Version Reviewed: 1.0
Device Reviewed On: iPhone 5
Graphics / Sound Rating:
Replay Value Rating:
With a keen sense of humor and a dash of tongue-in-cheek attitude about it, Another Case Solved has a lot going for it. From the makers of Puzzle Craft, this game knows how to get under one's skin. However, an increasing reliance on using consumables to progress and a restrictive energy system proves ultimately quite off-putting.
Players take the role of a private detective in a world in which candy has been banned. There's quite a conspiracy going on underneath all that, and those keeping up with King's copyright saga associated with the use of the word 'candy' will enjoy what's said here. At its heart, Another Case Solved is a Match-Three game but there's more going on than that.
Undertaking individual cases, players must first of all collect the relevant pieces of evidence by playing a Match-Three game. Connecting five or more walking icons, for instance, will create a map that helps identify the location of the next part of the case. Connecting magnifying glasses creates a fingerprint, while connecting speech bubbles forms a photo of the suspect. Players are given a set number of moves in which they must find all the right pieces by the end.
During a major case, players move onto other puzzles such as the need to find the location of a crime by completing a series of logic clues. A Guess Who style game also proves essential in identifying the suspect involved. It's involving stuff throughout, and quite interesting when interlaced with the storyline unfolding.
Early on in the game this is all pretty straightforward, but the expectations steadily rise higher and things turn much tougher. This is where the option of using consumables to simplify matters comes into the equation, with such bonuses purchasable via the items gathered in-game or through an in-app purchase or two. Success increasingly becomes reliant upon the use of such tools as well as sometimes being given extra moves through the expenditure of candy.
Such heavy leanings towards paying up for extras is infuriating at times because it feels too much like the game has been designed specifically with freemium elements in mind. There's an Energy system too, in the form of newspapers. Players have to complete a set number of minor cases (which simply involve completing the Match-3 component of the game) in order to unlock the next story mission. Only so many newspapers are available at one time before players must wait for the game to recharge.
These restrictive elements don't entirely ruin the fun concept, but they do slow one down quite significantly. Another Case Solved would have been all the better if it had been designed solely as a great game, rather than one keen to eke some money out of its players sooner or later.