2006 - Era of Sleuthing?
In 2006 gaming world was booming; and worldly wise puzzle fans seemed to have tried all possible types of puzzles. Nothing seemed to impress them. Yet this belief was shuttered by Big Fish Games studio.
In the end of 2005 they released Mystery Case Files: Huntsville, which marked the beginning of new era in casual gaming: sleuthing era. That game was representative of a brand-new game genre - detective puzzle (or clicking puzzle). Needless to say, the point of the game is to track the required number of clues hidden on the picture just by clicking them.
Since that time, Big Fish have been releasing new versions of the same puzzle concept and each time a game appears to be a hit. Let's look into Big Fish success calendar:
Mystery Case Files: Huntsville - autumn 2005
Mystery Case Files: Prime Suspects - April 2006
Mystery Case Files: Ravenhearst - December 2006
But MСF game series was not enough for Big Fish. They used the same engine, only changed the game settings (graphics and flavor of the game), and thus, came up with two more titles that proved to be as successful.
The first one is Travelogue 360:Paris released in November 2006. What you get here is the same clicking puzzle. No sign of "sleuthing" here. It is all about hunting for the clues on the streets of Paris.
In this game list we've missed one title released by Big Fish in July. The great thing is that this game still remains in top 10 downloads of major casual game portals:
Hidden Expedition: Titanic
The game is of MCF- Huntsville type. Legendary Titanic is found and your task is to plunge into the depths of water and to find different objects. Decks and cabins are numerous on the gigantic ship so you'll have to rummage attentively every corner.
What a huge ship! Titanic was called so because of its enormous size. Legendary ship that sank in the beginning of the 20th century left many unsolved riddles. Are you ready to unriddle them?! Then off we go to the deep waters!
Your task is to examine a number of rooms and to find required objects in each cabin. Which is not easy at all cause a terrible wreck and dozens of underwater years set their seal on a ship...
So on each level you'll have to examine 3 rooms. There is a list of different objects to find in each room. The sooner you find them the better.
All cabins and working premises are in terrible mess; so be attentive -you can be looking for a sticker, a simple reflection in the muddy glass or even for a silhouette on the wall.
To change the scene you can move from one room to another in your search.
To do it go to the ‘menu' and chose another cabin there.
Don't forget that you have only one air tank per each submersion. If you run short of air before the level is finished you'll lose. But there is a secret: a spare air tank is waiting for you in one of the rooms. If you find it you'll be able to refill your tank and to get spare time for this level.
We strongly recommend you to gather pearls - though they are not in your list they'll bring you bonus points.
Use mouse to play - aim an arrow at the object you found and click a left button.
If you found right object it will flash and rise to the surface.
By the way we don't recommend you to click on every random object.
In this case the chances to find the needed object are not very high but instead you may lose a lot of precious air.
So, as we see, detective puzzles have become a cutting edge genre this year. Some companies tried cloning them and thus, which led to many titles being released this year that were inspired by MCF. Here is a couple of the most popular ones:
In Paparazzi, you are to track and photograph cleverly hidden stuff in a celebrity's mansion in order to make money the sooner the better. Once in a while you'll have to photograph something that appears on the playfield and lingers there for a while (e.g. aliens), to get a reflex bonus. So, in contrast to MCF and Hidden Expedition: Titanic, this game is not about sleuthing, but about photographing. It features colorful graphics, and a great doze of humor in every level. Its graphics and plot is much more light and colorful. Download Paparazzi game
Diamond Detective - a detective puzzle developed by GameHouse in the moment when sleuthing was a cutting edge game genre. As far as the game play is concerned, this is just a plain and easy matching game with the game play of Magic match. You are to form chains of diamonds on the playfield in order to get the clues for some diamond crimes. At the end of each stage you'll have to bust the criminal by solving an interesting puzzle. Download Diamond Detective
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