It’s pretty tough to put a spin on the hidden object genre. Sure, you can minimise the actual hidden object scenes and focus more on puzzles, but beyond that, your options are fairly limited. So step forward Art Mogul and experience a hidden object trading game. Curious? Yep, me too.
The focus of Art Mogul, is perhaps unsurprisingly, dealing in the world of art. Your chosen profession is to buy and sell famous works of art with the aim of turning a profit. To help you achieve this is where the hidden object element comes in to play: When mulling over a potential purchase, you have the opportunity of finding a handful of objects, with each one found giving you a percentage discount. Similarly, when it comes to flogging your painted canvas the same deal applies but this time giving you a percentage extra profit.
Buying and selling paintings is always the main focus of Art Mogul and there are a few ways of raking in the cash. Buying and selling from an art gallery is obviously one method, but you can also venture into the local cafe where scribblings of slightly dubious origin may reside. Here the paintings are much lower valued than from the gallery, but are almost certain to be fakes. Thus you must examine the painting to spot differences between a photocopy of the original and the probable copy. Fakes can still be purchased, but dealing in too many will lower your reputation amongst your fellow arty-farty types.
Finally, you can visit the nearest auction house to bid on a lot. Much like having David Dickinson stood next to you shouting “cheap as chips” during an auction will distract other bidders, in Art Mogul you ‘stun’ other bidders by quickly finding a hidden object during the bids. If you can knock out the other bidders quickly, you can pick up a masterpiece with a big profit margin. Also at the auction house, you can take on requests for clients that pay big bucks if you can deliver. Client’s requests work by declaring a desire for a painting that contains, yes you guessed it, a certain hidden object.
So there’s usually plenty to do as you drive towards the various goals set out to you. As you progress, earning handy cash and reputation points, you can open up your own gallery and visit different cities around the world to trade to different targets.
On the whole, Art Mogul is really great game – with one disappointing flaw that makes the game very annoying to play on a small screen device... When checking out a piece of art, the pictures are not centred or fixed on screen and the icons that show the hidden objects are fairly small. This means you’re nearly always panning and zooming to examine the picture. Along with there being lots of different icons on screen covering up valuable screen estate, it’s a bit frustrating especially when bidding in an auction and you have to be quick in finding that one object. I’m sure that on an iPad screen this wouldn’t be an issue at all (at at least a lot less), but for me it spoiled my experience somewhat.
Also, the game is very repetitive and even though you are visiting different cities or buildings, there’s nothing to really distinguish between them. So once you’ve seen and tried everything in the first 30 minutes or so, there really isn’t anything new to discover.
Playing Art Mogul is certainly a unique experience and credit must go to that. But your level of enjoyment will depend on screen size/eyesight and how much you can take the repeated nature of gameplay.
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I thought he looked like an Americanised Tim Wonnacott. Although that's probably not much better than the Go Compare man :-p BTW, has a spammer been hitting a bunch of my articles? I suddenly felt quite popular for a moment and then realised they weren't proper comments :(