Find the Hidden Object fans, mark your calendars — The Secret Castle hits the App Store this Thursday, March 28. iOS may be filled to the brim with the genre already, but Platronic Games’ debut title stands out for its innovative approach. Its Unity-powered perspective shifting caught our eye way back in November 2011, prompting us to run out and grab a developer interview with creator John Francis. If you missed last year’s hands-on preview, here’s what you need to know: The Secret Castle brings the genre into fully realized 3D, forcing players to adjust their view of environments to peek around obstacles and reveal those crazy trinkets Hidden Object devs love to spread around. The Secret Castle is a test not only of visual acuity, but of creative thinking, and that’s a welcome advance in such a well-worn genre.
If you’ve been an avid follower of The Secret Castle’s progress and its time underground has given cause for concern, let us put some of your fears to rest. The final build we received makes it clear the Platronic team spent that time polishing, the gameplay deepening quite a bit since we last got our hands on it. Especially notable is the mileage the devs are getting from the task of piecing objects together. Recognizing an item is often only half the battle — segments of that object might be strewn across different planes of the environment, an appropriate view shift needed to bring them in line before the whole thing can be plucked out. Rearranging a level’s decor – shoving statues, turning chairs, and flipping banners – is also a key means of turning up hidden objects.
The Secret Castle will release as a free two-level sample with a $2.99 USD In-App Purchase unlocking the full game. Let’s leave you with its website, the developers’ Facebook and Twitter accounts, and the game’s latest trailer: