When Dad Scruff loses his job, the Scruff family is afraid they’ll also lose their beloved family home. But Grandpa Scruff has been hiding a family secret for years and may have the ability to save the home. Your job is to help the Scruffs find valuable artifacts Grandpa has hidden around the house. While doing so you’ll help the Scruffs uncover a secret that will change their lives forever.
“The Scruffs” has fifteen chapters, plus a final round. In each chapter you look for a number of hidden objects in different locations – the locations (and number of locations) change with each chapter and even if you revisit a location later in the game, the objects you need to look for change. Also hidden in each location is a bone for Scruffy the Dog – these bones can be given to Scruffy who will then help you find a hidden object. In each chapter there is at least one family photo hidden – find the photo and you have an opportunity to play the “scribbles” game where you find what objects have been added to the picture and you have the chance to earn gold stars. At the end of each chapter you have to solve a jigsaw puzzle type of game to reveal the hidden artifact you need to find. Once you find the artifact (which is hidden in a different location each time) you move on to the next chapter.
“The Scruff’s” is an enjoyable hidden object game. While the graphics aren’t quite as good as The Mystery Case File games, they are a lot of fun (look for the moving object in each scene). You have a choice of two playing modes: timed (30 minutes) and relaxed (90 minutes). I played the relaxed mode so I could enjoy the game and not feel rushed. Some of the objects are cleverly hidden but many are relatively easy to find and you have more than enough dog bones if you need a hint. The game is very generous when it comes to finding the dog bones – they glow when you come near them. The game is even more generous when it comes to using the hints – the closer you get to the object the louder Scruffy barks and when you get very close to it the object jumps around. You do have to make sure you don’t click incorrectly too many times or you lose 30 seconds – this is especially important in the shorter timed game. Scruffy is the only member of the family present throughout the entire game and half the fun of the game is watching how he reacts during certain moments in the game.
While I enjoyed playing “The Scruffs” there are a couple of things I didn’t like about it. While the scribbles portion of the game is a good way to test your memory, it ultimately has nothing to do with the final outcome of the game and seems more like a timewaster than anything else. The jigsaw puzzle game at the end of each chapter is used in far too many hidden object games and I wish there was something fresher in this game. The same goes for the final puzzle, which is a Simon type game – again used in far too many hidden object games. However, the game creators deserve kudos for actually ending the game instead of making players wait for a sequel.
“The Scruff’s” is a great hidden object game that provides hours of puzzling fun.