The Mystery Case Files series of hidden object games continues with this ominously titled entry set in Great Britain. When the diary of Emma Ravenhearst is found, the Queen of England sends a master detective to the spooky old Ravenhearst manor to find the diary's missing pages. Players take on the role of that detective, seeking out hundreds of hidden objects spread throughout dozens of different locations in the mansion.
This is the third game in the Mystery Case Files series by Big Fish Games. Apparently there are going to be a total of six episodes!
The game is set in England, and you are a secret agent sent by The Queen (no less!) to go and investigate an abandoned spooky manor. The Queen has also given you a young women's diary with only one page in it, and your mission is to find the other pages to discover what happened at the manor.
Basically the gameplay is the same as the other Mystery Case Files games, but that's not a bad thing because it's a proven enjoyable formula. You visit each 3D rendered room in the manor and have to find various 'clues' which are listed at the side of the screen. This might sound easy except that each room is cluttered with a crazy assortment of items and so finding some clues can be really difficult especially when the clues are a bit cryptic. It doesn't help that the clues have American names and I'm English. For example it once said find a Pound sign, so I looked and looked and couldn't find it but it turned out that they meant a hash sign (#)! What the hell? There are plenty of other things like this including a road sign which turned out to be a yellow American one about deer crossing or something. This sort of thing could be viewed as a bit annoying but I guess I ought to take the line that non-Americans merely get more challenge out of the game :-) It amazing how many differences there our in our languages actually.
When you've found all the clues in several rooms you are shown an old parchment-style picture that you have to piece together from puzzle pieces. This is pretty good fun and then you are shown a new page from the diary. You gradually find out about some lovers in the 1890's, and the women becomes ill and stays at her lover's newly built manor, and then the guy starts getting weird and reading weird books etc (I shan't give away too much).
Occasionally you'll have to unlock a room by solving a convoluted puzzle in which you manipulate strange objects and use logic etc. These puzzle are pretty cool and funny and I've only had to cheat on one so far by looking up a hint on the Internet. If you get stuck you can actually skip them but you suffer a penalty.
The graphics in this game seem better quality than in MCF - Huntsville and the clutter seems to fit more naturally in its environment. Also it has these little spooky background noises going on which add to the atmosphere. Plus I think it's easier too because you get more hints and time, and it's a bit more lenient on the total number of clues that you have to find. This all just makes it more fun and less punishing.
Like the other MCF game I've been playing Ravenhearst with my whole family and even my 3 year old son who sits on my lap is helping to find things. It's a great fun game but make sure that you have a large screen because you'll all be crowding round it looking at the minute details!
People who downloaded Mystery Case Files: Ravenhearst have also downloaded:
Mystery Case Files: Prime Suspects, Mystery Case Files: Return to Ravenhearst, Mystery Case Files: Huntsville, Mystery Case Files: Dire Grove, Mystery Case Files: Madame Fate, Mystery Case Files: Shadow Lake, Mystery Case Files: 13th Skull, Mystery Case Files: Escape from Ravenhearst
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