Zynga has cut staff and given up on a number of its weaker social games. But the social gaming giant is still making bets on the hidden-object genre with the launch today of Hidden Shadows.
Hidden Shadows launched today on Facebook. It targets an older audience of women that plays hidden-object games religiously. In such games, you look at an illustrated scene and try to find objects hidden in the landscape on a timetable. Zynga entered the category with the successful launch of Hidden Chronicles in early 2012. That game is available in 14 languages today, suggesting that Zynga is still making a huge investment in its core social gaming audience on Facebook, even as it expands into mobile games.
The expansion into hidden-object games came when the company was flush with its initial public offering cash and hiring lots of developers. Now Zynga’s in a state of contraction, but the company knows that launching new games is the best way to beat its current doldrums.
Hidden Shadows has what fans have asked for: a darker storyline (supernatural mystery), more beautiful artwork, and putting their skills to use to solve intriguing crimes. In the game, friends become allies who can help you solve murders and close cases faster. In the first scene, you have to look for clues in the murder of a woman judge, who is hanging from a rope in a warehouse scene. It takes place in the corrupt city of Gracetown, where you can summon the spirits of the dead to offer clues. It’s a lot darker than most of Zynga’s content.
The game will be coming soon for tablets.