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App Attack: Find the simple beauty in ‘Hidden Folks’

Why it matters to you

'Hidden Folks' is the perfect game to help you wind down after a busy week, or pass the time on your morning commute.

If you need a calming and fun game that doesn’t ask much of you, Hidden Folks is an app you need to download. It’s a seek-and-find game, similar to Where’s Waldo, and it’s hand-drawn in black and white with goofy sound effects.

There are more than 15 areas to search with over 120 targets to find, but what’s more interesting is that there are more than 960 “mouth-originated sound effects.” It’s part of the game’s charm — as you move through a large landscape the sounds change based on where you are, and tapping on almost anything produces a sound. Some sound effects are just sounds of water rippling or leaves rustling, but then you tap a monkey and hear the creators’ hilarious impression.

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Everything is animated in these hand-drawn landscapes and you can zoom in and out to get a clearer picture. Don’t go in thinking it’s easy, as you can easily spend quite some time getting stumped. The riddles help place objects, people, and animals in certain areas of the large maps, making them easier to find.

There are zero game mechanics pushing you to find objects — click counters or time limits would only hamper the game’s simplicity and charm. Lose yourself in the monochrome world and it’s easy to come up with stories for characters in Hidden Folks.

There are more than a hundred iMessage stickers, and the riddles are supported in 14 languages. The app also works on Apple TV so it’d be a great game to play with the family or leave on for the kids.

It’s not free — the game will set you back $4, though there’s plenty of content to keep you playing for hours. The creators say “more areas and features to come.” There is no Android version at the moment, but it’s in the works. It’s compatible with the iPad and iPhone on the App Store, and you can also get it for Windows, Mac, and Linux via Steam.