Scavenger hunting with a couple of twists...
Mystery Case Files: MillionHeir is the 6th game in the series of locating hidden or well camouflage items in order to complete the game. Yet like all other Mystery Case Files, MillionHeir has a small story to add where the detective (you) is required to investigate the disappearance of the very wealthy and eccentric millionaire Mr Phil T Rich by analysing the suspects and ultimately dispose of him/her in addition of finding out the next heir to Mr Rich’s throne.
Armed with the stylus and naturally the DS, you’ll be utilising both top and bottom screens of the DS to locate, manipulate or otherwise within the given time limit (if applicable) and hints. Considering the start of the game there are two levels of expertise being beginner where there’s no time limits and plenty of hints or the detective mode where there’s an allocated time limit and less hints.
Through out the game, locating objects is by tapping on the bottom screen and if ‘approved’ will provide a nice chime however continuously tapping in the incorrect area/s can result a time penalty. In addition to all of this, you’ll acquire several objects to locate the very difficult items by using the ‘x-ray’ machine, a flashlight for dark places, goggles to see underwater and manipulate objects by using the ‘hand’ icon. So you can see it’s a little more than just touching the screen to locate all of the items.
There are other mini games to make this adventure more thrilling and certainly helps the momentum going. Games like jigsaw puzzles (to assist with your analysis), a very simple memory game (for finger print investigation), spot-the-difference and to those who knows ‘The Incredible Machine’ games, there’s a couple of those where you need to complete a series of events like release the cat whilst avoiding the dog but make sure the cat doesn’t eat the bird and so forth. Yet all of these extra activities do serve a purpose within the story other than just ‘being there’.
Considering the DS is certainly not a power console, visually the game looks impressive. All of the items are well camouflaged and will take a careful eye to locate the entire set. Yet there are items that the description is a little vague and only the ‘hints’ option can save the day but thankfully they are few and far between. There are also some moving objects like dripping water or sparks from a loose wire however it’s subtle enough not to deter your ‘treasure hunting’ ability. All of the screens are artistically hand drawn and serves well to hide all of the objects from the causal onlooker. The only disadvantage is that considering the DS has two small screens, at times you’ll find yourself getting cross-eyed or peering very close to the screen.
Sound wise, the game does really shine. From the opening tunes to searching and ending credits, all of the compositions are well tuned for this type of game. All of the tunes remind me of Miss Marple’s mystery shows and at times I felt any time now Miss Marple will make a special guest appearance. Other sounds like the crackling fire, water dripping, squeaky floorboards and so forth adds immersion to the game and really is quite impressive for what the DS can produce.
One feature that was added to MillionHeir is the multiplayer option as this facet wasn’t there in any previous Mystery Case Files. You can play using the wifi to challenge another player to see who can locate the items the fastest or if you only have one DS, you can opt for hot seating which means once the person locates an item s/he will hand over the DS to the other player/s to locate the item until the specified time is up. In addition to all of this, the single player story mode has two levels of difficultly being the ‘rookie’ (untimed mode with more hints) or the ‘detective’ (timed mode with fewer hints). Once you have completed the game unlocks the third mode ‘gumshoe’ (short time limit per item).
Mystery Case Files: MillionHeir on the surface looks like your typical treasure hunting game similar to those ‘Where’s Waldo’ games. Of course there’s no Waldo but plenty of obscure and well hidden items that will test your eyesight ability. As far as game play is concern, nothing has really changed from the previous Mystery Case Files games save the multiplayer option. By all means this is not to say it’s not enjoyable as Big Fish has done well creating those mini games to break the ice therefore testing out the other part of the brain doing jigsaws, join the dots and so forth. Play it for what its worth however don’t take this game too seriously though.