Compared to most puzzlers, this one doesn't stand a ghost of a chance.
Finding hidden objects is a great way to improve your observation skills, especially in the Where's Waldo books. However, when it comes to putting this type of fun into a video game, few have gotten it right. That didn't stop G5 Entertainment from trying with Paranormal Agency, a game that delivers more snores than scares.
In the game, Ghosts and creatures pop up in residences, and rather than doing the logical thing (like calling the Ghostbusters), the horrified townsfolk hire Heather and her paranormal agency to set things right. She realizes that these spirits will never rest unless certain items are found amidst the clutter, so she gets to work locating their valuables. It's a decent story, but it lacks the zing of other detective/mystery movies and games.
Paranormal Agency features 50 plus levels, with five items apiece, but it hardly lives up to the thrilling and chilling descriptions in the press release. Unfortunately, we yawned while searching for stuff, since there's no change to the gameplay. You zoom the screen in and out, find the items and occasionally call upon hints. There are a few mini-games, but then it's back to tap-tap-tapping your way to a solution.
In addition, the presentation fails to thrill. The rooms look decent, and some of the character models are interesting, but overall, the game feels plastered together. Even worse, it takes time to load each scenario. Considering that the game was so simply built, we can't solve that mystery.
What bugs us the most about Paranormal Agency is that you really need an eagle-eyed perspective to get the most from it. Without that, you'll squint at the screen most of the time, trying to figure out if an item matches one of the silhouettes in your sub-menu.
Although it clocks it at a decent $2.99, Paranormal Agency isn't worth the time. The gameplay is bland and the presentation doesn't have much life to it. Go find a Waldo book instead, and leave this case closed.
What's Hot: Interesting premise, decent mini-games.
What's Not: Tiresome gameplay, easy to get headaches and watery eyes, storyline is average at best, long load times, presentation comes up short.