Hidden My Game By Mom!

Hidden My Game By Mom is a quick, quirky, and delightful little puzzle starring a boy addicted to his handheld gaming device and his mother’s attempts to hide it from him in increasingly bizarre ways. You, the real-life gamer that you are, vicariously strike back against the parental anti-game tyranny you may or may not have actually experienced by interacting with the scene to find this boy’s game. The core gameplay revolves around collecting items and using them in clever and silly ways to reveal where the boy’s game was hidden, but this comes with a catch: Mom is also hiding in nearly every level, often in more absurd places than the game. Find the game, win the level; find Mom, you’re busted.

This simple hidden object puzzle takes on another level of meaning when moving past the zaniness of the what and moving into the relational why. Hidden My Game By Mom proposes the simple premise of Mom as antagonist, someone to be outsmarted and evaded. But as we progress, it’s difficult to leave the boy’s motives unquestioned. At one point, we distract the boy’s older sister from doing her homework so our boy can get back to his gaming. In another level, the boy digs through literal poop to be reunited with his cherished handheld. This is a caricature of both the boy’s love for his game and the lengths his mom would go to stop him, to be sure, but something rings true about his mom’s implicit concern that this all might be getting out of hand. And after a surprising and emotional gut punch of a finale, no amount of broken English in the UI can hide Hidden My Game By Mom’s core message.

A parent’s love might come out as riding a giraffe’s head or feeding an elephant your gaming device, but it’s love all the same. We can argue with the methods and the logic, but (at some level) we should try to appreciate that they were doing the best they knew how.

Rating

Info

Type
Video Game
Developer
hap Inc.
Release Date
August 8, 2016
Joshua J. Daymude
Joshua J. Daymude
Assistant Professor, Computer Science

I am a Christian and assistant professor in computer science studying collective emergent behavior and programmable matter through the lens of distributed computing, stochastic processes, and bio-inspired algorithms. I also love gaming and playing music.