Let's talk scary. If you're like me, games with zombies, vampires, and even homicidal maniacs typically register a “meh” on the fear scale. Maybe there's a hairs-on-the-back-of-the-neck creep factor, but true terrror? Nah. Just turn off the computer and flip on the television. That sort of thing just doesn't stick with me. But a story involving kids in danger ? Now, that's terror.
Like most other moms, I'd tackle 500 zombies and feed them to those vampires then let them fight it out with the homicidal maniacs to protect my children, your children, anybody's children. That's why Rite of Passage: The Perfect Show is bugging the heck out of me. The story involves a serious whacko abducting children and that's something I just can't put out of my mind.
In Rite of Passage: The Perfect Show you assume the identity of a local piano teacher. While your small town of Everlake has recently been struck by a series of unexplained child abductions, things really don't hit home with you until your dear pupil, Amber, becomes the fiend's latest victim.
You don't see the authorities making much headway and decide to take matters into your own hands. You begin your search for clues at Amber's abduction site, the playground, and then follow clues – through games and hidden object areas – around the town. The climax comes in an old puppet theater where the culprit hopes to stage “The Perfect Show.”
Rite of Passage: The Perfect Show is a compelling hidden object adventure game. The graphics are rich and beautiful, but the movement is a bit on the choppy side. One thing I appreciated about this one is that several scenes are rich and colorful. Why does everything need to be set on a dismal, dark, and stormy night? I think game developers can create mood and atmosphere without resorting to only using the blue and black palettes.
The hidden object scenes are on the challenging side of average. Some items are hidden and others require some assembling. The mini-games are unique, but I would fault the game developers on their “puzzle info” directives. I expect some sort of text explanation, not wordless “rebus” instructions. Several times I found myself proceeding incorrectly because I had misinterpreted the three doodled “direction” images.
If you enjoy hidden object adventure games and either have no children or children safely under lock and key, give Rite of Passage: The Perfect Show a try. Now, I have to go let my two out of their rooms.