Mystery Case Files

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Mystery Case Files
Mystery Case Files
Official logo of the series
Genre(s)Adventure, puzzle, hidden object
Developer(s)Big Fish Studios
(2005-2012)
Elephant Games
(2013-2014)
Eipix Entertainment
(2015–)
Publisher(s)Big Fish Games
Creator(s)Adrian Woods
Composer(s)Somatone Interactive Audio
(2005-2010)
Clean Cuts Music (2011-2012)
Yuriy Ginzburg
(2013-2014)
Platform(s)Windows, Mac OS X, Nintendo DS, Nintendo 3DS, Windows Phone, iOS, Android, Wii
First releaseMystery Case Files: Huntsville
November 14, 2005
Latest releaseMystery Case Files: The Countess
November 21, 2018

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 plays the role of a Master Detective and must find a certain number of items hidden somewhere on a painted scene.

Big Fish Games "estimates that 100 million people have at least sampled trial versions"[1] of the Mystery Case Files games since the initial launch of Mystery Case Files: Huntsville.

The latest installment in the series, The Countess, was released on November 21, 2018, and is the 18th game in the series.

Gameplay[edit]

Mystery Case Files: Huntsville marked the introduction of the hidden object game - a genre of casual game development in which a player must locate a list of objects which are hidden among many other objects on the computer screen. Once a player has located all the listed hidden objects, they progress on to the next area of game play. In case a player is unable to find a required object, many hidden object games offer a finite number of hints.

Like all Mystery Case Files titles, Huntsville relies heavily on hidden object game play. Upon completing each hidden object puzzle, players return to their 'Crime Computer' where they solve subsequent puzzles in order to gather evidence and help pinpoint the thief. A player is given a limited amount of time to complete each puzzle. If the player fails to successfully complete a puzzle in this time, he or she must begin again with an entirely new scenario.

Prime Suspects relies heavily on hidden object game play as well, but introduces a new device that will only work if the player finds batteries in any hidden object scene. The new device enables the player to see through walls to find the hidden object. The player has to gather evidence in a limited amount of time and deduce which suspect is mostly likely to have stolen the Queen's Hope Diamond.

Ravenhearst allows the player to gather the missing pages of Emma's diary by relying heavily on hidden object scenes. Puzzles are introduced into the gameplay as players must solve puzzles to unlock each door in the manor in order to access the locked rooms. At the end of the game, keys must be found all around the manor in order to free Emma's soul from the mansion.

Games[edit]

Huntsville[edit]

Mystery Case Files: Huntsville is the first installment in the Mystery Case Files franchise and was released in November 2005. 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.[2][3]

Following its release on November 18, 2005, Mystery Case Files: Huntsville broke all previous casual game sales records by over 100%, selling over $1 million worth of digitally distributed (downloaded) copies in under three months.[4] As a result, it moved into the top 10 sales positions on all major casual game distribution websites.[5]

It was initially released in as an online game download for the PC and soon after for the Mac OS. In July, 2006, Big Fish Games signed an agreement with Activision Value to distribute the game beginning in September, 2006 at retail locations throughout the United States.[6]

Prime Suspects[edit]

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 persons.[7][8]

Gamezebo.com noted the game had good art, story and replayability, but that later levels were repetitive and difficulty did not increase.[9]

Ravenhearst[edit]

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.[10][11][12][13]

Mystery Case Files: Ravenhearst was "the third-best-selling PC title in the United States for the week ending in the annual Black Friday shopping splurge" selling 100,000 copies in six weeks.[14]

Madame Fate[edit]

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.[15][16][17]

Return to Ravenhearst[edit]

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.[18] This game is the second installment in the Ravenhearst story-arc.[19][20][21]

In addition to the hidden object scenes, which were characteristic for the first title of the Ravenhearst series, the publishers have "added a graphic adventure component that allows players to explore and interact with the world of Ravenhearst like never before."[22] It is now possible to move through the Ravenhearst manor, the surrounding estate and collect items interact with the environment. Puzzles and hidden object scenes are integrated into the different locations throughout the game. These scenes are tagged with frequent twinkles to attract the players interest. Return to Ravenhearst is the first installment of the Mystery Case Files series where "haunting performances from live actors" are used.[23]

Dire Grove[edit]

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 led by Alison Sterling (Davie-Blue Bacich) who travel 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.[24][25][26][27][28]

Mystery Case Files: Dire Grove received mostly positive reviews. It has a Metacritic score of 82[29] and a GameRankings score of 75.00%.[30]

13th Skull[edit]

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.[31][32][33][34][35]

IGN reviewed 13th Skull as "Good" with a 7.0 rating for its Presentation, Gameplay, Graphics, Sound and Lasting Appeal for an approximately of 6.5 to 7.5 per Category.[36]

Escape From Ravenhearst[edit]

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.

Shadow Lake[edit]

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.[37][38]

GameZebo gave a 4 out of 5 rating.[39]

Fate's Carnival[edit]

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.

Reception

  • All About Casual Game gave a 4.5 out of 5 rating, lauding "Fate's Carnival is one remarkable carnival experience that you will not forget". [40]
  • Voted the "Talk of the Town" game by All About Casual Game readers for the Best of 2013 awards event. [41]

Dire Grove, Sacred Grove[edit]

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.[42]

Reception

  • All About Casual Game gave a 4.5 out of 5 rating, saying the game is "a contender for the best game of the year" and awarding it an "Editor's Choice" distinction [43]

Key to Ravenhearst[edit]

Mystery Case Files: Key to Ravenhearst is the twelfth installment of the Mystery Case Files franchise and is the first to be developed by Eipix Entertainment. Key to Ravenhearst was released on October 27, 2015.[44] Key to Ravenhearst will be the third instance the series has returned to the Ravenhearst storyline, thus the fourth installment in the Ravenhearst story-arc.

Reception

  • Gamezebo : 4.5/5 [45]
  • All About Casual Game : 4.5/5 [46]

Ravenhearst Unlocked[edit]

Mystery Case Files: Ravenhearst Unlocked is the thirteenth game in the casual adventure game series Mystery Case Files published by Big Fish Games. Released on November 27, 2015, it is the first game in the series to be developed by Eipix Entertainment.[47] The mode is single-player and the platforms include Windows, Mac OS X, iOS and Android. It is the final part of the Ravenhearst storyline.

Reception

  • Gamezebo : 4,5/5[48]
  • All About Casual Game : 5/5 [49]

Broken Hour[edit]

Mystery Case Files: Broken Hour is the fourteenth installment of the series. The Beta for the game was released on March 7th, 2016. The Collector's Edition was released on 22 November 2016. The Master Detective is sent by the queen to the Huxley’s Boarding House to search for her friends and photographer.

Reception

  • All About Casual Game gave a full 5 out of 5 rating, saying the game is "complex, stunning, and compelling; just all-around sensational" and awarding it an "Editor's Choice" distinction [50]
  • Voted the "Talk of the Town" game by All About Casual Game readers for the Best of 2016 awards event. [51]

The Black Veil[edit]

Mystery Case Files: The Black Veil is the fifteenth installment of the series. The Beta was released on December 22nd, 2016. The Collector's Edition was released on 23 March 2017. It is the first appearance since Mystery Case Files: Dire Grove of Alison Sterling (voiced by Katie Leigh).[52]

Reception

  • All About Casual Game gave a 4.5 out of 5 rating. [53]
  • Voted the "Best Adventure Game" by All About Casual Game readers for the Best of 2017 awards event. [54]

The Revenant's Hunt[edit]

Mystery Case Files: The Revenant's Hunt is 16th installment of the series. The Beta of the games was released on July 2017. The story follows a murder victim rising from the grave to visit justice upon his killers, and possible one of his own descendants. The collector's edition was released on 20 November 2017.

Reception

  • All About Casual Game gave a 4 out of 5 rating, commenting that it was slightly disappointing for the fans. [55]

Rewind[edit]

Mystery Case Files: Rewind is the 17th installment of the series, The Beta was released in March 2018. The gameplay of the game is based on the first four games of the series in a basic Hidden objects gameplay instead of a Point and Click adventure gameplay as all the games since Return to Ravenhearst. The story mix many of the previous games characters in a time paradox. The game was released on June 21st 2018 as Collector's Edition version.

Reception

  • All About Casual Game gave a 4 out of 5 rating, saying that it was "an enjoyable trip down the memory lane". [56]

The Countess[edit]

Mystery Case Files: The Countess is the 18th installment of the Series.

Spin Off Games[edit]

Agent X[edit]

Mystery Case Files: Agent X was released on April 14, 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.[57]

MillionHeir[edit]

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[edit]

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[edit]

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.[58]

Novel series[edit]

A four novel mini series of books was distributed by Harlequin, and written by Jordan Gray.[59]

References[edit]

  1. ^ ""Hidden Object" Series Hit for Holidays". Reuters. 2007-12-20. Retrieved 2008-01-02.
  2. ^ "Mystery Case Files: Huntsville - Walkthrough, Tips, Review". Jay is games. Retrieved 18 July 2018.
  3. ^ "Mystery Case Files: Huntsville Review - Gamezebo". Gamezebo. 23 February 2008. Retrieved 18 July 2018.
  4. ^ "Big Fish Games' New Title Mystery Case Files: Huntsville Hits Record Sales". PRNewswire. 2006-03-07. Retrieved 2007-12-13.
  5. ^ "MCF: Huntsville Sales Data". GameSalesCharts.com. 2007-12-13. Retrieved 2007-12-13.
  6. ^ "Activision Value Publishing, Inc. to Distribute Big Fish Games; Three Successful Online Titles Selected for Retail". Activision, Inc. 2006-07-31. Retrieved 2008-01-03.
  7. ^ "Mystery Case Files: Prime Suspects Exclusive Preview - Gamezebo". Gamezebo. 5 April 2006. Retrieved 18 July 2018.
  8. ^ "Mystery Case Files: Prime Suspects Review - Gamezebo". Gamezebo. 20 April 2006. Retrieved 18 July 2018.
  9. ^ "Mystery Case Files: Prime Suspect Review". Gamezebo.
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  11. ^ Life, Nintendo (5 August 2013). "Review: Mystery Case Files: Ravenhearst (3DS)". Nintendo Life. Retrieved 18 July 2018.
  12. ^ "Test Mystery Case Files : Ravenhearst sur PC". Jeuxvideo.com (in French). Retrieved 18 July 2018.
  13. ^ "'Hidden object' game genre a holiday hit". CNET. 20 December 2007. Retrieved 18 July 2018.
  14. ^ ""Hidden Object" Series Hit for Holidays". Reuters. 2007-12-20. Retrieved 2008-01-02.
  15. ^ "Mystery Case Files: Madame Fate Review - Gamezebo". Gamezebo. 8 November 2007. Retrieved 18 July 2018.
  16. ^ "Test Mystery Case Files : Madame Fate sur PC". Jeuxvideo.com (in French). Retrieved 18 July 2018.
  17. ^ "How Madame Fate got her voice: an audio post-mortem - Gamezebo". Gamezebo. 28 February 2008. Retrieved 18 July 2018.
  18. ^ "November 2008 Blog Archives | Big Fish Games Blog". Bigfishgames.com. Retrieved 2012-01-02.
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  20. ^ "Mystery Case Files: Return to Ravenhearst Review - Gamezebo". Gamezebo. 28 November 2008. Retrieved 18 July 2018.
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  27. ^ "Interview: Mystery Case Files: Dire Grove's Adrian Woods on the game's use of live-action FMV". Engadget. Retrieved 18 July 2018.
  28. ^ Staff, I. G. N. (25 November 2009). "Big Fish Games' Mystery Case Files: Dire Grove Recreates Reality Thriller Movie". IGN. Retrieved 18 July 2018.
  29. ^ "Mystery Case Files: Dire Grove Metacritic". Metacritic. Retrieved 2013-08-24.
  30. ^ "Mystery Case Files: Dire Grove GameRankings". GameRankings. Retrieved 2013-08-24.
  31. ^ Tanner, Nicole (13 December 2010). "Mystery Case Files: 13th Skull Review". IGN. Retrieved 18 July 2018.
  32. ^ "Mystery Case Files: 13th Skull Review - Gamezebo". Gamezebo. 26 November 2010. Retrieved 18 July 2018.
  33. ^ Fahey, Mike. "The 2011 Into the Pixel Collection Celebrates the Finest in Video Game Art". Kotaku. Retrieved 18 July 2018.
  34. ^ "Avis et critiques du jeu Mystery Case Files : 13ème Crâne sur PC". Jeuxvideo.com (in French). Retrieved 18 July 2018.
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  36. ^ http://pc.ign.com/articles/114/1140023p1.html/
  37. ^ M., Conor (15 October 2012). "Mystery Case Files: Shadow Lake Announced!". Big Fish Games. Retrieved 12 November 2012.
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  39. ^ "Mystery Case Files: Shadow Lake Review - Gamezebo". 22 November 2012.
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  41. ^ "Best of 2013 | All About Casual Game | Casual Game Reviews and Previews". All About Casual Game | Casual Game Reviews and Previews. Retrieved 2018-10-24.
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  51. ^ "Best of 2016 | All About Casual Game | Casual Game Reviews and Previews". All About Casual Game | Casual Game Reviews and Previews. Retrieved 2018-10-24.
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  54. ^ "Best of 2017 | All About Casual Game | Casual Game Reviews and Previews". All About Casual Game | Casual Game Reviews and Previews. Retrieved 2018-10-24.
  55. ^ "Mystery Case Files: The Revenant's Hunt - Review | All About Casual Game | Casual Game Reviews and Previews". All About Casual Game | Casual Game Reviews and Previews. 2017-12-07. Retrieved 2018-10-24.
  56. ^ "Mystery Case Files: Rewind - Review | All About Casual Game | Casual Game Reviews and Previews". All About Casual Game | Casual Game Reviews and Previews. 2018-07-14. Retrieved 2018-10-24.
  57. ^ "Mystery Case Files: Agent X preview".
  58. ^ "Blackpool: A Hidden Object Adventure from Mystery Case Files on the App Store on iTunes". Retrieved 2014-03-12.
  59. ^ "Harlequin.com | Miniseries - Mystery Case Files". Eharlequin.com. Retrieved 2012-01-02.

External links[edit]