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Mystery Case Files: Ravenhearst is one of those mini games which are largely promoted and sold through online game download companies for a small price, although you can go out and buy a box and CD copy this can be hard to find and not to mention more expensive.
The game play resolves around a diary with missing pages. It is your task to find the missing pages and solve the mystery herein. The Diary belonged to a young woman named Emma Ravenhearst, and to find the missing pages you have to discover different objects scattered around the rooms in the mansion, some of these are very well hidden and require a sharp eye to spot them. I fail to see how finding an umbrella in the Attic or an Owl in the Kitchen logically creates a diary page.... But hey, perhaps I am thinking about it too much. Regardless once you have collected all the objects the game asks you too, from all the different rooms (sometimes you have to 'unlock' a room buy solving a mini puzzle which can be a bit bizarre and amusing), it presents you with a jigsaw type puzzle to solve, which once completed you get your diary entry. Once completed you are rewarded with a bit more of the story that surround Emma Ravenhearst and her story. And so the game continues until you complete the diary and have heard all the story...
I found Mystery Case Files: Ravenhearst to be an endearing and engaging game. It kept me occupied for a while, and also I think it increased my observational skills because as the game progressed I was finding the objects quicker and quicker. They may call this a 'mini' game, but I ensure you there is nothing miniature about it! It takes hours and hours of game play to complete, and to give you an idea; for each diary page it gives you a set time frame varying from 20 to 40 minutes to find all the objects in. I think mini game probably refers more heavily to the graphics and the simple structure game style. The screens are static, so you're basically finding hidden objects in a picture right the way through with a point and click system. The structure remains the same, just finding different objects for each page. There are lots of different rooms to explore so it didn't become boring.
If you enjoy puzzle based games then you will probably like this, but if you prefer interactive simulation games, you might find this a bit one dimensional. It can be downloaded from BigFish Games, and in fact I got it for free using the coupon code: WDRAVEN. I have no idea if this still works or not, but is probably worth a try. It's worth noting that I didn't have to enter any personal details or card numbers when getting the free game. If I'm honest it probably isn't a game I would of downloaded if it weren't free, however it was, and I surprised myself with how much I enjoyed it and the depth of it. There is also a sequel, Return to Ravenhearst, so I can put my detective cap back on and keep on solving those puzzles!