Letters from Nowhere
Letters from Nowhere is the best prove to the well-known truth that the old ox plows a straight furrow. The game is a classic hidden object with rare puzzles involved. There are no character interactions or much of mini-games. And this doesn’t at all affect the general impression of the game that is mainly created by wonderful graphics and perfectly matching music. In our high-tech time of e-mails and skype we hardly can recall the last time we’ve received the letters. And personally I don’t know the person who doesn’t like the messages brought in a paper form. Don’t you agree that receiving a letter became a magical event? Especially when it goes about the letters from… nowhere.
The game starts with a comic strip telling us about Audrey who is waiting for her husband Patrick. Patrick didn’t meet his wife after work and then didn’t show up at home. That made pure woman go to the police. After turning back home Audrey finds a strange letter warning her about danger that threatens both her husband and herself. If not the twists in the plot it might seem too ordinary. But the more you play the more questions arise. You’ll get to know that 30 years ago a postman has disappeared under the same circumstances, then you’ll find the clipping telling about a young woman that drawn many years ago… And all the time Audrey will repeat that she fells like somebody is watching her.
In order to win a trophy it is said in terms "you need to be attentive and quick to win the trophy”. Have you ever met a HOG-player who doesn't fit that description?
By the way about the overvoicing. The lack of it in the majority of the games that have been released the last time made me appreciate Avem studio for their work even more than at the very beginning while Letters from Nowhere was just loading. The introduction part was drawn sepia and it along with the nice music and gentle women’s voice singing made me believe that I’ll love the game. The first thought just hit the mark.
After you log in, you meet an opportunity to choose the mood of your character. It might be moonlight, sunlight or yin yang. Actually I didn’t get the sense of that, but the feature was lovely. Afterwards you can enter your Trophy Room. Your awards will be saved right there. By finding the object you earn some points. There are some levels reaching which will bring you a new trophy. The first trophy will be awarded when you earn 30 000 points. Be careful with the random clicking! Doing so takes you some points. The last trophy is awarded for 10 000 000 points. I think it is impossible to achieve such a goal, but you may try it yourself to prove I’m wrong. There are some other trophies you may get by means of fulfilling some terms. Some conditions are pretty clear and the others are a little bit fuzzy. For example you can get a trophy if you complete a location within a minute or make combo x 5. And the other term says “you need to be attentive and quick to win the trophy”. That made me smile as I doubt that inattentive people play HOGs.
Letters from Nowhere is full of cute features which definitely will make you remember the game and cherish it. Unlockable bonuses are among them. As you earn points you’ll have a possibility to purchase bonuses that will help you find objects in a different to a standard hint system way. Notice that the bonus might be applied just in the chapter you’re currently in. The one bonus I liked the most was a thermometer. Have you played “hot and cold” ever before? The rules are simple, when you’re close to the item you need you’re hot and the father you go from it the colder you are. If you choose thermometer for the chapter you have to find it first in the location you get to and only after that you’ll be able to use it. Thought the hint button recharges pretty quick and is available just in several seconds you enter the location the bonus was a nice trick.
The other feature is looking for the stamps. Collecting 50 of them unlocks the Unlimited Mode. Thanks God you will come back to the same locations in different chapters. You cannot use a hint to find a stamp and they are camouflaged really great.
The puzzles are neither challenging nor brand new. I suppose they were made in order to switch your attention for a while, as the tasks in the HOG-scenes were a little bit tricky. Be prepared to combine parts of the items (a doll and its head) or even separate items (a glass and a bottle) to get the one from the list. Get ready to guess what man’s best friend, UV protection and head covering are. You can check yourself: you had to divine a dog, sunglasses and a hat. And what is more all the HOG-scenes contain a piece of animation.
Letters from Nowhere is a complete pleasure to play. In my opinion it is an absolutely successful attempt to make a well-known genre look anew.