Hidden object games for PC are fun when you want a relaxing point-and-click experience with low stakes and maybe a few jumpscares. While this may not be the most popular genre for companies to develop games for, that doesn’t make it any less engaging and delightful for those who love it. If you’re too tired for the action today, here are five of the best hidden object games for PC you can play right now:
- Best Overall: DRAGON QUEST TREASURES
- Best Free-to-Play: An Arcade Full of Cats
- Best Horror: I’m On Observation Duty 6
- Best Graphics: Drawn: Dark Flight
- Best Story: IMMORTALITY
Best Overall Hidden Object Game: DRAGON QUEST TREASURES
Heir to the great Dragon Quest series, DRAGON QUEST TREASURES is our choice for the best overall hidden object game for PC. When it comes to hidden object games, DRAGON QUEST TREASURES has it all: story, RPG elements, and, of course, hidden objects. The game is developed and maintained by Square Enix and is a light-hearted continuation of the critically acclaimed Dragon Quest series. It has an MSRP of $49.99 on Steam.
DRAGON QUEST TREASURES follows two siblings, Erik and Miam, who dream of exploring the great world around them. They encounter two creatures from another world, Porcus and Purrsula who whisk them away to the land of Draconia where they can hunt for treasure alongside their growing team of companions.
This game is a little different from the original formula of hidden object games that present you with an image and have you pick out items from it. We loved the innovative take on hidden objects! In DRAGON QUEST TREASURES, you’ll hunt for treasures hidden in the 3D landscape of Draconia while fighting off monsters. The more treasure you collect, the stronger your team will become! This unique approach to hidden object games breathes new life into a genre with a very rigid, traditional formula. You won’t regret the high price tag of this title.
|DRAGON QUEST TREASURES offers a unique spin on hidden object games.
|It is one of the most expensive hidden object games on the market.
|The game features multiple genre-spanning elements.
|The story is cute, light-hearted, and fun.
Best Free-to-Play Hidden Object Game: An Arcade Full of Cats
An Arcade Full of Cats is one of three hidden object games made by Devcats and our choice for the best free-to-play hidden object game for PC. This quirky, fun game has you finding cats as you travel through time and explore the history of video games. The game covers each era from the 1980s up through the 2000s, telling the story of how video games became the powerhouse industry we know today through fun, feline-filled puzzles.
Devcats, the makers of An Arcade Full of Cats, have developed several puzzle games with cats, spanning multiple genres. An Arcade Full of Cats has one DLC you can purchase from Devcats that provides you with three additional scenarios. They’ve made a sudoku game and a slide puzzle one, both adorned with cats in every corner of the screen.
If you’re interested in Devcats’ works, they have multiple bundles available that regularly go on sale. Even without the sale, these bundles are very affordable with the full bundle of Devcats’ releases costing less than $10 without any price drops. They also sell plenty of additional content for people who enjoy their games, such as the Building Full of Cats soundtrack and a digital artbook for Zodiacats.
|The game is free to play.
|The game has a paid DLC to get the additional levels.
|It features a charming, simple art style.
|The developers donate money to raise awareness of cat rescue programs.
Best Horror Hidden Object Game: I’m On Observation Duty 6
I’m On Observation Duty 6 is the sixth game in the I’m On Observation Duty series and our choice for the best horror-themed hidden object game for PC. This game is not for the faint of heart. It features dark themes and psychological horror. So, if you’re not up for a scary experience and want something more light-hearted and easy to enjoy, skip this entry entirely.
This game follows you, an employee of a mysterious, unnamed organization. You’re the night shift observation person, and your job is to monitor surveillance cameras and use your memory and eyesight to spot anomalies on the live feeds. Unlike other hidden object games, there isn’t a static image you need to find objects in. The feeds will change in real-time and you need to spot the difference and find the hidden anomalies to report or correct them. What happens if you don’t? You die.
Novolia and Dreamloop, the creators of I’m On Observation Duty, released the Hard difficulty for I’m On Observation Duty 6. So, if you find the base game too easy, you can always buy the additional difficulty. If you like the game, the developers have bundled the whole series into a package you can purchase on Steam.
|This game features both hidden objects and spot-the-difference mechanics.
|The psychological horror themes might not be for everyone.
|It uses real-time hidden objects instead of a static image.
|The game also features mystery elements and logic puzzles.
Best Hidden Object Game with Amazing Graphics: Drawn: Dark Flight
If you want a hidden object game with beautiful, unique graphics, check out Drawn: Dark Flight. This game features a beautiful painted art style you won’t find anywhere else. It is the sequel to Drawn: The Painted Tower. So, if you’re interested in the story, you should definitely pick that game up. Both Drawn games retail for $9.99 on Steam, making them a little more expensive than most hidden object games on the platform, but still very affordable, especially compared to DRAGON QUEST TREASURES.
Drawn: Dark Flight is the second game in Big Fish Game’s Drawn series. It allows you to further explore the world introduced in The Painted Tower as you search for Iris. You’ll need to find items hidden in each scene that lead you closer to finding her. At the same time, you’ll meet a cast of colorful characters that will help or hinder your goal of finding Iris.
The game also features several other puzzle types. So, you won’t just be finding hidden items. You’ll need to keep solving puzzles as you get closer to your goals. Each puzzle and found object will advance you toward the finish line. If you’re interested in this one, pick up both The Painted Tower and Dark Flight on Steam for the full experience.
|The game features a beautiful, unique art style.
|It is not a light-hearted story. It is rather somber and may not be for everyone.
|Multiple puzzle types mean you won’t be bored.
|The story is considered one of the best parts of the game.
Best Hidden Object Game with an Amazing Story: IMMORTALITY
From the developers of Her Story comes our choice for the best hidden object game with an amazing story, IMMORTALITY, a game where you piece together a mystery from hyperrealistic video footage. The mystery you aim to solve? What happened to Marissa Marcel’s movies? The game focuses on a fictional director whose movies were never released and have been lost to time.
The game is an interactive trilogy where you use the supernatural ability to jump between scenes, viewing the different highlights of Marissa’s life as you try to determine what happened to her and her lost films. Just like in Her Story, IMMORTALITY features hyper-realistic video “footage” that the player assesses to find objects and inconsistencies, piecing together the real story slowly.
Like some of the other options on this list, IMMORTALITY is a slightly more serious game. The subject matter isn’t light-hearted and we urge players who delve into this beautiful yet somber story to take it seriously and treat it with the respect it deserves. Those who really go the extra mile when experiencing this game will find a deep, rich story-based game. We also want to remind people that this game doesn’t just use hidden objects; it also has sound cues that you need to be able to hear. So, grab some headphones and focus!
|The story is unique, interesting, and rich.
|The gameplay can be somewhat repetitive if you have trouble piecing the story together on the first try.
|The game uses hidden objects and other sensory cues to help the player piece together the story.
|The characters are deep and well-written.
How to Pick the Best Hidden Object Games for PC: Step-by-Step
Choosing a new game is a unique process for each individual. You’ll need to determine what kind of experience you want to have with the game and select titles based on that. Do you want a standard hidden object game for PC like An Arcade Full of Cats or something that has other types of puzzles and gameplay as well? Consider also what subgenres you want to have in your game. Are you a horror fan or do you faint at the first jumpscare? Let’s examine these elements in-depth.
The first thing you should consider is what gameplay elements you want or don’t want in your experience. The standard hidden object gameplay formula is a static image with several pictures hidden within the drawing. The player will need to find all the hidden images to progress to the next image. Think “Where’s Waldo?” but on your computer.
However, many hidden object games for PC incorporate other game mechanics to keep the gameplay from feeling too repetitive. Popular secondary genres are “spot the difference,” and puzzles.
Hidden object games for PC can also have more genres than just “feel good.” Hidden object horror games such as I’m On Observation Duty are becoming more popular. If you have specific feelings about the genre, ensure that you pick a game that falls within that genre. An Arcade Full of Cats is a feel-good game with low stakes and cute art, while I’m On Observation Duty is a higher-stakes horror game that could be disturbing for some players.
The image featured at the top of this post is ©sakkmesterke/Shutterstock.com.