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The official Hidden Express "How To"

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    The official Hidden Express "How To"

    Getting Started

    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 responding to energy requests. The energy charm (no longer available) 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 purchase power-ups, energy, Golden Miles, 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.

    Earn Tickets: Click here to see what offers are available to help you earn free tickets.

    Earn GMs: Click here to watch videos and earn Golden Miles.

    Stars Earned: This is the number of stars earned in a given city.

    Energy: This meter shows how much energy you currently have available. Click the "+" button to see your energy packs or buy more.

    Golden Miles: How many GMs you currently have. Click the "+" button to buy more.

    Tickets: How many tickets you currently have. Click the "+" button to buy more.

    Add Friends: Click here to invite your Facebook friends to play.

    Total Stars: How many stars you've earned across all levels.

    Home Menu: Click here to return to the main menu.

    Shooting Stars: How many shooting stars you currently have. If you have any, click here to use them.

    Stars earned/total stars: This number shows the number of stars you've earned out of the total number of stars available in a city.

    2. City Map

    From the world map, you can click on a city to access the levels to play.

    Level Number: Click here to play a scene.

    Stars Earned: 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).

    Home: Click here to return to the main menu.

    City Gate: (explained later).

    3. Gameplay

    Regular play:

    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). 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)

    Bonus Car: If you find 5 items without letting your combo meter run out, a bonus car will appear. These cars are worth up to 12,000 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. Read our FAQ to learn how each power-up works.

    In order to complete a regular 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 12,000 points). So, by finding the multiple object cars first, you are driving up your multiplier without clearing too many cars.

    Difference Engine:

    Number of Difference to Find: In order to complete the level, you must find the number of differences listed on the caboose.

    Stars: When the caboose reaches the stars, they will fall from their post, meaning that you've missed that goal.

    4. Gates

    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. Each gate has different requirements to open.

    Once you have all of the stars needed, the gate will open. Note: Only stars from your current city will count toward a locked mastery gate.