Publisher: Strategy First       Developer: Snack Games       Release Year: 2014

In one of the most hilariously terrible hidden object games ever made, you try to solve the mystery of the Flying Dutchman, although this game's story doesn't have anything to do with legendary ghost ship. Your character takes pictures of seemingly random places, then scrambles them on (what appears to be) a computer made from a video screen attached to a typewriter. Unscrambling the images magically reveals a ghostly sailor in each photograph (which your character erroneously refers to as "paintings"). Your character then writes fanfiction-like explanations for what he/she sees in the pictures.

The Flying Dutchman is beyond abysmal, even for an oldschool hidden object game. Along with all the typos, terrible story, repetitive and ridiculously short gameplay, and poor graphics/sound quality, even the game's title is uncertain. The title screen and game files all call it "The Flying Dutchman", but the Steam marquis calls it "The Mystery of the Flying Dutchman". The picture unscrambling scenes are the only puzzles the game has, and the only reason I am including a guide for them is so you can see just how terrible this is.

Type: Swapping Tile

Comment: Every puzzle in this game is a swapping tile. You must reassemble the photograph your character just took and scrambled on the typerwriter/computer screen. When you move a tile into the correct space, it turns brown and locks into place.

Upon solving the first puzzle, a ghostly sailor somehow appears in the lower left of the photograph. It is not explained how your camera or your weird computer have this ability. Your character deduces that this is the first time this sailor has gone on a trip, for no reason I'm able to understand.

Type: Swapping Tile

Comment: You did this for the beach scene, now do it for the cave. Each new photograph gets clipped to the wall.

The sailor appears in the middle of the photo. Your character muses that this cave is where he hid stolen treasure. So, is the sailor a pirate? Does he work alone? Does he have a crew?

Type: Swapping Tile

Comment: Assemble the bedroom as you did the beach and the cave.

This is where it really starts to get funny. The ghost sailor appears on the bed, striking a ridiculous pose, and your character takes this to mean that treasure was not enough in his life. He was lonely and wanted someone to share it with. I dunno, I probably would've guessed he just needed some sleep.

Type: Swapping Tile

Comment: Now there's a really messy kitchen that needs to be reassembled.

Now a ghostly bride appears with the sailor in the picture. Why they are getting married in their dining room is anyone's guess.

Type: Swapping Tile

Comment: Reassemble the harbor scene for more stupidity.

The sailor and his wife are getting in the boat, and the boat has changed to a different one without windows so you can actually see them.

Type: Swapping Tile

Comment: The final scene is the underwater resting place of the sunken Flying Dutchman.

When you solve this one, the picture somehow magically morphs into a completely different scene of the Flying Dutchman being wrecked. Your character laments that the photo clearly shows how it sunk. It does? I can't honestly tell if it's being battered by a storm, washed up on rocks, or hitting an iceberg. So, this whole story was...a sailor found and hid some treasure, got married, took his wife on his ship, and it sank. Mystery solved, I guess.



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