Developer: Big Fish Games, Inc
Price: Free
Version: 1.0.1
App Reviewed on: iPad 3

Graphics / Sound Rating: ★★★★☆
User Interface Rating: ★★★★½
Gameplay Rating: ★★★★☆
Re-use / Replay Value Rating: ★★★★☆

Overall Rating: ★★★★☆

Hidden object games are fun for players of all ages. However, Big Fish Games takes this genre a step further by making the hidden objects morph into different images, making it much more difficult to complete the task. In Mystery Case Files: Escape From Ravenhearst, players experience a psychological thriller like no other. In it, players must solve puzzles and mini games in order to progress through the story and uncover all the secrets.

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Players may choose one of two difficulty levels: casual and master detective. The casual level displays sparkles near areas that should be explored, while the master detective level offers no such support. Both methods, however, do offer hints for the hidden object scenes.

The basic idea of the game is to explore each area by tapping on objects that may seem important. Items may be collected and used to solve puzzles. Hidden object games must be completed in order to find and collect certain items. As stated earlier, these games have a unique twist of making the objects morph into different objects. Players aren’t given a list of items to find, but rather they must pay close attention to spot the objects that seem to change ever so slightly. At first, they are easy to find, but the last one or two objects are always the most difficult to spot. Those players that choose to randomly tap on the screen too often will find their collected objects thrown back into the puzzle, essentially forcing them to start over.

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As is the case with games of this genre, a great deal of time is spent going back and forth between different scenes. For example, players may progress to a point where they need a specific item to continue on. An item may be discovered that opens something in a previous scene. Therefore, one must travel back to the previous scene, open the container, grab a new item, and then go back again to the scene where that new item may be used in order to advance. This back and forth exploration may become tedious for some gamers. I found this to be true, but mostly due to the load times between each scene.

The story and mystery about what comes next in the adventure is absolutely the driving force in this game. I found myself having a hard time putting the game down because of that desire to see what will happen next. This is definitely a game worth checking out.

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