Top 8 Online Hidden-Object Games (HOGs)

One of the most popular, ubiquitous casual gaming genres is the hidden-object game (HOG). The problem is that, because of their sheer numbers, they can start to look very similar to each other. This makes it tough to pick out the good from the bad, but our guide to some of the best HOGs online — from "Brunhilda and the Dark Crystal" to "Love & Death: Bitten" — might help, whether you're new to the genre or have already found your fair share of hidden objects.

Brunhilda and the Dark Crystal

Big Fish Games

Hidden-object games, by their nature, tend to be very similar. If you play a lot of them, you easily can get the games confused with one another. "Brunhilda and the Dark Crystal" is special, though: The tale it weaves keeps you engaged from start to finish. When combined with some lovely visuals and polished gameplay, the result is simply magical. More »

Awakening: The Dreamless Castle

Big Fish Games

Though it tells its own story, you can't help but feel nostalgic for classic fairytales while playing "Awakening: The Dreamless Castle." That doesn't mean that the game doesn't stand on its own, however. In fact, "Awakening" is one of the finest examples of an HOG you can play. It's beautiful and relaxing and strikes a nice balance between being accessible and challenging. More »

The Tarot's Misfortune

Big Fish Games

Though "The Tarot's Misfortune" is a fairly standard game as far as HOGs go, with little in the way of innovations, it's still great. A combination of gorgeous visuals, well-implemented puzzles, and an intriguing story make this a title that no HOG fan should miss. More »

Settlement Colossus

Big Fish Games

Unlike most hidden-object games, in which you search for random items, "Settlement: Colossus" has you scour the landscape looking for items necessary for survival. Your job is to help guide and sculpt a burgeoning society, so you'll have to do everything from collecting firewood and food to building farms and schools. It's a unique blend of a traditional hidden-object game and strategy game. More »

Grace's Quest

Big Fish Games

When a gang of international art thieves starts robbing famous museums around the world, the world needs some seasoned investigators — or a recent art school grad. That's the premise of "Grace's Quest," a hidden-object game in which the titular Grace travels all over Europe in search of both the art thieves and her kidnapped best friend. It's a solid, charming adventure that HOG fans shouldn't miss. More »

Robinson Crusoe and the Cursed Pirates

Big Fish Games

Given the proliferation of pirate-themed and hidden-object games, combining the two seems like the perfect recipe for a dull, generic game. "Robinson Crusoe and the Cursed Pirates" is far from dull, though, instead offering a refreshing, creative, humorous experience that puts plenty of twists on the traditional HOG formula. More »

Magic Encyclopedia 3: Illusions

Big Fish Games

Finding a hidden-object game that manages to do something different can be a challenge; the genre is plagued by me-too copycats and clones. That's what makes the third entry in the "Magic Encyclopedia" series so great: Not only is it a gorgeous, well-made HOG, but it also introduces a very compelling gameplay feature that helps make the game one of the best the genre has seen in quite some time. More »

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'Love & Death: Bitten'

Love & Death: Bitten

Big Fish Games

With the success of films such as the Twilight saga and TV series such as True Blood, vampire/human romance stories seem to be at an all-time high in popularity. Capitalizing on this trend is "Love & Death: Bitten," a new hidden-object game from PlayFirst. Instead of being simply yet another vampire love tale, however, "Love & Death" is actually a very solid entertaining experience for the brief time it lasts.