Under Leaves

Let’s face it, not everyone is into action or shooter games. And even those that are, occasionally need a break from the high stress, breakneck speed of those games. There are all sorts of games that can fill that void, and recently Circus Atos added to the list. Under Leaves is a new hidden object game, out now on consoles that will test your eyesight and calm your nerves.

Under Leaves consists of 29 separate hand painted puzzles, most of which span several screens. Each puzzle is focused on an animal and the things that they eat. For example, you must find leaves in the scenes that feature a Koala. While some scenes are used for multiple animals, each feels fresh every time you view it.

The game is simple in concept but will require a fair amount of observation. The scenes are all hand painted in soft muted colors. The desert scenes are filled with yellows, browns, tans, and oranges. The items you are looking for are painted in the same colors, so they are not going to stick out like a sore thumb. Luckily the items are placed in fairly natural settings.

If you are searching for acorns, you will not find them floating through the sky. They may be attached to a limb or scattered about the ground. The game also does an excellent job with the simple mechanic of finding an object. Many hidden object games will have your controller vibrate when you pass over an item or pop up a controller button press icon. This game gives you zero indication that you are on or near an item, actually testing your observational prowess. If you do get stuck, there is a hint button, but you have to work for it. Solve a simple slide puzzle, and a large circle will slowly home in on the item you are searching for.

The music in the game is very minimalistic, but that doesn’t mean you will be playing in silence. For each region there is a corresponding soundscape of nature sounds. This adds to the serene nature of the game, and helps you stay relaxed when trying to find that last hidden item. Honestly, I would love if the developers would release the soundtrack separately. I would play it while I was writing, reading in the evening, or even as I fell asleep.

Under Leaves is available now on Xbox, Steam, Nintendo Switch, and Android for between $2 (mobile) and $12 (console). No matter which system you purchase it on, it is worth the price. While many hidden object games are one and done, this title allows you to reset your progress and play it all over from the start. If you are a fan of hidden object games, or are looking for a game to give to someone that is – you cannot go wrong with this title.