Mystery Case Files - Huntsville
This is one of many hidden object games available for PC. I bought this in a game shop new for £3.99. The game is by big fish games and is also available to download from their website or to play a free trial to see if you like it.
This game doesn't come with any kind of manual, only a disc in the box so you don't get anything extra by buying the disc rather than downloading the game. One good point is that installation is very quick and easy and you do not need to have the disc in when playing so I can give the disc to family members for them to play once I have installed it.
You can play the game in full screen or in a window, it is easier to see on full screen as some of the hidden objects are quite small.
You can also adjust the volume of sound effects and the music.
You have the ability to change the user so that more than one person can save and load their game.
THE STORY AND AIM OF THE GAME
The game is set in a small town called Huntsville where crimes keep occurring. It is your job as an investigator to visit different location on the map to find clues to help you find the culprits. There are 14 cases to solve and a final 'Big Boss' case. The amount of scenes to complete will increase as you solve each case.
To solve a case you will need to find objects hidden in the locations. You do not have to find every single item but nearly all of them. When you have found the required number of items you will be given a picture made up of tiles which you have to fill in to display a picture of the culprit and solve the case.
You start with 15 minutes on your timer, you will be given extra time at the end of each case you solve.
If you guess wrong too many times the timer will decrease.
In the first case you have two locations to search, with 8 objects in each making a total of 16 items to find. You must find 15 to solve the case.
You can go back to the map and switch between locations at any point so if you are stuck it is sometimes better to go to another scene first. By case 10 you have 47 items to find in 6 scenes.
You have 3 clues to use in each case, this is fine for the earlier levels but in later levels where you have a few locations to search and lots more items to find it can be very difficult to find them in time with only 3 hints. You can use the hints at any time, but use them sparingly as it is not 3 for each location, it is 3 for the whole level. To use a hint you just click on one of the question marks in the to right of the screen.
There is a good selection of locations to explore including the Bookstore, Hunt & Peck Attorney at Law, Ty's Clock Shoppe, Rudy's Barbershop, Huntsville Fire Station, Pete's Pawnshop, Ivan's Café, Science Museum, Alice's Diner, Captain's Inn and Mausoleum.
Even though it may state that there are 8 items to find in a scene, one of the items listed may contain multiple items for example 3 cats, 2 chess pieces or 2 pairs of glasses. This means that there can actually be many more than 8 items in the scene.
Also you may get for example 2 bats, one could be a baseball bat and another could be the animal. Another example is 3 horns, this could be a French horn, an animal horn and a bike horn so things aren't as obvious as you may think.
Items could also be blended into the décor, pictures of the listed items are often found camouflaged into the wallpaper.
Some of the objects are tiny and well blended in so difficult to find.
As you complete levels you will gain a different investigator rank including Snoop, Investigator and Private Eye.
I find the timer good with this game, in most similar games I find they give you far too much time which doesn't make it very challenging. This keeps the game interesting.
The main thing I dislike about the game is that you can't click items very fast, if you find a few items at a time you have to wait until one has been crossed off the list before clicking on the next one.
Another thing I dislike is that you could click the correct item and it will not work, if you click the item in a different place it will work.
Apart from this couple of thing I really enjoyed the game and found the time limit and the list of items challenging enough to keep me interested. You do have to repeat the same locations several times so by the later levels you will find some of the objects fairly quickly but there's always a couple of new ones thrown in to keep you interested.
Do you have a keen eye for detail? See if you can locate enough hidden clues to solve the crimes and become a Master Detective! Mystery Case Files: Huntsville provides you with a diverse collection of intriguing mysteries and brain-teasers to solve. There are picture puzzles to ponder, strange crime scenes to explore and much, much, more! With thousands of hidden clues it's a new game each time you play!