Snark Busters: All Revved Up Review

By Colin Tan on June 17, 2011

Boys and girls, time to step away from the big hitters on your consoles and gaming rig, take a moment to absorb "“ or more accurately, let Snark Busters: All Revved Up absorb you into a brain-teasing hidden object puzzle delight that will have you pondering solutions for hours on end. It's fair to say that Snark Busters is a bit of a gem. It certainly doesn't have Hollywood-level productions like L.A. Noire, but it easily has more than enough charm to engage the would-be detectives glued to their computers.

It's a simple concept. One that's been around the industry for a very long time. All Revved Up doesn't exactly bring a whole lot new to the table, but what it does bring is a lot of charm and a beautiful art style. You play as the ever-so-modest racing celeb, Jack Blair, who is challenged by his missing father to pursue and capture the elusive Snark. Joining the Snark Busters Club, Blair will venture through six different levels, solving puzzles and finding hidden objects to make his way ever closer to the Snark.

As simple as the premise may be, it'll take a keen eye to find every piece needed to move onto the next level. Many of the objects needed are broken and scattered throughout each area. Some are blatantly obvious while others are a lot more subtle. Piecing things together is just one aspect of the game, knowing what to do with them is another story altogether. It's still a relatively easy since most of it just requires you to use some common sense. There are areas within each stage that can zoomed in on, interacted with and whatnot. There's also a hints gem over the in bottom right corner, so if you're ever stuck, you can hit that up and it'll show you where to go next. On that note, there is a cool-down every time the hint gem is used.

What's interesting are how the mirrored worlds play into the game. The Snark loves hiding in mirrors and the world tends to be reversed, or a bit topsy-turvy, beyond these mirrors. Some elements can't be used until something else is activated in these worlds. The continuity adds an additional layer to the puzzles. These include things like remembering lock combinations, of which there are quite a bit of, or you can just jot that down on a piece of paper if you have short-term memory.

If you ever get stuck, something that is beyond impossible in this game, you'll have the opportunity to opt out of a puzzle by hitting the Skip button. The button isn't active straight away and most of the time there's a really long cool-down before it can be used. In any case, that's always there should you get stuck at some point in the game. Somehow, it kind of takes away from the challenge and makes the already easy endeavour even easier.

All Revved Up is a beautifully illustrated affair. From the colours to the environment, it's all very vibrant and certainly very atmospheric. There's a bit of a steam punk aesthetic to the machineries and overall style. The music changes up between the real world and the mirrored, which is a nice indication of where you are in the game, although sometimes it just gets repetitively annoying. Even the illustration style changes up a bit with a slightly more mysterious and ephemeral look.

Final Thoughts

It's certainly not a huge blockbuster title, but Snark Busters: All Revved Up is a nice departure from the usual $60 affairs. Running at only $10, it's an adventure well worth the lunch money for those that like finding hidden objects. While it doesn't bring anything new to the table, it certainly doesn't bring anything less. The quest for the Snark is a pretty fun one and will have hidden-object enthusiasts at it even to the point of a single play session.

Beautiful art style.
Challenging puzzles and hidden objects.
An altogether fun exploit.
Not a game for everyone.
There are some minor glitches like looping puzzles.
Music can get a bit annoying.
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