IGN Preview of Hardy Boys: The Hidden Theft
There's something about PC point-and-click developers that makes them think their point-and-click games are perfect for a Wii port. And in a way, they are, but the first thing you notice about Dreamcatcher's The Hardy Boys: The Hidden Theft is that it really looks more like a PS1 game. It's definitely not rocking the Myst graphics.
We watched a quick walkthrough from early in the game, where the boys must first sneak out of the house in order to participate in a felony investigation. Frank (voiced by pop singer Jesse McCartney) sent younger brother Joe (Hannah Montana's Cody Linley) out to play Doorbell Ditch, thus distracting Aunt Trudy long enough to steal - sorry, borrow - some motorcycle keys. Many of the puzzles force you to break up the set, but the game pre-selects which brother will perform which task... and since neither has any special skills the other lacks, a lack of choice really doesn't matter. But you do need to switch between them using the - button to make sure you're doing their assigned tasks, least Aunt Trudy catch Frank and drag him back to his room by the ear.
There are a few nice touches. Inventory is split between the boys, and only available to both when they're together. When separated, Item A is only usable to Boy A who picked it up; Boy B can see it grayed out, remembering that his rotten brother has what he needs. You also can't just ditch your brother... this is a team effort, and it sounds like many of the puzzles will be two-man affairs.
The 20-hour plot (not based on any Hardy Boys books) involves a cracked safe, stolen contents, and heavy police reliance on two adolescent detectives. We didn't even start to touch on the mystery elements in our short demo, so there's no way to tell how involving the mystery might be. And to be honest, if you're a point-and-click gamer, its great storytelling that's going to be The Hardy Boys: The Hidden Theft's true draw... an element we did not see, but did review (on the PC) seven months ago.
©2009-06-03, IGN Entertainment, Inc. All Rights Reserved