Mystery case files: Return to Ravenhurst is a puzzle game, similar to the point and click adventures that were common a decade ago when graphics had reached a level where you could have pictures but not interact with them. I’m glad there are still people making simple games.
The primary puzzle is picture filled with dozens of items that you have to find. You are given a list and simply find them all. This is where the problems of this game begin to appear. It is actually quite a bit faster to simply click everything on the screen than to look at the list at all. It only becomes useful to use the list when you have only a few of the items left. At this point everything that is easy to see is gone and it becomes frustrating as you struggle to find the last of the items and every screen there is at least one item that blends into the background.
The creators of this game recognized this flaw and built a hint button into the game. This lead to the same problem that all hint buttons in games has, once you begin to use it the desire to make it through quickly can make it difficult to not constantly ask for hints. To combat this every time you use the hint button it makes you wait before you can use it again. This is a smart move but this puts you back on the frustration path as you search the picture for the last three items as the hint button slowly refills.
Finding things in the picture isn’t the only puzzle though. The problem is that there are no directions telling you what it is you are supposed to do in these puzzles. This means that either you see the solution quickly or have no idea at all what to do and are forced once again into the loving embrace of the hint button.
There are many positive aspects to this game. As a puzzle game it moves forward better than most and you do begin to feel as if you are solving something but this feeling could have been greatly increased if you were actually solving a puzzle. That is the main failing of the game. As a mystery game I need to know what the mystery is and feel as if I am acting in some way to solve it. Instead in this game I wander around the area picking up completely items so I can move deeper into the game and pick up more random items.
If you have an hour to play a puzzle game then download the hour long demo an see how for you can get in “Mystery Case Files, Return to Ravenhurst” but there is nothing in this game that makes it worth buying.
3 out of 5