Josh solves the case of "Is the game any good?".
“Detective, I have chosen you for your reputation of efficiency and discrepancy.” These are the words spoken to you; your latest client’s request for you to come to his island. In this point-and-click mystery game, your character, an unnamed detective, must visit Malgrave Island and collect magical healing dust while trying to discover the secrets the island holds.
The Mystery Case Files games have been around for a couple years now. Starting on PC, the series has moved on to cell phones as well as Nintendo DS. This is the series’ first outing on Wii. It plays like you would expect a point-and-click game to; you can interact with certain parts of the environment as well as use items with relative ease.
Half of this mystery game is spent looking around the island for dust and collecting clues about the inhabitant’s mysterious disappearance. The other half of the game is spent looking for items in an “I Spy” fashion. There are sparkling places around the island where you need to study a picture very carefully and find certain items in the picture. After you find all the items asked of you, you get the magical dust that your client has hired you to find.
Looking at the same picture over and over again and finding different items can become very tiresome very quickly. In the first part of the game you discover a new place every five minutes and the game keeps you quick on your toes. Unfortunately, you have to revisit each area about two or three times to continue on to the each successive part of the game. Although there are numerous other puzzles and challenges to complete, the “find-it” sections easily outnumber them.
One thing this game does well is making you feel alone. The only voice you hear is your client, Mr. Malgrave, and that’s via phone. Aside from some birds, there is no life on this beautiful island. As you explore the abandoned shops and streets of the island there is no life in sight and yet there is a sense that someone’s watching you. Granted, the game’s not meant to terrify you, but the atmosphere is just so perfect that it wouldn’t be too farfetched if someone were to jump out at you. Big Fish Games did a extraordinary job with the scenery and sounds from start to finish. Nothing feels out of place or awkward.
Overall, Mystery Case Files’ latest caper is a quick fun game full of challenges and intrigue. The island looks beautiful and creepy at the same time, helping take you into the world of the game. The creepy sounds of a door creaking or crows overhead don’t hurt, either. The only real downside to the game are the “find-it” sections, which are numerous and repetitive. All I can really say is that this detective enjoyed solving this caper, even if it was a little tiring.