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Best hidden object games for iPad (2016)

We review the best hidden object games for iPad released so far in 2016, boasting gripping stories, tricky multi-layered puzzles and gorgeous graphics.

Hidden object games (or ‘HO games’ as they’re lovingly called) still have a massive following in 2016, with popular publisher Big Fish Games releasing a new title for iPad tablets every few days, and plenty of indie efforts regularly hitting the App Store. Here’s our pick of the very best iOS hidden object games launched in the first half of 2016, all of which offer a difficulty selection, built-in hints, interactive maps and the usual bonus features.

We’re constantly expanding this list of best hidden object games for your tablet, so please let us know your personal favourites from 2016 in the comments beneath.

Read next: Best adventure games for iOS/Android

Grim Tales: The Final Suspect

One of the creepier hidden object games to emerge so far this year, The Final Suspect begins with you waking in your home, to discover a dead body lying next to you. A tricky situation indeed, but luckily you can skip backwards in time using your special powers and figure out exactly who played ‘hide the garden shears’ in the unfortunate victim, and why.

The supernatural story has some decent twists and turns, while a healthy selection of fun puzzles (including some massive multi-layered brain teasers) will keep you on your toes. Admittedly there aren’t a lot of hidden object scenes, but variety is strong, including silhouette scenes, match the pairs and so on.

Grim Tales: The Final Suspect is also available for Android tablets.

Read next: Best iPhone games of 2015

The Agency of Anomalies: Mind Invasion

Mind Invasion has you captured by a dastardly doctor and locked away inside his asylum, where he’s busy screwing up the minds of his many beleaguered patients. In order to right his many wrongs, you’ll need to jump inside their spongy brains and wipe out all traces of his shenanigans.

That brilliant setup has you exploring some truly imaginative and beautifully presented locations, as well as the grimy hospital itself, solving the usual selection of mini-games and hidden object scenes. Mind Invasion offers a solid challenge, while the gorgeous graphics and well-crafted cutscenes add a professional sheen to the whole package.

Fear For Sale: Phantom Tide

If you love absolutely bonkers hidden object games, then Phantom Tide is a certifiable winner. This mystery title sees you uncovering the dark deeds behind an apparent ‘accidental’ death of a local mother, who was killed when half of her boat just up and exploded. Her watery ghost now haunts her hapless family, soaking everything in sight and even washing her husband into the basement for jollies.

The game’s object collection is equally nuts, for instance having you seek out a miniature diver to retrieve a vital puzzle piece from the family’s aquarium. However, Phantom Tide’s mini games are mostly excellent, offering some challenging and original brain-ticklers, while the hidden object screens are dense, diverse and well-drawn. You can even swap the hidden object puzzles for jigsaws if you’re not a fan (although if that’s the case, why are you reading this?)

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