Mystery Case Files is back with its fifth installment of the series. This one is known as Return to Ravenhearst. Similar to the series, you find yourself back at the Ravehearst Manor, because solving Emma Ravenheart’s murder and setting her soul free was just the beginning. Now her murderer’s ghost, Charles Dalimar, is on the loose and he is out for revenge. Staying true to the Mystery Case Files (MCF) theme, you find yourself searching through the rooms, also known as levels, of the mansion for items. Expanding on an already great hidden objects scheme, Return to Ravenhearst features a game within the game. The demo provides a bathroom scene where you can zoom in on the bathtub and collect another set of items. Once all the items are collected, you will zoom out to the original scene to collect the remaining items.
After each level you come to a locked door, which is another series of puzzles new to MCF. Your return to the mansion will uncover that Emma and Charles are not the only ghosts left behind. Unlocking each door, will open more levels and free more trapped souls in an effort to put an end to Charles terrible reign. Some doors are simple, but most are confusing. You will find yourself clicking on everything in the screen just to figure out what to do.
Lucky for you MCF has made it possible to skip over these hard to solve tasks, but at a cost. The penalty is a hefty 30 minutes added to your total time, and if you are looking to beat the high scores then I would not recommend it.
The game improves on the hint system, by using a hint meter mechanism. Once you use a hint, all that is needed is time. After a certain amount of time elapses, the meter is filled and a new hint is at your disposal.
Once again, the graphics and the music are what separate Return to Ravenhearst from the rest of the series. The scenes are lush and filled with great detail, while the items almost blend into the background. Each room has a dark and scary undertone, and spooky animations add to the effect. The symphony that MCF brings to the game will keep you on edge. Return to Ravenhearst also adds commentary to the game, so be extra careful when searching or you’ll hear “Have you thought of having your eyes checked.”
Overall, the game is great, entertaining and can be replayed over and over again. Each time you play through the game, the rooms have a new list of items to find. The confusing locked door flaw is made up by the classic hidden items feature and the beautiful levels and music. If you are a fan of the series, you will find Return to Ravenhearst as the best MCF game yet. I recommend this game as a buy for the collection and give it a solid 4 out of 5.