Mystery Case Files: Millionheir
Mystery Case Files is a game series by Big Fish Games which exists already some time for “casual gamers”. The series has several games by now and goes from comedy to horrifyingly mysterious. With each title the series progresses to more and better and now the move to the DS is set with “Millionheir”.
Phil T. Rich, a known millionaire, has gone missing and it’s up to you to find out who’s responsible and – if he’s never found – who will be the heir. The latter is less appealing as it sounds as Phil likes riddles so also the little grey brain cells get to do their work. Comedy plays, something you already see from names like Justine Time and Ron ‘n Hide. It’s not top shelf material but does manage to put a small smile on your face.
A detective looks for clues and that’s what you need to do. To help you there’s a crime computer which gives you a tour at the start and gives advice. At times it lets you down but in the end it remains a fun and handy help. It suggests lists of objects that need to be found when you go visit one of the suspects, witnesses and makes certain analysis. You’ll have to assist in that through a minigame at times and the objects will be found mostly between the garbage. Also thinking is necessary as things like “a queen” can be a piece of chess or a card. Disadvantage of course is that you need to understand the language that you play with as Dutch is not available.
Next to rooms in Phil’s villa you also visit the workplace and other rooms where the characters often are present. Gadgets are also present but they’re not as cool as f.i. those from James Bond. A little x-ray device will often be used to find objects that are hidden behind others but the rest of the tools will hardly ever necessary which is a shame.
After having collected enough objects you’ll have to solve a puzzle that can go from a sliding puzzle to finding the differences between two pictures. Overall they’re quite simple and in the end even a bit monotone. A little more variation and challenge wouldn’t have hurt and eventhough there are in total three difficulty degrees veteran gamers will be left out a bit with only the third (unlockable) degree being somewhat of a greater challenge.
The power of the game is in its addictive effect when it comes to finding and collecting items but that’s also its greatest weakness: this is a typical “love it or hate it” game. You can compare it with Sudokus: some can’t get enough of them, others are fed up with it after the first try.
After finishing the game it isn’t over and out completely as you can play some random “search & find” games. As the purpatrator isn’t always the same character there’s some replayability also for the story but don’t overestimate this.
As you can see from the screenshots the graphics have a cartoony style which is ideal for the DS. However, what is noticed especially on the positive side is the sound. Some sounds are really true to life, especially when using headphones.
Mystery Case Files is a fine game but that mostly thanks to a lower price. Also you can best first check to see if this is your thing by for instance trying out the demo first