Criminal Case (video game)

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Criminal Case
Logo of Criminal Case.png
Developer(s)Pretty Simple
Platform(s)Facebook (HTML5), iOS, Android
November 15, 2012
August 28, 2014
April 15, 2015

Criminal Case is a detective-themed hidden object game released on November 15, 2012 for Facebook. An iOS version was released worldwide on August 28, 2014, followed by an Android version on April 15, 2015. In 2018, the Facebook version was converted from Adobe Flash to HTML5. Developed and published by French indie studio Pretty Simple, Criminal Case has over ten million average monthly users. On December 9, 2013, Criminal Case was crowned the Facebook Game of the Year 2013.[1]


Pretty Simple was founded in 2010 by partners Bastien Cazenave and Corentin Raux and was backed by Idinvest Partners.[2] Idenvest originally put up €300,000 in seed capital, which was followed by another €2.5 million after the game achieved a level of early modest success.[3] The murder investigation theme was chosen first by the developers, who decided to make the game in the Hidden Object genre due to it making both business and personal sense.[4] Just two months after the games launch, it had 1 million Daily Active Users.[2] As of mid-2013, Criminal Case attracted more than ten million monthly average users and became highly competitive with Candy Crush Saga, the most popular game on Facebook with over 46 million average monthly users.[citation needed] The developers explained in late 2013: "To put out an investigation each week, there's almost 30 people working on it. We have writers and artists just really working hard to put out this content."[5] On December 4, 2013, the game achieved over 100 million users.[6] Five days later, Criminal Case won the Facebook Game of the Year 2013 award.[7][8][9][10] By this time the episodes had been translated into nine languages,[11] and they were making an 8-digit sum of revenue.[12] The game has a 40-percent share of Facebook users.[13] Some reasons cited for the game's success include its graphic crime scenes and meaningful narratives.[14] 2017 research by United Worldwide found that 80% of the active players are women aged between 30 and 55.[15] Five additional titles, Criminal Case: Pacific Bay, Criminal Case: Save the World!, Criminal Case: Mysteries of the Past, Criminal Case: The Conspiracy, and Criminal Case: Travel in Time were launched.[16]

Critical reception[edit]

Australian Council on Children and the Media gave the game an amber rating (parental guidance required) due to containing gambling elements.[17] Similarly, SaferKid cautioned parents that the title included crude humor and profanity.[18] Common Sense Media deemed it "polished" and "interesting".[19] AdWeek praised the game's strong story and interesting gameplay.[20] The Spectrum felt the game was "oddly gruesome" and "whimsical".[21] Funky Games thought it was one of the five best hidden object games for Android or iOS platforms.[22] Kotaku described the game as dark and gritty, though felt that the pay-to-play element of gameplay held them back from progressing.[23]


  1. ^ Tach, Dave (December 9, 2013). "Facebook crowns Criminal Case the top game of 2013". Polygon. Retrieved February 23, 2014.
  2. ^ a b Simple, Pretty. "Explosive Growth for Pretty Simple's Social Game: Criminal Case; Eight-Digit Revenue Forecast in Only 2 Months". Retrieved April 22, 2018.
  3. ^ "Made in France 'Criminal Case' conquers Facebook". December 10, 2013. Retrieved April 22, 2018.
  4. ^ "Criminal Case: our path to 4M DAUs". Retrieved April 22, 2018.
  5. ^ "Pretty Simple Games announces Criminal Case for iOS". Retrieved April 22, 2018.
  6. ^ Ligman, Kris. "Facebook games on the decline? No one told that to Pretty Simple Games". Retrieved April 22, 2018.
  7. ^ Glasser, AJ (December 9, 2013). "Facebook Games of the Year 2013". Facebook. Retrieved February 23, 2014.
  8. ^ "Facebook crowns Criminal Case the top game of 2013". Polygon. Retrieved April 22, 2018.
  9. ^ "Criminal Case". March 8, 2014. Retrieved April 22, 2018.
  10. ^ "Facebook selects Criminal Case (not Candy Crush) as game of the year". CNET. December 9, 2013. Retrieved April 22, 2018.
  11. ^ "Le jeu français "Criminal Case" élu meilleur jeu sur Facebook en 2013". (in French). December 9, 2013. Retrieved April 22, 2018.
  12. ^ "Criminal Case: 1 year later & 100 Million players". Rude Baguette. November 26, 2013. Retrieved April 22, 2018.
  13. ^ MacGuill, Dan (December 10, 2013). "Made in France 'Criminal Case' conquers Facebook". The Local. Retrieved February 23, 2014.
  14. ^ "Criminal Case - Facebook Showcase Blog". Facebook. Retrieved February 23, 2014.
  15. ^ Jardine, Alexandra. "Criminal Case Targets Female Gamers With a Spot Featuring Kickass Middle-Aged Women". Creativity Online. Retrieved April 22, 2018.
  16. ^ "Are hidden object games still finding success?". Retrieved April 22, 2018.
  17. ^ "App review of Criminal Case - Australian Council on Children and the Media". Retrieved April 22, 2018.
  18. ^ "SaferKid™ App Rating: Criminal Case". Retrieved April 22, 2018.
  19. ^ "Criminal Case - Game Review". Retrieved April 22, 2018.
  20. ^ "Criminal Case review". Retrieved April 22, 2018.
  21. ^ "'Criminal Case Mysteries of the Past' oddly gruesome, whimsical". The Spectrum & Daily News. Retrieved April 22, 2018.
  22. ^ "Die fünf besten Wimmelbildspiele für iOS und Android - alle kostenlos!". (in German). April 14, 2018. Retrieved April 22, 2018.
  23. ^ "The Dark And Gritty Criminal Case Could Use A Little More Energy". Kotaku Australia. December 13, 2012. Retrieved April 22, 2018.

External links[edit]