2. General hints and tips
With the hidden object scenes, be consistent on each playthrough. The game does keep track across multiple playthroughs which hidden picture scenes you have solved and which ones you passed by playing Mahjong but there is no in-game indicator of this. To avoid having to remember which ones you’ve done, always do the same thing for an entire playthrough.
Additionally, there are achievements for completing hidden object scenes and mini-game puzzles without skipping or using hints.
There is an achievement for solving a hidden object scene in less than one minute and for finding 4 items in 4 seconds. These can seem tricky, as the list of objects changes every time, but here are some tips.
A few of the hidden object scenes are not random. These are the ones that have a pictorial list of items instead of a text list. As these are the same every time, you can use the guide here to quickly identify all of the items.
During the game, you will visit several hidden object scene areas multiple times. The objects found the first time around are removed so the scene is less cluttered. Plus, as you’ve seen the area before, you might recognize where some of the items are.
Another technique is to take a screenshot of the game (using the console’s capture screenshot or just taking a picture of the screen with your phone) and pause the game. While the game is paused, find the items, unpause the game to select them, and then repause while you find more items.
If you don’t unlock it by the end of the game, you’ll have to speed play through the game to the first scene. Even though the list of items to find is random, the locations of items remains unchanged. You should get quicker doing the same scene over again since the locations of the items will be more familiar.
You have to play through once on the hardest difficulty, which really means playing through with limited assistance in the game. The actual puzzles are unchanged. One change is that in hidden object scene puzzles, playing on Expert means that if you click three times incorrectly in a short period, the screen goes all fuzzy for a bit. That can be really annoying so you should combine your Expert run with the run that solves the puzzles using Mahjong games. The Normal run will find the hidden objects where there is no misclick penalty.
As far as which run is your Expert run, I’d recommend doing that on your second playthrough, as you’ll be more familiar with the locations of the items and puzzles. Additionally, since you've already solved the game without using hints, you can use the in-game hint feature to remind you of where your next puzzle is, rather than having to follow this guide line-by-line (since your map won't indicate where active puzzles are located in Expert mode). Of course, the more you rely on this guide, the less the limited hints matter.
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