Top 10 Best Big Fish Games of 2013 (So Far)

It is about time I did a Big Fish roundup of their hidden object games (although, I’ll mention a few bonuses that are not). I decided to do the 10 best games that have been released so far this year, along with a warning about 2 games you should probably avoid.

In case you haven’t heard of Big Fish, they are developers who specialize mostly in games where you are finding and interacting with objects in scenes that are brought together through the telling of an overarching story. Many of the games are simply find hidden objects, but many require you to use the objects that you find in a certain way to move the story forward.

Most of the games are free to try for the first few levels, and then you can purchase the rest of the game. Big Fish games cost between $2 and $7 for the full version. Although, they have recently starting having a sale price on brand new games for 20%-30% off the full price of the game for the first few days it is out.

As a note, you may want to buy the collector’s editions and not the full version of games. Collector’s editions often give you bonus features like strategy guides and extra game play that the full games may not have. That means you need to download the free versions of the game and buy them in-app, but they are still on sale there. When not on sale, collector’s editions cost about $2 more than the full versions usually. But, they are well worth if they contain extra game play and a strategy guide.

I apologize for just screenshots of screenshots in this post, but all of these games are large and I delete them after I finish with them to make room for more. The games have gotten even larger since the iPad got the Retina screen, which necessitates even more MB.

The Top 10 (in no particular order)

Surface

Surface: Mystery of Another World Collector’s Edition

This iPad only game that was released in January tells the story of a father and son traveling by train when the son suddenly goes missing. The father (you) goes to all lengths to get his son back, even as far as leaving this world behind for another.

What sets this game apart, like many in this top 10, are the stunning graphics, fantastic puzzles, and smooth storytelling. I actually played this game 2 times in a row I liked it so much. The journal that the father keeps also keeps time as a map of the world or area you are in currently and a portal to jump to any of those times. Plus, you can watch any cut scenes that you miss through the journal as little video clips.

Surface is as smooth as can be. All rounded corners, no jagged, unfinished edges. I really can’t recommend it highly enough.

iPad edition

Dark Parables: Rise of the Snow Queen

Dark Parables: Rise of the Snow Queen Collector’s Edition

Rise of the Snow Queen came out just late last week. It tells the story of an investigation led by you into the disappearance of an entire village of children. It is said that the Snow Queen steals children away during snowstorms with her supernatural powers. This time, she may have gone too far and the fate of the world rests in your hands. It is a shame I can’t tell you more about this story because it is built on a well-loved and known fairy tale told in a new and unique way. You’ll be surprised as the story unravels. I’ll say only this. Sometimes bad guys need to be saved, too.

Dark Parables is a line of games by Big Fish. This is the most recent edition for iOS. It is practically flawless in design. The graphics are sensational and the method of play is innovative. The story is not overwhelming, but it is told at a steady pace that will keep you hooked.

iPad edition | iPhone edition

Haunted Mansion

Haunted Manor: Queen of Death Collector’s Edition

Haunted Manor came out in mid-January and is still 1 of the scariest Big Fish Games I have ever played. I’ve played it twice, and it retained its scary grip on me even the 2nd time through.

In Haunted Manor, you do not play a detective. You play a young girl who gets a letter from her twin sister that tells of the rest of the family’s demise. You rush home to help save your sister only to find her elusive. You actually witness the deaths of each of your parents during the game, along with a postman, and your nanny. This is a harsh game in storytelling. I hesitate to say much more about the plot, but suffice it to say, you must fight hard to at least save yourself if nothing else.

Haunted Manor has great hidden object scenes with objects that must be uncovered in the scenes themselves. The puzzles are uncommonly good, and the graphics are perfect. Haunted Manor is a long game made even longer with the extra gameplay in the bonus section. It will make the hair stand up on the back of your neck, but you’ll still want to play more.

iPad edition | iPhone edition

Devil's Triangle

Hidden Expedition 4: Devil’s Triangle

Devil’s Triangle actually came out a few days before the new year, but I had so much fun playing it that I decided it was close enough to count in this roundup. The story continues what was started in Hidden Expeditions 1-3, all of which are out on iOS, I believe, but this is by far the best of the bunch.

Devil’s Triangle is of course the Bermuda Triangle. On assignment with the agency that employs you, you venture there in search of a lost crewmate only to be stuck on an island that shows up on no maps. I’ll warn you though, this story ends on a cliffhanger.

Devil’s Triangle stresses the puzzle over the hidden object scenes, but both do exist. It’s just that using your logical skills and figuring out your next moves will play more heavily in this game than they do in some other pure hidden object games. Graphics are so stunning that this is a BIG download. You may even want to download it on iTunes and sync it to your device, but I didn’t.

If you’re a fan of the hidden object/adventure type games, this game definitely fits in and is up to snuff.

iPad edition | iPhone edition

Cate West Velvet Keys

Cate West: The Velvet Keys

The 2nd Cate West game for iOS came out around Valentine’s Day. This series is highly acclaimed on consoles, but doesn’t fare too well with App Store reviewers, which is a shame. Most of the complaints have to do with there being too much dialogue and having to read too much. 1. This is part story. It can have a lot of dialogue. 2. There are voice actors to read you everything, so there’s no actual reading involved.

If you haven’t played the 1st Cate West game for iOS, I’d recommend you do that 1st. The story will make more sense. For those of you who know it, this game finds Cate and Ben on another case that will lead them closer to the truth about who they are and where they are going. The story is extraordinary!

I love the Cate West series because there are about 4-5 types of puzzles and hidden object type scenes per chapter and there are about 15-20 chapters, making this a long game. The games can be somewhat glitchy, but I found just signing off and signing back in were enough to fix them. And, it is worth doing that to play such an awesome game.

iPad edition | iPhone edition

Redemption Cemetery 2

Redemption Cemetery: Children’s Plight Collector’s Edition

In early January, Redemption Cemetery 2 was released. It is better than the 1st 1, in my opinion. The story told is different than in the 1st, but the actions taken to get things done are the same. You must help put to rest the concerns holding the deceased to their resting places in 1 cemetery.

The fantastical places you’ll visit seem like you’re visiting other worlds. The play on light and dark, both literally and figuratively, give Redemption Cemetery a wonderful look. The hidden object scenes are interactive and the puzzles are well worth playing.

iPad Edition | iPhone Edition

The Fool

The Fool

The Fool just came out yesterday, but I have already finished it (that’s why this is being published today and not last night). I wasn’t sure what to think of it at 1st, but by the end, I was in love.

You play The Fool, who is hardly a fool at all. Your character enters a town that has been beset by a dragon. The king has promised the princess and half the kingdom to anyone who can kill the dragon and bring proof. That’s all I’m going to tell you, but do let me say that the journey your character goes on is a long 1 that seems as it it is coming to an end many times only to be extended.

The hidden object scenes are both beautiful and interactive. The graphics are gorgeous. The story is original. There’s really no reason I can think of that you should not try The Fool. Plus, it’s only $3.99 on the iPad for the next few days.

iPad edition | iPhone edition

Elixir of Immortality

Elixir of Immortality

Elixir of Immortality, which was released about 2 weeks ago, is kind of sci-fi meets the dragon age. You play a detective (surprise, surprise) who has been assigned to investigate the mysterious goings on of a group of “scientists” working for the castle owner on an island. Someone in the bunch is a murderer, and you have to figure out who it is without being discovered as a detective.

This is not your usual suspense/adventure game. It is full of fun and fancy. The hidden object scenes are beautiful, but the puzzles are so much fun. So many of them are just completely original.

If you’re looking for something new and original that doesn’t scare you much at all, Elixir of Immortality is definitely a game for you.

iPad edition | iPhone edition

Dark Strokes

Dark Strokes: Sins of the Fathers Collector’s Edition

This addition is another little cheat of mine on the date part, because it was released New Year’s Eve, but close enough.

Dark Strokes (besides having a kind of, um, well, interesting name) is a stunningly beautiful game all around. You play Ethan, who is trying to save his fiancé from something known as the Faceless Ones. The journey takes you all over a completely destroyed city that is teeming with supernatural forces.

This Collector’s Edition does get you extra game play, which is great, because recently not all Collector’s Editions have had it. Sometimes they just include stupid things like wallpaper and music from the game.

iPad edition | iPhone edition

Phenomenon

Phenomenon: City of Cyan

Phenomenon came out at the end of February. I had a hard time picking a 10th for this list, because although I loved so many other games, including this 1, they all seem to have some drawback or something that just didn’t sit well or play right.

City of Cyan is a great game, though. Particularly because the story it tells is so original that you will not feel like you’ve heard this 1 before. The puzzles and interactive hidden object scenes are just as original.

Oh, the story. You play Monica, who has returned to the City of Cyan to try to uncover the secrets surrounding her childhood in the city and find her parents. You are alone in the city, almost, because 20 years ago a dangerous experiment destroyed much of the city and turned the citizens into strange creatures.

iPad edition | iPhone edition

2 Games I’ve Already Reviewed This Year

There are 2 games I have already reviewed this year, or they would’ve made the top 10 list. So, I thought I would send you to their full reviews for more information.

2 Games I’d Avoid

There are 2 games that were so awful I either didn’t buy the full game (G.H.O.S.T. Hunters: The Haunting of Majesty Manor) or bought but soon deleted (Escape the Museum: The Complete Series). Both of these games had graphics so horrendous they made my eyes hurt trying to play them. They had weak stories and even weaker design sense.

What Did I Miss? and Assorted News

Did I miss any of your favorite games from this year? Let me know in the comments section what you liked and didn’t like or if you disagree with 1 of my selections.

Just because I didn’t mention every game that came out on this list, doesn’t mean that almost all the others lacked some redeeming quality. Except for the 2 games I mentioned, I have played every single game that came out this year (forever, I think). If you have any questions, please feel free to ask.

2 games I didn’t mention but that I will do full reviews on at a later date are Fetch and Sherlock Holmes: The Awakened. I’m in the midst of playing both games and they are absolute winners! Fetch was even an Editor’s Choice app of the week in the App Store. However, neither game is a hidden object game, so they seemed a little out of place in the Top 10 I wrote today.

By the way, if you’re waiting for the next Big Fish sale, I think it will be Mother’s Day weekend. I will Tweet and post here as soon as I know.

That’s it for me today. Until later, …

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7 thoughts on “Top 10 Best Big Fish Games of 2013 (So Far)

  1. Love, love, love big fish games. Don’t really play them on my laptop but play one a week on my ipad. Just upgraded to ipad air today. So should look better than my ipad 2. Only drawback is I only have 16gb and downloads now average about 700mb. Not too much of a problem as I usually delete game after I’ve finished it and its saved in icloud if I ever want to play again. I loved dire grove. Which funnily enough isn’t on App Store anymore. It’s still in my purchase history though. Glad as I will be playing again one day. Great round up.

    • Sorry for such a delayed response. I just upgraded to an iPad Air today myself :) I always have to go with the 64 GB because I know myself and I like to download, download, download. Thanks for the comment!

      • Well. I ended up running out of big fish games on Ipad so I now play on laptop. I have 500gb so won’t ever run out of space. Lol! I’ve just played haunted hotel eclipse. It’s an elephant game. Which you will love. Oh and the second stray souls game. Which is amazing. Thanks for the reply and happy gaming.

  2. Hi, my name is Mike and I am a bfg addict. Having also run through the bfg ios catalog, I saw something about bfg unlimited. Will that work on ios devices?

    • Oh Kathy! I was horrible at puzzles and at free-running adventure games just like a year ago. But, through practice and my addiction to Big Fish games, I am really good at both now. Just keep trying!

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