There was a time in my life when I was deep into Big Fish Games. Maybe you’re familiar with “BFG,” perhaps you’re not, but in the early 2000s it was a powerhouse of pumping out cheap, low-effort games largely aimed at children (or gamblers). One of their primary exports? Hidden object games. And I played a lot of them. So every now and then, I get a hankerin’ to go back and revisit that obsession, which is how I recently found myself playing June’s Journey.
Falling solidly into the casual games category, hidden object games are considered by many to be scraping the bottom of the mobile game barrel, but you know what? They’re fun. We all loved I Spy books, right? Well, these are just I Spy books in the palm of your hand, and in the case of June’s Journey, you get to solve a salacious mystery at the same time. By my calculations, that’s a win-win.
As it turns out, a few things actually have changed in the hidden object scene since my heyday. At its core, June’s Journey features the simple gameplay you’d expect, wherein you sift through densely packed scenes of brick-a-brack to uncover the one or two objects you need to progress the story; usually a clue, or a key, or something like that. That function in and of itself has not changed, but it has been made a bit more interesting by introducing a bonus points system.
In June’s Journey, you have three item prompts across the bottom of your screen for what you need to find in any given scene. As you tick off items, new prompts replace completed ones, and by finding objects in quick succession, you can rack up a points multiplier to increase your overall score. If you take even a second too long to find the next object, your point multiplier fizzles out and you have to start over. You can get a perfect score in a scene by managing to find and click every single object without breaking your bonus point stream.
It’s straightforward, but the added pressure to complete scenes as fast as possible lends the game an entertaining edge. What really threw me for a loop though, is all of the extra stuff that the game packs into the margins.
June’s Journey follows our heroine, June Parker, as she investigates the grisly deaths of her sister and brother-in-law. In this 1920s family drama, the local police have already closed the case as a murder-suicide, but the couple’s surviving daughter is certain her father couldn’t have killed her mother before turning the gun on himself, so she begs her Aunt June to investigate further. The whole setup has a heavy Agatha Christie vibe and I'm here for it.
The first beautifully designed chapter of scenes you investigate is set in and around the deceased’s sprawling manor. Scenes are meant to be replayed multiple times, as higher scores will uncover additional story clues that may have been missed on the first pass. The list of findable objects changes a bit each time, so getting a perfect score becomes more possible the more you play a scene and get familiar with the layout.
However, you also get all of these extra things for completing scenes, like bricks, copper, paint, etc. You can then use these resources to purchase upgrades for the estate, which you can place and reposition as you like. It’s completely unnecessary to the story, but as I unlocked more upgrades, I started to have a lot of fun customizing my manor.
There’s also a ridiculous loot box system for resources/upgrades, which you definitely don’t need to engage with. June’s Journey is free with in-app purchases, and is perfect for kids and casual gamers.
It’s not complicated like Call of Duty, it’s not the highest quality like Deemo II, it’s not the highest budget, and it’s not even close to the most fun you can have in mobile gaming. However, for what it is, June’s Journey is a good game that delivers exactly the experience you’re expecting.
You don't need me to spell it out for you. It's a fun hidden object game that's perfect for killing a few minutes now and then.
Download from: Google Play Store (opens in new tab)