Mystery Case Files
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|Mystery Case Files|
Official logo of the series
|Genres||Adventure, puzzle, hidden object|
|Developers||Big Fish Studios
|Publishers||Big Fish Games|
|Composers||Somatone Interactive Audio
Clean Cuts Music (2011-2012)
|Platforms||Windows, Mac OS X, Nintendo DS, Nintendo 3DS, Windows Phone, iOS, Android, Wii|
|First release||Mystery Case Files: Huntsville
November 14, 2005
|Latest release||Mystery Case Files: Dire Grove, Sacred Grove
November 26, 2014
Mystery Case Files (also known as MCF) is a video game series originally developed by the internal studios of Big Fish Games. New installments are currently developed by Eipix Entertainment, replacing Elephant Games who developed sequels from 2013 to 2014. The Mystery Case Files series is known for its ‘Hidden Object’ puzzles where, in order to progress through a game, the player must find a certain number of items hidden somewhere on a painted scene.
The latest installment in the series, Dire Grove, Sacred Grove, was released on November 26, 2014 and is the eleventh game in the series.
- 1 Development
- 2 Main series
- 3 Other platform series
- 4 Novel series
- 5 References
- 6 External links
There have been eleven games in the Mystery Case Files series to date. After Mystery Case Files: Huntsville, each title has added additional features including:
- Flashlights and a fictional X-ray Device by Mystery Case Files: Prime Suspects
- Rube Goldberg door puzzles by Mystery Case Files: Ravenhearst
- Word and crystal ball puzzles, hidden object scenes within hidden object scenes, interactive hidden object scenes, and morphing objects by Mystery Case Files: Madame Fate
- Cause and effect objects, adventure gameplay, and live actors by Mystery Case Files: Return to Ravenhearst
- Full motion videos by Mystery Case Files: Dire Grove
- Interactive characters by Mystery Case Files: 13th Skull
- Morphing hidden objects by Mystery Case Files: Escape From Ravenhearst
- Interactive map by Mystery Case Files: Shadow Lake
- Isis the cat, an interactive assistant by Mystery Case Files: Fate's Carnival
- Combination of inventory items by Mystery Case Files: Dire Grove, Sacred Grove
Storyline and characters have played an increasingly important part in the development of the series, especially from the third game onwards. The game Ravenhearst begins a story-arc that continues on into the next two games after it, Madame Fate and Return to Ravenhearst, however the storyline was introduced in Prime Suspects at the ending, with a letter saying the Queen requested your assistance on an urgent matter, which is later confirmed to be the Ravenhearst case via phone call in Madame Fate. The following game, Dire Grove, follows on from the previous game, but does not lead directly into the same story. The seventh and ninth instalments, 13th Skull and Shadow Lake returns the series to a standalone story format, while the eighth instalment, Escape from Ravenhearst returned to the Ravenhearst story-arc.
With the release of the tenth game, Fate's Carnival, the series returns to the story featured in the fourth game, Madame Fate which confirms ties between the Madame Fate and Ravenhearst storylines, something that has only been hinted at in previous games in the series. Completing a certain bonus level in Fate's Carnival hints at returning the player to the story of Dire Grove in a next game. The bonus chapter of Dire Grove, Sacred Grove make a connection with the Ravenhearst games and Fate's Carnival.
Mystery Case Files: Huntsville is the first installment in the Mystery Case Files franchise and was released in November 2005 and immediately broke sales records for casual games. The player takes the role of a master detective to solve a series of seemingly random crimes in the small town of Huntsville. The game features a number of locations to explore and introduced the Crime Computer which is still a main part of the series.
Mystery Case Files: Prime Suspects is the second installment in the Mystery Case Files franchise and was released in April 2006. The player is tasked with investigating the disappearance of the Queen’s Hope Diamond in Capital City. Mystery Case Files: Prime Suspects added items that players have to discover to unlock later levels (such as finding a battery to power a flashlight). Characters also became a more prominent part of the series with the investigation revolving around multiple characters with different personas.
Mystery Case Files: Ravenhearst is the third installment in the Mystery Case Files franchise and was released in December 2006 and features an investigation centered on a mysterious manor located in England. Players find objects to unlock diary pieces to follow the life of Emma Ravenhearst. Mystery Case Files: Ravenhearst introduced elaborate door puzzles to the series that were similar to a Rube Goldberg type puzzle. Mystery Case Files: Ravenhearst was re-released for the Nintendo DS in April 2013.
Mystery Case Files: Madame Fate is the fourth installment in the Mystery Case Files franchise and was released in November 2007. The player investigates Madame Fate’s Carnival and the carnival workers to see which one of them causes the fortune teller’s death at midnight. Mystery Case Files: Madame Fate introduces more types of puzzles (including word puzzles and multiple crystal ball puzzles) while also changing the way a player can find items. Sometimes the player must combine two items on the screen, other times they must locate hidden areas to progress. The bulk of the game is still finding hidden objects, but there are a lot of other types of puzzles. Mystery Case Files: Madame Fate also introduced hidden object scenes inside hidden object scenes into the game-play.
Return to Ravenhearst
Mystery Case Files: Return to Ravenhearst is the fifth installment in the Mystery Case Files franchise and was released on November 26, 2008, for Big Fish Games Game Club members whereas the public was able to download this game on November 27, 2008. This game is the second installment in the Ravenhearst story-arc.
Mystery Case Files: Dire Grove is the sixth installment of the Mystery Case Files franchise and was released December 11, 2009. It had its first release on November 25, 2009 as a Collector's Edition. It follows the events of four graduate students who traveled to a small township near Blackpool, England. The game follows on from the previous game, Return to Ravenhearst, but does not directly lead into the Ravenhearst story-arc.
Mystery Case Files: 13th Skull is the seventh installment of the Mystery Case Files franchise and had its first release on November 25, 2010 as a Collector's Edition. It follows the disappearance of Marcus Lawson after moving into a creepy mansion in Louisiana. His daughter, Magnolia, believes her father was kidnapped by the ghost of a vengeful pirate seeking to protect his lost fortune.
Escape From Ravenhearst
Mystery Case Files: Escape From Ravenhearst is the eighth installment of the Mystery Case Files franchise and was released November 23, 2011 as a Collector's Edition. Some residents in Blackpool, England have gone missing around Ravenhearst Manor and you, the Master Detective must return to the fire-ravaged manor and search for the missing residents. This game is the third installment in the Ravenhearst story-arc.
Mystery Case Files: Shadow Lake is the ninth installment of the Mystery Case Files franchise and was the last to be released by Big Fish Studios. Shadow Lake was released on November 20, 2012 and features actress Lea Thompson as Cassandra Williams, a psychic medium that helps the Master Detective solve puzzles while they investigate the mysterious destruction of a ghost town.
Mystery Case Files: Fate's Carnival is the tenth installment of the Mystery Case Files franchise and the first to be released by developer Elephant Games. Fate's Carnival was released on November 26, 2013 and returns the player to Madame Fate's carnival, previously featured in the series' fourth installment, Madame Fate. Exploring the carnival vicinity with the help of Isis the cat, the game incorporates characters featured in previous games, as well as introducing new ones.
Dire Grove, Sacred Grove
Mystery Case Files: Dire Grove, Sacred Grove is the eleventh installment of the Mystery Case Files franchise and was the last to be released by developer Elephant Games. Dire Grove, Sacred Grove was released on November 26, 2014 and returns the player to the fictional township of Dire Grove, previously explored in the sixth installment of the same name.
Key to Ravenhearst
Mystery Case Files: Key to Ravenhearst is the forthcoming twelfth installment of the Mystery Case Files franchise and is the first to be developed by Eipix Entertainment. The game, currently in Beta, is set to be released in 2015. Key to Ravenhearst will be the forth instance the series has returned to the Ravenhearst storyline, thus the fourth installment in the Ravenhearst story-arc.
Other platform series
Mystery Case Files: Agent X was released on April 15, 2008 and is the first title in the Mystery Case Files franchise to be released for a portable device. Mystery Case Files: Agent X is only usable by Glu Mobile capable cell-phones.
Mystery Case Files: MillionHeir was released on September 8, 2008 and is the second game in the Mystery Case Files franchise to be released for a portable device. Mystery Case Files: MillionHeir requires a Nintendo DS system and was published by Nintendo.
The Malgrave Incident
Mystery Case Files: The Malgrave Incident was released on June 27, 2011 and is the second game in the Mystery Case Files franchise to be published by Nintendo. Mystery Case Files: The Malgrave Incident is playable for the Wii.
Spirits of Blackpool
Mystery Case Files: Spirits of Blackpool was released on October 24, 2013 and is the first title in the Mystery Case Files franchise to be published for iOS. It was first released on the Canadian App Store and is playable for the Apple iPad.
Stolen is the first novel in the series and was released in August 2010. It follows a young couple, Molly and Michael Graham, as they move to Blackpool for a simple way of life. That ideal is shattered when a blood-curdling scream outside an old theater leads to a murder victim, a woman whose past in Blackpool is linked to a seventy-year-old train wreck, a lost child and a cache of valuable paintings smuggled out of London during World War II.
Vanished is the second novel and was released in November 2010. The story starts out with a bang - or more accurately, a boom - as a pirate ship sails into Blackpool harbor, accidentally firing off its canon. Suddenly everyone is talking about pirate curses and stolen Gypsy gold. It's all fun and games, until someone is stabbed to death. As Molly and Michael Graham dig into the mystery, they find that more than one person had reason to want the man dead. Not only that, but the Grahams' investigation is making them some powerful enemies.
Submerged is the third novel and was released in February 2011. A preservation grant brings a massive restoration project to the marina, throwing the town into political turmoil. As Molly wades into the fray, a young woman is kidnapped, a thug turns up dead and a shipwreck is discovered in the harbor. Molly and Michael are, yet again, plunged into a legacy of smuggling operations, betrayal and murder . . . and delve even deeper into the heart of Blackpool's most shocking and long-buried truths.
Unearthed is the fourth and final book and was released in May 2011. Behind the colorful charm and vibrant history of the English seaside town of Blackpool is a legacy of secrets. Secrets that people have killed to keep hidden. For Michael and Molly Graham, though, finding the truth has become personal; their friend clings to life in a hospital—shot to keep him quiet—and the couple is driven to uncover what he would risk his life for . . . and what someone would murder for.
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