JetSet Secrets on Facebook: The hunt for hidden objects kicks it up a notch

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Last month, we brought you an exclusive preview of EA's JetSet Secrets, a Facebook hidden object game that looks to top the big boys like Hidden Chronicles and Gardens of Time by offering humor, originality and even being just a bit "sexy." Placing players in the role of the world's greatest detective, JetSet Secrets will see players flying all around the world, and living a fairly luxurious life as they solve crimes through dozens of hidden object scenes.

From the outset, JetSet Secrets may only appear to differ from other Facebook hidden object games in its overall graphical design, as players are allowed to purchase tropical decorations and buildings on their very own private island (complete with customizable marina). The game's cutscenes and character models are unique, sharp and polished, and the game mostly looks beautiful, with plenty of subtle animations (ripples in a pond or flames moving in the wind, as examples). It's once you get into the heart of the matter - the actual hidden object scenes - where certain aspects either shine even more, or start to fall apart.

Each scene forces you to start in fullscreen mode, which in theory is helpful, as it allows you to have a larger view of each scene and its hidden objects. However, the game lags in fullscreen, and there's no option to ignore this prompt, so if the lag is too bad on your own computer, you'll have to bounce in and out of fullscreen as you play, which simply isn't very user friendly. Even more important than that though, fullscreen mode shows off the problems with the graphics in some hidden object scenes, as they tend to be blurry and nowhere near as highly detailed as those in the rest of the game.

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Some scenes contain simple junkpiles of items, while others use the skewed item size approach. The latter adds challenge to these particular scenes, as items could literally be placed anywhere, even if they wouldn't exist there in the real world. Fortunately, even with the game's graphical problems in these scenes, I'd still be confident in saying that the game excels over every other hidden object game on Facebook due to the ability to play each scene in up to seven different ways.

For players that want a traditional experience, "Classic" mode allows for item hunting at a slow pace using rechargeable hints to find items on a text list. You'll only occasionally have to break away from this mode to try others to complete quests, and you can quickly jump back into Classic mode at any time after that. Other modes are for those looking for variety or a faster-paced experience. Blitz and Survival mode add timers to the scenes, while a spot the difference mode tests your observational skills as you attempt to find each item that has been removed from one of two scenes. Other scenes are even more unique still, as you may need to find items so that their locations form a triangle and trap other items inside, or click on moving items before they drift off of the screen. Each mode is unlocked by repeatedly playing in the modes you've unlocked before, but all of your attempts in a single scene work towards your cumulative trophy accomplishments.

Back on your Private Island, you'll be forced to build dozens of structures and decorations to earn Jet Miles that are used to unlock additional scenes, and you can even upgrade some structures to provide boosts to your hint recharge time, add bonus points to your score and so on. There's clearly been a lot of attention to detail in these areas of JetSet Secrets, as the game stands out from other games in the genre, even with its flaws.

JetSet Secrets isn't a perfect game, as the disparity between the graphical quality in some hidden object scenes and the rest of the game is downright odd, and EA's name / logo is plastered everywhere in the game, right down to being the symbol on each and every coin you earn. Still, the game's many characters are funny and unique, and the ability to choose from so many gameplay types for each scene is an incredibly refreshing addition to the genre. If you've grown tired of the "same old thing" in the hidden object space, you'll definitely want to give JetSet Secrets a try.

Play JetSet Secrets on Facebook now ---->

What do you think of JetSet Secrets? Do you think it might be a contender battle to be the top hidden object game on Facebook? Sound off in the comments!
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