Monday, November 9, 2009

Mystery Case Files- Prime Suspects Review

For my first review, I'll be starting off with Mystery Case Files: Prime Suspects.

Story: Someone stole a diamond. There are 20 suspects. Find the culprit.

Game Mechanics: Basically the goal is to go through around 20 set of possible suspects by searching through random locations on the map. Once you've found all the "clues", you go through your Crime Computer and piece them out through mini-games to see if the person is innocent or not.

This cycle continues until you have to find the actual diamond.

Here are some screenshots of the game:

The case report, which talks about the different suspects.

The map of Capitol City, where there are different HO scenes to find your clues

The Crime Computer

My opinion:

Story-wise, it looked like they focused more on making the game and then just making a story out of it. While they say that casual gamers don't care too much about a story, for me I felt that story is STILL important which is why games like Ravenhearst became so popular.

Like a lot of HO games, it borders around the "find clues by finding random objects" idea. So, yes it's possible you need to find 3 kinds of keyboards which has no relation to the case.

Difficulty wise, Prime Suspects is kinda tricky. Not only is the area messy like a lot of HO games, I noticed they love to mess with the ambiguity of the English language.


Example: 2 spades. A spade could either be a face of a card, or a shovel. You'd think once you'd find a shovel the second one would also be a shovel.

Wrong. Most likely the second spade you'll be looking for is the one you see on playing cards. It makes one think out of the box, which is great.

Along with ambiguity, they added another feature that may make it easier or harder for the player which is the x-ray/flashlight feature.

X-ray feature

Flashlight feature

To make things a little interesting certain parts of the map required that you find a battery in other locations to be able to find other items. I don't know if this makes the game easier or harder, because it has it's pros and cons. Still an interesting thing to place though.

So for every time you find all the clues per investigation, you use the Crime Computer and play 3 different mini-games. One is puzzle-type game, one is crossword-type of game and the last is a memory game. All 3 have one goal which is to see the underlying picture.

Sample Mini-game (Puzzle)

These mini-games are the easy to finish. The hardest one of all was the crossword puzzle, since that required me to think. (The first one was to find 10 breakfast foods...not only do I not eat breakfast, but I'm unaware of what Americans usually eat for breakfast.)


If you're the type who just wants to find things, with no other complications like finding a key to open a door or to have a deep complex story, Prime Suspects is the game for you. Note that like the Ravenhearst series items are REALLY tricky to find due to the messy scenes, but that's worth the challenge right?

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