Love Story: The Beach Cottage is a game developed by Media Art and published by Big Fish Games. It is a hidden object game which borrows a few elements from the romance movie, The Notebook. Haunted by the time she spent with her childhood friend Charlie, the heroine of the story must return to her family's beach house before she sells it in order to honor her father's request. Will she uncover something sweet or bittersweet? What happened on those rocky shores forty years ago? With young love as its theme, it's the perfect game for hopeless romantics and hidden object fans alike.
A Story of Young Love
At the start of the game, Sandra (Sandie to her dad) receives a letter from her father. She is asked to visit their family's cottage by the beach to gather all of her old things. Specifically, a few 'special things' she has left behind all those years ago. She must then head back to the place it all started, remembering how she met Charlie, the boy who lives by the lighthouse nearby. Pick up the pieces of her past through flashbacks. Find out how she had fallen in love and learn what had happened to make her want to forget their time together.
The story is engaging, not only because it is nicely written but because it's a great change of pace compared to the more common, darker themed hidden object games. It's also not just for veterans of the genre. The story is simple enough for younger audiences to follow and there are no violent or scary scenes for adults to be concerned about. The game play as a whole is quite forgiving, making it a good choice for first time players.
Fall in Love with Hidden Object Games
It doesn't matter if this is your first foray into the wonderful world of hidden object games, Love Story: The Beach Cottage gives you two levels of difficulty. For those who have never tried a game in the genre or those who wish to enjoy a more relaxing trek through Sandra's memories, the Casual difficulty level will be a perfect fit. Mini games and hidden object segments can even be skipped at no penalty to you if you find them too hard.
On the other hand, if you are a veteran and are looking for more of a challenge, then you may want to try your hand at the game's Expert mode. There are a few differences between the two versions. You may change the cursor, making it a bit easier or trickier to find interactive hot spots and items of interest. If you're having trouble locating the areas, there are sparkles which can point out hidden object scenes, mini games and collectibles. When investigating a scene in which you don't have the required item for, an icon is added to your inventory representing the one that is missing. It's quite handy for the most part, however, the inventory can get cluttered and this makes it harder to access the items that you do have.
Love at First Sight
Aside from its lighthearted theme, what Love Story: The Beach Cottage has going for it is the graphics. The artworks are pretty as a picture. The backgrounds are stunning and brightly colored to suit the feel of the storytelling. Time even passes as you weave your way through Sandra's memories, with the scenes getting darker at sunset. As for the music, well, the game is worth playing just to enjoy the ambiance they create. The melodies are haunting and the sound effects add a touch of realism to the experience as we'd expect from lovegameonline.com in general.
Love Story: The Beach Cottage is a stellar game all in all. While it's not for hidden object veterans who like their game themes dark and chilling, it is for hopeless romantics. The actual hidden object segments are reasonably tricky, using a combination of standard, pairings, multiple items and interactive items. We love the fact that the actual objects are not out of place in the scenes -- another refreshing change from those that somehow manage to hide toy boats inside cooking pots. Even without resorting to the skip button, it's also easy to figure out and pass each mini game. So, will Sandra get her happily ever after or are her memories better off forgotten? Find out by taking a trip through memory lane in Love Story: The Beach Cottage.