Casual games are invading consoles once again--and this time it's the hidden objects genre that's making the leap. Other casual games that have already come to consoles or handhelds in one form or another include Bejeweled 2 Deluxe (on Xbox Live), Cake Mania (now a DS game, and coming to the Wii), and Diner Dash (Nintendo DS, PSP, and Xbox Live).
Escape the Museum (no relation to the movie Night at the Museum) starts with protagonist Susan Anderson and her daughter Caitlin in the museum where Susan works. A major earthquake separates them, and she must work her way through the different exhibits by clearing the debris, rescuing priceless artifacts, and solving puzzles.
The game has 12 different "hunt and find" areas, and 25 graphic-adventure-style scenes, where Susan must combine and use items she finds in the area to get past an obstacle. Escape the Museum is developed by Gogii Games, and is coming exclusively to the Wii. It will be out in stores before the holidays for $19.99.
Hidden objects games, otherwise known as seek-and-find games, or I-spy games, are one of the most popular categories of PC casual games. The genre currently accounts for almost 20 percent of game downloads from casual portals such as Big Fish Games, Arcade Town, and iWin. Similar to the Where's Wally? [Where's Waldo? in the US] books, gamers have to find certain items on a list within a time limit. These items are hidden within a picture of a location which is also brimming over with other items.
In other casual gaming news, Sierra Online yesterday announced that it would be bringing TikGames' Interpol: The Trail of Dr. Chaos from PC to Xbox Live. Gamers track the titular Dr. Chaos through a series of exotic locations in cities including Tokyo, Cairo, Paris, and San Francisco. The Live version will simply be called Interpol and will add a multiplayer co-op mode so four gamers can work together to find clues. Interpol is due for release this autumn, with a price and age rating yet to be decided.