.

Unsure how to submit a review? Please check our help article here for more information:

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To help other players get the most out of your review, you can add a note stating if you played the trial or full version and how far you have gotten in the game.

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Happy gaming!


1,911 Posts

Re:Reviews for Hidden Expedition: Smithsonian Hope Diamond CE

[Post New]by bfgWendwater on Dec 19, 13 8:53 AM
I also wanted to add that this thread has been reserved for reviews only.

If you have any questions about someone else's review (even if you feel that their review contains incorrect details about this game), please contact that user directly via PM instead of replying to or quoting their post, as this can develop into a discussion that is not suitable for the review thread.

We want to ensure that everyone who visits this thread can easily find the reviews that they're looking for, so the Moderation Team will be removing any off-topic posts (i.e. non-reviews).

(For any non-review related posts, please feel free to create a "Comments" thread in this Game Forum if there isn't one already. You can always create a new thread for any game questions or tips.)

Thank you!


137 Posts

Re:Reviews for Hidden Expedition: Smithsonian Hope Diamond CE

[Post New]by csmith116 on Dec 19, 13 8:58 AM
In a word, WOW!!!!
I do not normally buy CE's but I'm not sure if I can wait for the Standard Edition. I also would like to wait until next year so I can build a punch card. Tough call.
This game has different hidden object games and other tests (can't think of what they are called). Great story, great characters, great!
Happy Gaming
Bessie Mae

804 Posts

Re:Reviews for Hidden Expedition: Smithsonian Hope Diamond CE

[Post New]by sunnyglow on Dec 19, 13 10:13 AM
A nice game from the PixIEs in cooperation with the Smithsonian. I can understand the enthusiasm for this game since it is educational and provides excellent footage of the Smithsonian. However, for me, with a brother who has lived and worked in the DC area for 10 years, and having been to the Smithsonian numerous times, this game is probably not as interesting as it would be to others. I will note that the depiction of the museum is excellent even providing a scene of the souvenir shop and those awful coin replica machines. I had to laugh at the "bobble head dolls," because here in the States they are everywhere and you can get them for sports figures, politicians, or historical characters as seen here.

The storyline is a little confusing to me; however, it should probably clarify as the game is played. As far as I have played, the story does not get into the historical saga of the "curse." Historically, after the "eye" of the idol was stolen, the diamond was supposedly owned by Marie Antoinette (and we all know what happened to her), which started the whole "curse" myth. After the French revolution it disappeared in all the confusion and reappeared in a "cut down" version. It was then purchased by a wealthy industrialist who met with misfortune and so the myth continued to grow. Now you can see it at the Smithsonian in the "Gems" room.

The graphics are excellent which is due to the PixIEs. To me, they provide the best graphics of all the devs. The producers of this game were wise to choose this dev as they are probably the best, in my humble "what do you know?" opinion. You can choose from 3 levels of difficulty or you can customize your game. I believe they are the only devs which allow you to do this and I really wish others would follow suit. The HOG scene which I played provided actually three different games within the same HOG scene. You first looked for gems, then looked for chemical elements, and finally looked for items from a list. I am not a great enthusiast of the Hidden Expedition series. The "muzac" is not terribly annoying. The puzzles I have encountered so far are not terribly difficult and the game is easy to maneuver. You also collect morphing objects and the Smithsonian "sun" symbol throughout the game. I will purchase because it is an excellent game but it is not my absolute "favorite. " To me, the "game of the year" belongs to our Pachyderm friends and their game "Christmas Stories."

Edited on 12/19/2013 at 10:28:12 AM PST

1,170 Posts

Re:Reviews for Hidden Expedition: Smithsonian Hope Diamond CE

[Post New]by Hespera on Dec 19, 13 10:15 AM
Based on the demo:

The fact that (yet) another HIdden Expedition game has been passed off to another developer is no surprise, as it appears BFG is no longer interested in developing games (although I'm sure they are reserving all creative rights).

Once again, (but not so much in your face as with Fate's Carnival), there is a loss of nuance and subtlety that was always present in BFG Studio games that I guess will remain forever the property of BFG Studios. Floodlight Games must have had more input from BFG with The Uncharted Island, or perhaps they just understood the subtleties better. Or maybe BFG Studios just stopped caring altogether and are willing to let someone else completely take over, in which case, they should just remove their name from the credits altogether.

But based on the demo, there is nothing in this game that resembles a Hidden Expedition game. It resembles a National Geographic game. And by that I mean the story is slow in developing and stilted in the telling. Random historical facts are offered by means of cards you can find throughout the game. (Truthfully, Eipix does a much better job with story development on their own and their other games have been much more exciting.) You wander around on your own far too long without knowing why you are where you are. The puzzles are ridiculously simplistic and facts are explained on an 8th grade level.

If you're a fan of National Geographic games with random facts about obscure things; games with easy puzzles and aimless running about with weak stories - this is for you. The graphics are good, the voiceovers funny (but they always are) and the cutscenes overdone. But hey, it may be what you like, so give it a look/see.

40 Posts

Re:Reviews for Hidden Expedition: Smithsonian Hope Diamond CE

[Post New]by ruadhan on Dec 19, 13 10:30 AM
Unfortunately I won't be buying this one; I didn't even make it through the demo. About five minutes in, I decided "Nope".

It's a pity; I did like the previous games in this series. But the blatant SMITHSONIAN branding put me off from the start (seriously, it was as though they thought "we've gone ten whole seconds without mentioning the Smithsonian, better put in another reference") and the Hope Diamond is a hackneyed choice.

Yes, I know the story about the alleged curse. Yes, I know the Smithsonian has it on display - they never shut up about the blessed thing. I've seen more documentaries and shilling for exhibits about the wretched piece of jewellery than I care to remember. Adding this game to the desperate attempt to drum up publicity for the Smithsonian and its prize gew-gaw is flogging a dead horse.

The graphics of the characters are also off-putting: I burst out laughing when the villain popped up, as his Stetson(?) is so off-centre on his head it looks ridiculous. They may have been trying for humour with their "Villainous To-Do List" but they were trying too hard.

Since I didn't play long enough, I can't comment on the game-play or plot, but I simply have to say: a disappointment as far as I'm concerned. Less product placement and branding, more imagination as in previous games in this series, and I would be tempted back - but not for this one.

1,198 Posts

Re:Reviews for Hidden Expedition: Smithsonian Hope Diamond CE

[Post New]by dancemom1 on Dec 19, 13 11:52 AM
Really need to give this one a try, and use the entire demo time. I only have two of the previous HE games and really liked them. This one is no exception, with very nice graphics (a little fuzzy in the beginning) and excellent game play. Voice overs were very well done. Music and sound FX were really good, with the music and sounds adjusting to the scene and circumstance. Made you feel like you were there in the action.

SG is the usual and customary, although it did not list all the chapters in the demo. There is a lot to do in this game, e.g. collectibles (Smithsonian symbols) are not hard to find; fact cards that give you a lot of info about the Smithsonsian (very interesting stuff); morphing objects (I only saw them in the HOGs, but I could have missed them elsewhere); riddles (I love riddles). Really makes you pay attention to the scene.

There is a jump map, which is clearly identified by location. Hint system is very helpful and fill quickly. Locking inventory bar (thank you!). HOGs are very fun and different and not just straight HOGs. Items were clear, but you had to search for some. Puzzles were not extremely difficult, but some did take some time and thought to complete. The only thing I didn't care for, which is not a deal breaker, was the cursor...I much prefer the standard system cursor when I don't want to use the game cursor. I know, it's just me.

At first I wasn't sure about it, but as soon as I jumped off the train, I was hooked. It's not just a game, it's a really fun education. Now this is my kind of school. This game has a different and interesting story line, with enough challenge to make me want to buy the CE and see where it goes. I don't give 5 stars easily, but this one deserves them. Gotta have it! This game is very well put together and I think it will appeal to all levels of players.

As always, try it for yourself and see what you think. We all have different tastes in games and you may not care for this one at all. Thanks for the reviews.

50 Posts

Re:Reviews for Hidden Expedition: Smithsonian Hope Diamond CE

[Post New]by geninfo4 on Dec 19, 13 1:34 PM
I too must chime in and say kudos to BFG and EIPIX , for a great game. plays great, no glitches , full screen, clear and beautiful graphics, HOs are different and I commend the developer for the change. it shows creativitiy and a big step up in hidden objects. I am impressed. and thanks for the Smithsonian interest. I worked there for a few years and I have very fond memories of the institution and the people working there! Gen

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