Living Classics: A cute but lacking moving object game on Facebook

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While traditional hidden object games have become all the rage on Facebook (look at the popularity of Hidden Chronicles, as an example), Amazon's first outing as a social game developer has taken that formula and twisted it into something more unique, though ultimately flawed: Living Classics, a moving object game that is now available to play on Facebook.

Living Classics has a simple premise, as you'll work to find lost families of foxes that have wandered into classic literature: King Arthur, Alice in Wonderland, the Wizard of Oz and so on. Each chapter of the game contains a single novel and there are only seven novels to investigate in this early version of the game. Each book is further separated into multiple scenes that contain around 15 moving objects to spot when you play.

Unlike hidden object games, which present object names on a list, Living Classics instead gives you a much larger image to work with and simply asks you to click on objects that are moving. These movements may be large and obvious (bottles rolling across tables, animal tails wagging) or small and subtle (the blink of an eye, the faint glimmer of light bouncing off of a piece of metal), but regardless of the scene, you'll only be presented with a small number of moving objects at once. That is, only two or three objects will actually move at one time, and others won't begin moving until you find those earlier objects.

In a way, this helps the game from offering too much stimulus with dozens of items flashing, sliding, rotating or otherwise moving at once, but it also limits the skill level required to earn high scores. If every object moved at once, it would truly be a race against the clock to find all of the objects to earn the highest number of points possible, but with these smaller groups, that difficulty is greatly lessened.

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This isn't the say the game isn't challenging, but any difficulty that is present seems to be due to more oversight than true challenge. Some objects, for instance, move so slightly or so rarely that you may need to wait five seconds or more to see the object once again move, all the while losing the potential for combo points. It isn't your fault that you happened to be looking at the other side of the screen when Alice blinks at the Mad Hatter's Tea Party, so why should your score suffer because of it?

On top of this, the energy system recharges far too slowly, limiting the amount of time you can play in a single session, and the game's quest series asks you to go back to books you've already completed (by randomly finding foxes in some scenes), instead of forever pushing you forward. All told, the game's graphics are charming (offering skewed presentations of known characters), so at least the scenes are nice to look at, but the repetition in even the game's earliest stages does more harm than good.

If Living Classics were available for free on iPhone or iPad, I might have a more glowing recommendation for the game, as children would be able to play the game on road trips or to simply pass the time. However, on a platform for those aged 13 or older (if you follow Facebook's terms of service), the game might be just a bit too lacking in depth to appeal to a more hardcore, older audience.

Click here to try Living Classics on Facebook --->

What do you think of Living Classics on Facebook? Have you ever played a "Living Objects" game before? Sound off in the comments!
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