Price: $6.99    Score: 9/10    Category: Games

Everest: Hidden Expedition is an amazingly detailed find-the-hidden-objects search game reminiscent of Where’s Waldo and I Spy in various picture settings around the world. Based on the popular PC version, Big Fish Games remastered the artwork and optimized Everest: Hidden Expedition for the iPad.

The game starts at Base Camp and leads players through various checkpoints around the world in search of clues to make it to the top of Everest. Any worldly progress takes place in the form of in between level advancement that shows your location in various parts of the world. Other than following your travel destinations, the rest of Everest: Hidden Expedition is searching through the details of photos.

At the beginning of each level you’re click into a place and see a highly detailed picture. There are nine items spelled out on the bottom of the screen, and it’s your job to pick each of them out of the photo by tapping on them. Items can vary from pistols to wells to swords and frogs, but almost everything is fairly difficult to find.

When you tap on items, an angelic sound hits the speakers and the item disappears from your list of hidden objects. To make the progress a little easier, a hint button in the lower left hand corner lights up every now and then like a timed progress bar, helping you along the way.

While Everest isn’t timed, you are competing against three other teams of computerized explorers. Your ranking shows up as a silver tab (there are also three other colors) creeping across toward the right side of the screen. Every few levels you’re position is matched up against the competition, and when you get closer to Everest hints make you aware that you’re about to win the game.

It took me about five days of medium gameplay (about an hour per day) to make it all the way to Everest and beat the entire game. The prize at the peak is a typical game winning congratulatory picture setup, but conquering all the levels opens up a free play mode that allows you to revisit various continents on demand.

There are so many elements of the pictures that make up Everest expedition that replaying the same photos in search of different objects would still be difficult the fourth or fifth time around. Because of this, Everest does have some legitimate replay value, but the real fun comes if you’ve got a willing opponent.

Everest: Hidden Expedition HD features a Multiplayer mode where you can play against someone else. In this mode there’s a long list of locations. Pick a location and you’ll find yourself poised against the opponent sitting across from you on the other side of the iPad.

The screen is split in half with a pause button and points ranking in the middle. Each person is provided with the same picture and list of items, as well as a hint button, but in this multiplayer mode only one person gets each item. In the same vein, only one of the players receives a hint before the timer builds up again.

This one player takes all setup for each hint and item makes for a teeth gritting, gruelingly competitive experience. To add to it, there’s a snowball feature that allows opponents to fling snowballs at one another to cover the other person’s screen with blobs of snow. As the snowball recipient, you can choose to push the snow off of the screen or let it melt in the midst of the action.

The price tag for Everest may be a little high based on the fact that’s it’s just a photo search game that’s been remastered from it’s original form, but if you’re the type of person who enjoys this kind of challenging find-the-item-in-the-illustration game, this is one of the best you’ll find. The drawings are incredible, everything is extremely detailed, and this is a game you can play for a long time, or just pick up in those in between times.

Bottom Line: Everest: Hidden Expedition is a challenging hidden objects search game with amazing detail and a fun Where’s Waldo meets I Spy setup. 9/10