If you have never heard of HOPA – the hidden object puzzle adventure games, then you are missing out.
Standing out from the majority of 3D action games we can see and play today the HOPA genre offers something entirely different.
Here, the accent is on the beautiful 2D graphics, immersive stories and brain puzzles that will keep you nailed to the computer screen for hours.
HOPA games first appeared in 2003. when some people were making a connect-two type mini game and decided to spice it up and add a mystery detective twist to it with some other mini games to make it even more fun.
The result was the first HOPA game – a detective story where the protagonist is trying to solve a case through a series of room escape-like scenes.
Until today this is the overall premise for the genre. You are usually solving a mystery or trying to get to the bottom of a particular enigma. The way you do it is masterfully placed inside of this 2D universe with amazing graphics that looks like a hand painted Renaissance piece.
You will never get a feeling of looking at the 2D plane while you are playing, the levels are usually beautifully put together, and this sort of look is an industry standard.
You advance through the game by moving through continuous scenes representing the interior and exterior of certain locations, usually separated by the narrative chapters.
Inside every scene, there are things you can interact with, pick them up and put them in your inventory in case they are needed later. These interactions are usually creative and force you to think and strategize.
You can pick up a rock to break the glass and pick up the special scissors that can cut that thick metal chord holding the chandelier to get a crystal needed for a laser machine. That kind of stuff.
There are also unique mini-games that make you think and are usually done as a way to break away from the main game story to test your wit and logic. They often help you get a special reward item that you will need in future.
The stories in these games often feature rich characters that you meet and interact with in the game and the games of this genre, if done well, can look like an interactive movie. That is how we come to the best part of the HOPA games – the interactive narrative moment.
HOPAs often present more than plain amusement and offer us a wealth of experience where we can enjoy a great story while being actively involved in its development. We have a feeling of immersion, and the amazing graphics that we mentioned is certainly helping.
Another great thing about HOPA is the future and integration with the VR platform because the first person view is perfect for this kind of technology. We are still waiting for this news.