I wouldn’t have ever considered myself to be a fan of the hidden object game. Something about staring at the same image for hours on end trying to scan every detail for one specific item draws comparisons to watching paint dry. But Giant Celebration, an oddly-named VR debut from the slightly better-named Giant Cranium, makes a good case for bringing the genre to VR.
Giant Celebration is comprised of several different dioramas located within a larger environment that you have to sift through in order to find a set of objects. One level contains a scene of a local concert set in a park, for example, while another covers a beach-side resort set on a rooftop in a city skyline. You’ll be asked to find items like cassette players and photo frames as well as characters in specific poses. Some objectives will simply require you to highlight the hidden object whereas others will have you picking them up and putting them in the correct position.
What works well here is the ability to scale up and down within the environment and how that changes the world around you. The first level a cassette player is resting harmlessly at one end of the table as if it had simply been set down there. But, when you scale down to the size of the people in the diorama, it becomes a giant structure to marvel at. You also need to literally think outside the box; at one point I need to find a computer that I discover is actually buried away under the diorama as a regular household item.
It’s not exactly earth-shattering but it does have its own charms. It’s just a shame that the game feels relatively cookie cutter, from the identikit character models to the pre-made sound effects that sound off when you find an object. Given that the entire game is static I would have loved to have seen a more detailed, vibrant world that was a joy to simply exist in in VR.
Giant Celebration is set to launch in Early Access tomorrow on Steam with Rift and Vive support. The current build includes four levels with three difficulty settings making for a total of 12 combinations. Over the course of pre-release, Giant Cranium plans to add a better hint system (the current implementation just basically tells you where everything is) and more game modes. A custom level editor may also be on the cards.
Expect a full launch around summer 2019.