This Week's Sponsor:

Paste

Endless Clipboard for Mac and iOS Devices


Hidden Folks: A Whimsical Game of Exploration

Hidden Folks, by game developer Adriaan de Jongh and illustrator Sylvain Tegroeg, is a relaxing diversion into beautifully-detailed, hand-drawn worlds. The object of the game is simple: find people, animals, and objects in huge illustrated landscapes. After you’ve found enough items in each area, the next one is unlocked and ready to explore.

The comparison that comes to mind immediately is the Where’s Waldo book series for kids. But there’s a lot more going on here than that suggests, and this is not a game that’s just for children. Hidden Folks comes alive with whimsical animations and over 960 silly mouth-generated sound effects. Each of the fourteen hand-drawn, black-and-white scenes is vast and full of minute details that make finding each item challenging.

Everything responds to touch in some way too. Poking a bird makes it squawk, but tap a boat, and it responds by launching itself from the dock. In all, there are over 200 interactions to discover. As a result, you never know exactly what the response will be, which makes exploring fun, regardless of whether you find the hidden objects.

Hidden Folks starts in a ‘Forest’ environment, which has five areas to explore. In addition to Forest, there are ‘Dry Lands,’ ‘City,’ and ‘Factory’ worlds, each with areas to unlock. The items you need to find in each stage are displayed in a horizontally scrolling menu along the bottom of the screen. Tapping each item provides a clue about where to look for it. There is also an Options button to access settings and the ability to record gameplay.

This game shines on the 12.9 inch iPad Pro’s large screen. But even on Apple’s largest iOS device, Hidden Folks’ areas don’t fit within the bounds of the screen, which should give you an idea of their scope. I was surprised and impressed that Hidden Folks works almost as well on the much smaller screen of an iPhone. You cannot see nearly as much as on an iPad, but panning and zooming work surprisingly well and the addition of haptic feedback on the iPhone adds to the game’s interactivity. Hidden Folks can also be played on the Apple TV, though I have not had the chance to try it there yet.

Hidden Folks is an absorbing, relaxing experience as much as it is a game. There are no points, timers, or other stress-inducing mechanics. Instead, the game revolves solely around exploration. The synthesis of playful art, sound effects, and animation is sure to have many people exploring Hidden Folks for hours at a time. When you finally put the game down, though, try Hidden Folks’ stickers for Messages, which include over 100 delightful illustrations from the game.

Hidden Folks is available on the App Store for iOS devices and the Apple TV. A Mac version is also available on Steam.

Unlock More with Club MacStories

Founded in 2015, Club MacStories has delivered exclusive content every week for over six years.

In that time, members have enjoyed nearly 400 weekly and monthly newsletters packed with more of your favorite MacStories writing as well as Club-only podcasts, eBooks, discounts on apps, icons, and services. Join today, and you’ll get everything new that we publish every week, plus access to our entire archive of back issues and downloadable perks.

The Club expanded in 2021 with Club MacStories+ and Club Premier. Club MacStories+ members enjoy even more exclusive stories, a vibrant Discord community, a rotating roster of app discounts, and more. And, with Club Premier, you get everything we offer at every Club level plus an extended, ad-free version of our podcast AppStories that is delivered early each week in high-bitrate audio.

Choose the Club plan that’s right for you:

  • Club MacStories: Weekly and monthly newsletters via email and the web that are brimming with app collections, tips, automation workflows, longform writing, a Club-only podcast, periodic giveaways, and more;
  • Club MacStories+: Everything that Club MacStories offers, plus exclusive content like Federico’s Automation Academy and John’s Macintosh Desktop Experience, a powerful web app for searching and exploring over 6 years of content and creating custom RSS feeds of Club content, an active Discord community, and a rotating collection of discounts, and more;
  • Club Premier: Everything in from our other plans and AppStories+, an extended version of our flagship podcast that’s delivered early, ad-free, and in high-bitrate audio.