Finding Forever After is a puzzle game that was released on the Ever After High website on July 16, 2013. It comprises five chapters, three of which came out immediately and two of which were announced immediately and came out on November 26, 2013. Each chapter stars another character or group of characters who are looking for three items or item components in three different areas. In each, they also collect less important items that either belong to them or to close friends.
Chapters consist of three levels that can be replayed at any time for a better score. However, the rewards for playing—a mix of gold charms, gem charms, and cards—can only be obtained once.
Finding Forever After requires the player to search for three special items across three different levels per chapter, of which there are five in total. All but the first chapter's first level are locked when the player starts the game, but playing through a level will unlock the next one, regardless of score. Level and chapter progress are stored on the player's account if they are logged in and previous levels can be replayed any time for higher scores.
Each level of a chapter contains one of the three chapter items looked for. These items are described in the chapter's intro story and vary per chapter. As with the score, it is not necessary to find the item within a level to unlock the next one. Chapter items do not contribute to the level scores and are only relevant to find once in all gameplay sessions to round up a chapter. After that, their find is stored and the player has them by default.
To finish a level, the player is required to find five sets of five items within a level. The sets are to be dealt with in order, but the items within the sets can be collected as the player pleases. The level score is the sum of the scores obtained for completing the sets. Completing a set itself does not yield any points; what matters is that a set is completed in as little time possible. In the lower left corner, there's an hourglass that is slowly drained. Each layer of red sand within represents three points by default, but the more remaining layers, the more they are worth together. As times passes, the layers pass through the center and thus points are lost.
Most items are well in sight, while a few are located far in the back or made to look as part of the scenery and thus more difficult to spot. A handful of items has to be found in hiding places, which are often marked with a head logo. Hiding places are unique to each level, even if the location might be recycled for another level. For instance, the Classroom location that is part of both "Unlocking Secrets" and "Page Ripper!" contains a door that can be opened by clicking on it in the first chapter, but that cannot be opened in the latter one. As well, which items are hidden and if they are at all is randomized. It is possible to open up hiding places between completing an item set and being presented with a new one to complete, so searching the hiding places during the interval is a good idea.
To make the game a little more user-friendly, there is a dragonfly located in the lower right corner which, when clicked, will fly to the location of the yet-unfound item that is listed most left in the current set. If only one more item of the current set needs to be found, the dragonfly will fly to that item's location. If two items remain to be found, the dragonfly will pinpoint the one listed on the left side of the other. It does not cost points to use the dragonfly, but the dragonfly can only be used when not asleep, thus limiting the number of times it can be used before the hourglass is drained. The dragonfly starts asleep and goes to sleep after every summon. There is time for a maximum of three summons per item set, but the third summon would barely be worth the remaining points.
- Some of the aspects of Finding Forever After weren't part of the inital release, but were added on November 26. The first change was the switch to an hourglass as timer. Prior, the time and remaining points were visualized as a mirror with lights moving over its surface. Each light represented three points, but became worth more in bigger numbers. As time passed, lights extinguished and thus points were lost. Another update was the addition of logos to objects that can be manipulated to change the scenery to identify them as such. Lastly, the loading screen was adjusted to incorporate a random gameplay tip to prepare the player before each level.
- The specific cards that can be unlocked with Finding Forever After in order are:
- School Classroom: Ever After High (I)
- Enchanted Forest: Finding Forever After
- Castleteria: Finding Forever After
- Apple White: Diary Key
- Village of Book End: Finding Forever After
- Library: Ever After High
- The Vault: of Lost Tales (II)
- Good Magic: for Evil Queens
- Imperial Gold: Turntables
- Enchanted Forest Road: Finding Forever After
- Muse-ic Classroom: Finding Forever After
- Study Lounge: Finding Forever After
- Legacy Day Plaza: Finding Forever After