Search for clues in 'Mirrors of Albion,' a free hidden object game for Windows 8 and RT

It has been a while since we saw a new mobile Windows game from European publisher Game Insight. Their last release was city builder Big Business Deluxe. After that, Game Insight has mostly concentrated on updating Cloud Raiders (now available on Windows 8) and working on other phone and tablet games behind the scenes.

Today Game Insight has just unleashed a new Windows 8 and RT game, and in a fresh genre to boot! Mirrors of Albion is a free to play hidden object game. Taking place within a fantasy version of Victorian England, players investigate a series of mysterious disappearances. This involves lots of traveling to new locations and searching for hidden objects. If you like hidden object games, you'll probably dig it. Stay with us to check out our first impressions and hands on video!

Detective in Wonderland

When you first launch the game, a helmet-wearing cat named Cheshire Jr. will inform you that a woman has gone missing in London. You'll soon discover that more mysteries and crimes are afoot. Behind them all is the Queen of Hearts, a lady you don't want to mess with. It's a unique and (mostly) realistic take on the world of Alice in Wonderland.

Players will meet various characters like Cheshire Jr, a sister of the missing woman, and an Inspector, all of whom provide leads to investigate and quests to solve. These quests take you to a variety of locations across the sprawling map. If you haven't been to an area before, you'll first have to buy a key to access it. After that, you can return to it as often as necessary. Many locations will be inaccessible until you reach a specific experience level, as well.

Search for clues in Mirrors of Albion, a free hidden object game for Windows 8 and RT

Once you get to a location, it's time to search around! This is a hidden object game, so of course you have a list of things to find within each impossibly cluttered scene. Sometimes the list contains the names of the items, but other times you'll only have the objects' silhouettes to work from.

Each time you find an object within a scene, your combo meter briefly lights up. If you discover another item before it depletes, you'll earn extra points and increase the combo multiplier. Thus it's best to try to locate a few objects at once before you start tapping and crossing them off your list. The higher your score at the end of the level, the better your star rating and experience earned.

Search for clues in Mirrors of Albion, a free hidden object game for Windows 8 and RT

Detective club

Your quest for clues will go much faster with some help. Add some people to your friends list and you'll find their scores listed whenever you start a new level. Players can also send gifts to each other, though I haven't discovered just how useful or important those gifts are just yet. The friend system doesn't use Facebook; you just have to exchange user IDs.

Want a friend to get you started? Add me! My user ID is svnjduzu . Let's team up and take down the Queen of Hearts together.

Search for clues in Mirrors of Albion, a free hidden object game for Windows 8 and RT

Ready to investigate

As a free to play game, Mirrors of Albion naturally has some IAP mechanics. The main one is an energy system. Each time you play a level, you'll consume some energy. This energy refills over time, or you can buy some food to refill it using crystals, the game's premium currency.

So far, Mirrors of Albion seems like a quality hidden object game. The realistic-with-a-hint-of-fantasy setting and characters are quite appealing, and the artwork is suitably colorful and detailed. As long as you don't mind waiting for your energy to refill every now and then, you're getting a lot of hidden object goodness for free here.

WPCentral can confirm that Mirrors of Albion will eventually come to Windows Phone as well! Let's hope the two games share saves via the cloud.

Paul Acevedo

Paul Acevedo is the Games Editor at Windows Central. A lifelong gamer, he has written about videogames for over 15 years and reviewed over 350 games for our site. Follow him on Twitter @PaulRAcevedo. Don’t hate. Appreciate!