Game Review: Romance of Rome HD
Release: February 17, 2011
Developer: G5 Entertainment
Size: 106 MB
You play as Marcus, an adolescent Roman who has decided to strike out on his own. Only briefly after leaving his home, Marcus stumbles into an adventure filled with conspiracy, quests, and hundreds of hidden objects. Find the objects to accumulate wealth, purchase new clothes, and raise your standing within Roman society.
In an area, the objects you must find are shown six at a time in your queue. This has its drawbacks; you will often see objects that stick out and beg to be tapped, but cannot be discovered until they appear in your queue of six.
Certain objects go to your inventory when found. These are kept until you locate the item they interact with. For example, you find a pitcher in one area and a tree in another; use the pitcher to water the tree, and the tree will bloom to complete the quest.
As you enter a new area, a Roman citizen may randomly assign a task to you. This isn’t any more involving than you finding the right object to interact with something, but it awards you status points that elevate your standing in the Roman community; this is represented by a status bar in the upper right corner of the screen. Accumulating status is like gaining experience; when you fill the status bar, you level up and become more famous.
In-game achievements are presented as trophies: Find 15 objects in a row and you are given “Diana’s Bow,” find four relics to earn “Juno’s Cloak.” These trophies don’t serve practical purpose, but you may choose to link to Facebook and post your achievements there. These trophies are also aligned with Game Center achievements, so as you earn the trophies, you earn Game Center points as well. Most of them are obtained through normal gameplay, but a couple trophies require extraordinary effort to earn, such as “Find 25 objects within one minute.”
The areas house objects you would imagine they normally contain; however, in the Thermae (roman bath) I found a ninja star. How is this possible? I also later found a similar ninja star in the forge. The game otherwise does a good job in seeming authentic to the time period.
The story is adequate in moving along the game. There is a plot twist in the middle of the game, which was appreciated, but then the story flatlines for the remainder of the game. Occasionally, text in speech bubbles sometimes doesn’t match the voiceover: “By the Gods!” is spoken as “Holy Cow!” It is noticeable in several other spots, but is nothing more than an annoyance.
The game offers fresh areas for the first few episodes. Regretfully, the areas are recycled later in the game, the only difference being new objects placed in the area to find. The background art is very well done with significant detail. In later levels, the game becomes more difficult by changing the color of the object you are to find; an object that appears gold in your queue may be brown in the actual area. This can get annoying when you don’t know what to look for.
I beat the game and earned 24 of 27 achievements in only a few hours; taking the $6.99 price tag into account, that doesn’t translate to very good value. It was certainly fun while it lasted, but I can find other Saturday afternoon distractions that cost less. If you love the hidden object genre, Romance of Rome will not disappoint.
- In-game trophies that align with the Game Center achievements
- Well-drawn background art
- Objects sometimes appear differently than shown in your queue
- Expensive game for the time you will play it
Buy if you love hidden object games, otherwise save your money.