Varenje Is one of the freshest hidden object games to release on Steam this year from developer PlayCute. Varenje released in a free-to-play form earlier this year, which passed me by. However, I did get the chance to play the newly minted collector’s edition featuring the full game, with the soundtrack and strategy guide.

Here are our two cents on the game –

Finding the hidden jem…

Once you start Varenje, you will notice an absence of cutscenes introducing players to its world, or to what they are meant to do. Albeit there isn’t much to be established to, as there is a sense to be in a world you don’t belong to. The game gives out Alice in Wonderland vibes, it’s full of vibrant colour to entice players into the visually appealing environment.

Soon into the adventure that vacancy of cutscenes disappears, to interject story. However, this last seems disappointing. After some less than captivating performances from voice actors, you start to realise what the story is trying to say: that video games are, as a whole, harmful to you. A danger that must be heeded and to stay away from. That does seem odd -especially from a video game itself.

Further on through Varenje, you will meet additional warnings about the dangers of video games: very much like the 1990’s Jack Tompson rhetoric about videogames, oddly enough from a game itself. Whether those considerations are ironic or not, that’s not made too clear to the player; which is disheartening, as Varenje is a great hidden object game. 

Gameplay is top notch as far as hidden object games go. Sure, you have to find thirteen sticks and two raspberries to make a fishing rod, but adventure puzzle logic aside, there is still a wonderful game here. In fact, one of my favourite mechanics for a hidden object game is here. Instead of allowing you to click “hint” every few seconds, without consequence you’re forced to complete a simple puzzle. This is a genius idea as you have to ask yourself whether or not to use the hint and take a puzzle, or focus on something else.

If you’re interested in checking the game out, the video above goes through every topic written here. Or if you want to play the game, Varenje released on July 3rd on Steam for free here, and just came up with a collector’s edition.