E3 2008: Mystery Case Files: MillionHeir Impressions

Phil T. Rich has gone missing, but rather then ransack his mansion, we decide to go looking for him.

The Mystery Case Files series has met with some success on the PC. The adventure genre has found new life on the Nintendo DS, however, and the platform seems like a particularly good fit for pixel-hunting, puzzle-solving exploration. At E3 2008, we played the newest iteration of the series, MillionHeir, on the show floor. Not only has the item-searching gameplay found its way intact, but the stylus solidly approximates the standard mouse controls experienced adventurers are accustomed to.

Unfortunately, there wasn't much to the demo we played. The story starts off simply: a few static scenes inform you that the monocled millionaire Phil T. Rich has disappeared, and it's up to you to locate him. To do so, you have to investigate various environments and search for clues. This means scrolling about a static artistic rendering of an area that's littered with the oddest objects, and tapping the items you need to continue the investigation. The first scene we explored required us to find a necktie, a trumpet, a soccer ball, a hammer, and a cookie. Don't ask what these items have to do with each other, or what makes them more important than the other odd objects strewn about the screen. The game asks you to find them, and that's all that's important.

We completed two of these "Where's Waldo"-esque scenes. The second one had even weirder items to find, like a celery stalk, a dog collar, and a stalk of broccoli (perhaps the victim is a vegetarian pet owner?), and once we'd found them, they were fed into the Crime Computer, which analyzed the "data." Perhaps it's also best not to ask how this supercomputer can reach conclusions after you feed it a soccer ball and a parking meter.

The final puzzle involved sliding nine tiles around until we completed a picture, and that was the end of the demo. While the gameplay wasn't very involving, the art was beautifully drawn and featured a colorful and vibrant style. If you like simple picture-based puzzle games and the idea of solving them on the go, Mystery Case Files: MillionHeir may be worth keeping an eye on. The game is due to be released on September 8, 2008.

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Kevin-V

Kevin VanOrd

GameSpot senior editor Kevin VanOrd has a cat named Ollie who refuses to play bass in Rock Band.
Mystery Case Files: MillionHeir

Mystery Case Files: MillionHeir

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14 comments
Phoenix2Raven
Phoenix2Raven

sounds like the hidden object games which i love to play on the pc so hopefully this will be done well. cause some adventure games on the ds looks like they didn't even try at all. there was one game where i touched the far right of the screen and my character started walking to the left, wtf, is it so hard to program right for the touch screen and put out decent quality games.

gmax
gmax

Might be kind of early in the process for this one... Woah - except for that release date. Maybe the demo was old.

Hungry_bunny
Hungry_bunny

No thanks, puzzles are fun but that sounds a little too... vibrant and colorful.

Cube_of_MooN
Cube_of_MooN

[This message was deleted at the request of the original poster]

playstation_wii
playstation_wii

The DS is a good place for puzzle gamse, and I hope that this one turns out well.

grambyte
grambyte

Sigh, these kind of games make me tired...

BontraXenderKyl
BontraXenderKyl

Well, the 'great graphics' in puzzle-games not necessary at whole

Lord_Tigger
Lord_Tigger

I love the Mystery Case Files series. Very challenging, lots of fun puzzles, and some great graphics.