The official Hidden Express "How To"
1. World Map
Energy: You use up 10 energy each time you play a level, regardless of the outcome. The default maximum amount of energy is 60. However, you can reach as much as 200 energy by using energy packs or collecting gifts from friends. Each friend can send you one free energy gift every 24 hours. Additionally, you receive +1 energy for sending keys AND for responding to energy requests. Energy replenishes at a rate of 10 energy every 30 minutes (1 energy every 3 minutes). Purchasing the energy charm will permanently increase your maximum energy to 90 and cut your recovery time in half.
Tickets: These are your premium virtual currency. They are used to bypass gate requirements or purchase power-ups or premium content (like seasonal cities). You can either buy tickets, or earn them by completing surveys and offers.
Settings: These are used to toggle your sound effects, music, graphics quality and screen size.
Shop: Go here to buy charms (permanently change different aspects of the game) and power-ups.
Stars Earned: This is the number of stars earned in a given city.
Seasonal Content: Click here to access the currently available seasonal content (premium).
Charms: Similar to the shop, you can click here to purchase charms.
Stars earned/total stars: This number shows the number of stars you've earned out of the total number of stars available.
2. City Map
From the world map, you can click on a city to access the levels to play.
Level: Click here to play a scene.
Stars: These are earned based on your score in the level. There are 3 stars available in each level. Your stars come into play when you reach a mastery gate (explained later).
World map: Click here to return to the world map.
Gate: There are 2 types of gates: mastery and social (explained later).
Score Meter: This bar shows your current score and how close you are to earning the next star.
Star: You need to reach these marks to earn stars.
Combo Meter: Find items back-to-back to keep this meter going. Each item found within about 5 seconds of the previous item will increase your multiplier (up to 6x). Your points for each item (1,000) are multiplied by your multiplier.
Bonus Car!: If you find 5 items without letting your combo meter run out, a bonus car will appear. These cars are worth 10,000 points!
Tunnel: You must find the objects while their corresponding car is on the screen. If a car goes into the tunnel, then you cannot click on the object(s) listed on that car until it comes back out of the tunnel. If the the caboose reaches the tunnel, you fail the level, earning 0 points.
Power-ups: These do various things like show you an item or slow the train.
In order to complete a level, 2 things must happen: you must earn at least 1 star and you must find the engine item. If you fail to meet either requirement, you will score 0 points and be prompted to retry the level. The object of each level is to find the engine item in as few clicks as possible. In other words, leave as many single-object cars on the train as possible. DO NOT simply try to find all of the items. Doing so will actually hurt your score.
TIP: Clear any multiple item cars you see FIRST. Here's why:
The more cars you clear before finding the engine object, the lower your score will be. Once the engine object is found, each remaining car is worth 10,000 points. However, if they are cleared before the engine is found, they are only worth 2,000 x your multiplier, up to 3,500 points. So, one object is worth 2,000 points and if you find another object before the multiplier timer runs out, it will be worth 2,500, then 2,750 and so on. Every 5th object will yield a bonus car (worth 10,000 points). So, by finding the multiple object cars first, you are driving up your multiplier without clearing too many cars.
If you find objects without letting your combo meter expire, scoring works as follows:
1st object = 2,000
2nd object = 2,500
3rd object = 2,750
4th object = 3,000
5th object = 3,500
Bonus object = 6,000 (+6,000, if found in the first 4 seconds, for a total of 12,000)
Once you've completed all of the levels in a city, you will reach a gate that you need to open before you can continue on to the next city. There are 2 types of gates: Social gates and mastery gates. Each has different requirements to open.
Social gate1.jpgsocial gate2.jpg
Social gates can be identified by the slots shown near them on the city map. When you click on a social gate, you will be prompted to ask your friends for keys. When a friend sends a key, their picture will fill one of the slots. Once all of the slots are filled, the gate will open.
Bypass: Players can use tickets to avoid having to ask friends for help.
Golden Key: Players can purchase the Golden Key in order to permanently bypass EVERY SOCIAL GATE.
mastery gate1.jpgmastery gate2.jpg
Mastery gates can be identified by the star icon showing how many stars are needed to open the gate. This fraction shows how many stars you have (13 in the screen shot) out of how many stars are needed to open the gate (26 in the screen shot). Once you have all of the stars needed, the gate will open. Players can bypass this requirement using tickets. Note: bypassing mastery gates does not add to your star count, it simply opens the gate.