Title: Mystery Case Files: Ravenhearst
Developer: Engine Software
Publisher: Tulip Games
Platform: Nintendo 3DS
Category: Hidden Object
Release Date: April 3, 2014
How we got the game: I bought it on the Nintendo eShop on my 2DS XL.
Mystery Case Files is a series of hidden object games, Ravenhearst being the first in the series. I’ve had my eye on this game and particular series for a while now. When the games went on sale, I bought this one to try. The game were only $1 so I was going to buy a couple. I didn’t and I’m glad I only bought the one game.
Rumors have been spreading around about Ravenhearst Manor for years. When Emma Ravenhearst’s diary is discovered, you – the master detective – take it upon yourself to figure out the mystery behind the place. Unfortunately, some pages are missing so you must go through the mansion finding clues and searching for missing pages to put the story of Ravenhearst Manor together.
All in all, it’s not a bad idea for a story. A mysterious and haunted mansion is common for a mystery game and it certainly adds a creepy effect to it. However, with the lack of character interaction and not even really knowing yourself, the protagonist, the story becomes bland.
This game is just like it says it is. It’s an hidden object game. You go from room to room in the manor using your stylus to search for certain objects in a list. Each room is fairly large and you need to use your stylus to move the screen left, right, up and down, to get the whole picture. There are about 12 or so hidden objects in each room and some of the rooms can reset after you’ve completed it a first time. Once you have a certain amount of objects (typically about 40 or so) then you find a page of Emma’s diary.
The diary pages are torn and you need to fit them together like a puzzle. Now, I’m all for hard puzzles – I enjoy a jigsaw puzzle. However, the puzzles were one color with faint lines to show the picture. I understand it’s meant to make the pages look old, but it was so hard to see. The puzzle pieces needed to be rotated as well so it was such a pain to get the puzzles to fit together like they were supposed to. The puzzles themselves took much longer than they should have. I found myself brightening my 2DS screen and even then I needed to look so close at the screen just to see the picture.
That’s the whole gameplay. Except some rooms are “puzzles” and not hidden objects. These puzzle rooms are required as they typically hold a lock to get to the next floor of the mansion. None of these puzzles had any directions to them. I actually tapped mindlessly on my screen with my stylus until something happened. It was pretty stupid.
The graphics and music were what this game got right. For a hidden object game, the graphics were spot on. The hidden puzzles stumped me a few times with how well some of the objects were blended in together. I definitely had fun with the hidden object puzzles.
The music was pretty good too. They went with the creepy factor and the longer I played, I had to turn my volume off. Not because it got annoying, but because the longer I listened to it, the more it actually started to creep me out.
While the puzzles themselves wouldn’t be bad to play again, I don’t think I’ll be going back to this game. The hidden object part was the only fun part for me and I know there are other hidden object games out there that probably did it better. The story wasn’t good enough for me to come back to it either. I’m glad I gave the game a try, but I’m also glad I was able to get it on sale for a dollar. Maybe someday I’ll give the sequel and the rest of the series a try, but for now… I’m done.