|Mystery Case Files|
Official logo of the series
|Genres||Adventure, puzzle, hidden object|
Big Fish Studios|
|Publisher(s)||Big Fish Games|
Somatone Interactive Audio|
Clean Cuts Music (2011-2012)
|Platforms||Windows, Mac OS X, Nintendo DS, Nintendo 3DS, Windows Phone, iOS, Android, Wii|
Mystery Case Files: Huntsville|
November 14, 2005
Mystery Case Files: Rewind|
June 21, 2018
Mystery Case Files (also known as MCF) is a video game series originally developed by the internal studios of Big Fish Games. New installments are currently developed by Eipix Entertainment, replacing Elephant Games who developed sequels from 2013 to 2014. The Mystery Case Files series is known for its 'Hidden Object' puzzles where, in order to progress through a game, the player plays the role of a Master Detective and must find a certain number of items hidden somewhere on a painted scene.
The latest installment in the series, Rewind, was released on June 21, 2018, and is the 17th game in the series.
There have been seventeen titles in the Mystery Case Files series to date.
Huntsville is the first installment in the series.
The player is a detective in Huntsville, Texas, trying to solve a series of crimes and discover the Big Boss behind the Special Organization "S.T.A.I.N." (the acronym's meaning is unknown). In each level, the player must find all the clues in the list and crack the clues on the crime computer to capture various criminals. Once all fourteen S.T.A.I.N.'s members are caught, the player locates their hideout and discovers that the Big Boss of S.T.A.I.N. is Gertrude Goodlittle, the town librarian. The ending shows the player reading a newspaper of S.T.A.I.N.'s capture.
Mystery Case Files: Huntsville marked the introduction of the hidden object game - a genre of casual game development in which a player must locate a list of objects which are hidden among many other objects on the computer screen. Once a player has located all the listed hidden objects, they progress on to the next area of game play. In case a player is unable to find a required object, many hidden object games offer a finite number of hints.
Like all Mystery Case Files titles, Huntsville relies heavily on hidden object game play. Upon completing each hidden object puzzle, players return to their 'Crime Computer' where they solve subsequent puzzles in order to gather evidence and help pinpoint the thief. A player is given a limited amount of time to complete each puzzle. If the player fails to successfully complete a puzzle in this time, he or she must begin again with an entirely new scenario.
Following its release on November 18, 2005, Mystery Case Files: Huntsville broke all previous casual game sales records by over 100%, selling over $1 million worth of digitally distributed (downloaded) copies in under three months. As a result, it moved into the top 10 sales positions on all major casual game distribution websites.
It was initially released in as an online game download for the PC and soon after for the Mac OS. In July, 2006, Big Fish Games signed an agreement with Activision Value to distribute the game beginning in September, 2006 at retail locations throughout the United States.
Prime Suspects is the second installment in the Mystery Case Files series. The player is again a detective and is tasked with investigating the disappearance of the Queen's Hope Diamond in Capital City. Prime Suspects adds items that players have to discover to unlock later levels (such as finding a battery to power a flashlight). Characters also became a more prominent part of the series with the investigation revolving around a list of 20 characters with different personality 'quirks'.
According to independent tracking site game-sales-charts.com, following its release on April 5, 2006, Mystery Case Files: Prime Suspects held the #1 sales spot on its home distribution channel, Big Fish Games, and has remained in the top 20 ever since. Leading casual games industry outlets such as Gamezebo.com have featured several articles featuring extremely positive reviews of the game.
Ravenhearst is the third installment, in which the detective as to solve a mystery in Blackpool, in the "Ravenhearst Manor", in which many of the doors are locked with Rube Goldberg device-esque puzzles. Several of the rooms--locked for over a hundred years--contain anachronistic technology.
Mystery Case Files: Ravenhearst was "the third-best-selling PC title in the United States for the week ending in the annual Black Friday shopping splurge" selling 100,000 copies in six weeks.
Return To Ravenhearst is the fifth installment. On June 18, 2013, a version of this game was released for the Windows Phone 8 Platform.
After the events at Fate's Carnival, the Master Detective (who has just escaped from the black ghost) travels back to Ravenhearst Manor, as freeing Emma Ravenhearst's soul has also released the bonds of Charles Dalimar, her murderer. Upon opening the gates of the Manor, Emma's ghost appears to the Detective; though she is grateful for being released, she warns that other spirits are still bound within the walls of the decrepit mansion, and that Charles will soon return.
The Master Detective breaks into the mansion and discovers a secret passage that leads to more sealed doors. The ghost of Rose Somerset, Emma's nursemaid in life, manifests and begs to be freed from Charles's hold. Spurred to help, the sleuth explores Ravenhearst's subterranean passages and Rose's prison in life, eventually discovering the maid's corpse in a coffin hooked up to strange tubing. Upon opening the coffin, Rose is finally able to escape, and gratefully asks the Master Detective for help in finding her young twin daughters, Gwendolyn and Charlotte. The girls' ghosts similarly appear to the sleuth; they both request help and warn that another Dalimar heir is hiding somewhere in the mansion. After finding Gwendolyn and Charlotte's coffin (also connected to odd tubes) and unbinding their spirits, the Detective encounters this heir: Victor Dalimar, Charles's son who, through black magic, has remained alive across the centuries.
Victor attacks and imprisons the sleuth, who quickly escapes and learns that Charles has come back to the mansion. Delving into the deepest part of Ravenhearst reveals the Dalimars' terrible secret--a machine that, with a combination of evil sorcery and technology, uses the souls of the dead to grant Charles and Victor immortality. Freeing Rose, Gwendolyn, and Charlotte has robbed the device of its power, leaving Charles helplessly suspended in a state between life and death. The Master Detective solves a final puzzle and overloads the machine, which causes a massive explosion that seems to destroy the elder Dalimar. Victor escapes using a time machine, warning that he will have his revenge on the sleuth. Undeterred, the Master Detective flees Ravenhearst and watches it burn. Rose, Gwendolyn, and Charlotte join Emma's spirit, and the four walk away from the ruins of their former prison, finally able to rest in peace.
In addition to the hidden object scenes, which were characteristc for the first title of the Ravenhearst series, the publishers have "added a graphic adventure component that allows players to explore and interact with the world of Ravenhearst like never before." It is now possible to move through the Ravenhearst manor, the surrounding estate and collect items interact with the environment. Puzzles and hidden object scenes are integrated into the different locations throughout the game. These scenes are tagged with frequent twinkles to attract the players interest. Return to Ravenhearst is the first installment of the Mystery Case Files series where "haunting performances from live actors" are used.
With Ravenhearst Manor destroyed, the Master Detective is attempting to return to London when a fierce blizzard rises, making travel impossible. The sleuth stops at a small deserted town named Dire Grove, a tourist destination that has closed for the autumn season. Ahead, the Master Detective sees a second abandoned car; investigation reveals a hastily scribbled note--"SHE IS REAL. THE LEGEND IS REAL."-- and a camcorder containing a tape of a young woman. She records herself writing the note, then leaves a desperate message begging for help. Determined to find the woman, the Master Detective travels closer to town, and discovers that the mysterious woman left several tapes behind in the hopes of being found. A dropped ID names her as Allison Sterling, a university student who traveled to Dire Grove with her friends Susan, Jack, and Matt after archaeologists discovered a relic nearby that Allison hoped to study.
The Master Detective begins to explore a local inn where Allison and her friends made their camp, its surrounding structures, and the town of Dire Grove itself, all as the weather grows increasingly cold. Throughout the search, the sleuth learns more about Allison's research into the "Legend of Dire Grove."
13th Skull is the seventh installment in the series, and the third to feature a live-action cast; the characters are set in a painted scene where the players can talk to them and ask various questions about the case.
Shortly after moving into a mansion in Louisiana, tragedy befalls Sara Lawson and her daughter after her husband, Marcus Lawson, mysteriously disappears. Sara contacts you, the Master Detective, to search for her husband and discover the secret of the 13th Skull.
Shadow Lake is the ninth installment, released on November 26, 2012.
The Master Detective seeks assistance from a psychic medium named Cassandra Williams while investigating the mysterious destruction of Bitterford, a ghost town near Sebec Lake in Maine, which had been destroyed by an earthquake. After meeting the Ghost Patrol, a news reporting team, they depart immediately. The Master Detective makes his/her way into Cassandra's room where she asks the player to solve the mysterious haunting in the destroyed town and assists the Detective with Auto-Drawings which allow them to see what has recently happened in a place that the Detective has visited. During their quest, the Detective encounters unusual events happening around the town, including a ghost named Ellen, who helps the Detective on their quest. A backstory is also revealed while meditating with Cassandra. A prisoner finds a strange horn-like relic with odd symbols in a mysterious shine. When attempting to escape, he loses it to the warden (who is Ellen's husband) that was chasing him. The warden took the relic home and his son later stole it when going to school. While up on the balcony, a girl tries to steal the relic but ends up making the boy fall to his death. His teacher finds his dead body along with the relic and takes it with him. The teacher later dies and while the nurse examines him, she finds mysterious symbols on his arm which look like the symbols on the relic. His arm suddenly attacks her before returning to normal. Later, the sheriff finds the warden's truck with his dead body in it and his arm suddenly moves with the relic's symbols shown on the truck's window. The nurse informs the sheriff of the cursed relic and they take it to the minister of the church. When they attempt to destroy it, the church collapses, killing them. Cassandra then realizes that the spirits of the people who touched that relic are trapped in it. After the Detective retrieves the relic, Cassandra triggers another flashback, which reveals the prisoner from before drawing something on a train tunnel wall before the earthquake happens and causes the tunnel to collapse, killing him. The Detective goes to examine the drawing, which is a map that shows where the prisoner found the relic. Cassandra then mysteriously disappears. The Detective then locates an escape tunnel inside the prisoner's cell, which leads to the mysterious shrine. Inside, he/she finds Cassandra, now possessed by the relic's evil spirit and is attempting to communicate with its master, an evil demon king named Adramalech, whom a group of scholars known as the Ameseconti Tribe worship. After the Detective steals the relic and replaces it with a fake one, he/she finds a strange pedestal in the back of the shrine and after solving its puzzle, it breaks the curse and frees the trapped spirits and Cassandra from the evil spirit's control. Ellen briefly possess Cassandra and asks the Detective to bring the relic to Shadow Lake. Arriving there, the Detective sees Ellen's hand come out of the water and he/she tosses it to her and she takes the relic underwater. With the cursed relic gone, the player has one last meeting with Cassandra, who is now planning to become a Master Detective herself.
Mystery Case Files: Agent X was released on April 14, 2008 and is the first title in the Mystery Case Files franchise to be released for a portable device. Mystery Case Files: Agent X is only usable by Glu Mobile capable cell-phones.
Mystery Case Files: MillionHeir was released on September 8, 2008 and is the second game in the Mystery Case Files franchise to be released for a portable device. Mystery Case Files: MillionHeir requires a Nintendo DS system and was published by Nintendo.
Mystery Case Files: The Malgrave Incident was released on June 27, 2011 and is the second game in the Mystery Case Files franchise to be published by Nintendo. Mystery Case Files: The Malgrave Incident is playable for the Wii.
Mystery Case Files: Spirits of Blackpool was released on October 24, 2013 and is the first title in the Mystery Case Files franchise to be published for iOS. It was first released on the Canadian App Store and is playable for the Apple iPad.