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Joseph Rositano
31 Oct, 2008

Mystery Case Files: MillionHeir Review

DS Review | Another mystery to solve on the DS.
The Mystery Case Files series have been successful in the casual PC games market. The games have always been centred around one simple goal: finding hidden objects. Over the years, the series has expanded by introducing assistant tools, puzzles and, more importantly, storylines. Now developer Big Fish Games has set their sights on the Nintendo DS, and the end result is another fun and enticing Touch Generations game.

Like previous entries in the series, Mystery Case Files: MillionHeir sees players assume the role of a detective. You’re assigned to investigate the disappearance of famed millionaire Phil T. Rich. Your investigation will lead you to different suspects, all who know Phil in different ways and have something to gain from him. The story doesn’t really go any deeper than this, but it will at least hold your interest from beginning to end.

As mentioned, your main goal is to find objects that are hidden in crowded environments. It’s set up like a scavenger hunt; you’re given a list and have a time limit to find everything. As you progress, you’ll also encounter objects which require interaction. An example is a bee sting. For this, you need to find a bee and draw a stinger on it. In other cases you might need to crack an egg, flip a coin or draw rings around a planet. It’s quite thought provoking and adds some originality to the standard seek and solve formula.

In case you have trouble, you have the option of using hints, which highlight the general area where an object is located. Depending on the difficulty level, there are also a few restrictions you’ll need to take into account. Firstly, you have a limited amount of hints to use. Secondly, if you cheat by repeatedly tapping on random objects the timer will slowly deplete. It’s designed to keep the gameplay balanced, though most players will never feel pressured. Everything’s kept at a casual pace.

  
We know what happened - Phil T. Rich lost all his money playing poker.

We know what happened - Phil T. Rich lost all his money playing poker.
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In most seek and solve games, environments are spread across the whole screen, but given the size of the DS, the developers have had to be a little more resourceful. The top screen displays the list of items you need to find, as well as a zoomed out image of the environment. The touch screen zooms in on the action, and players can move by either dragging the stylus, using the D-pad or, for left handed players, use the face buttons. While it’s certainly not imaginative by any stretch, it’s at least functional and keeps thing smooth.

Unfortunately, MillionHeir can get a little repetitive during extended play sessions. To combat this, the game mixes things up by incorporating assistant tools. Essentially, the assistant tools let you hunt objects in different ways. X-Ray Specs let you observe objects hidden within other objects, goggles let you see clearly under water, and there’s even a flashlight tool that lights up dark areas. Additionally, between levels you need to complete different activities. These range from solving jigsaw puzzles to spotting the differences between two pictures. While nothing too spectacular, they offer a nice break from object finding and are varied enough to keep you interested.

For the first time in the Mystery Case Files series, players can compete with up to three friends in multiplayer modes. MillionHeir features two modes: Scavenger Hunt and Hot-Seat. In Scavenger Hunt, players can play a Cooperative, Verses or Team Verses match, where they try to find objects before other players. Hot-Seat requires only one Nintendo DS system. The idea behind it is there’s a timer running in the background, and each player takes turns trying to find an object. If the timer runs out during your turn, then you lose. Unfortunately, to play Scavenger Hunt you’ll need to find three mates who also own a copy of the game. On the plus side, you can entice them to make the purchase by sending a demo to their DS system.

One of the appealing things in MillionHeir is that everything is drawn by hand. To keep things interesting, there’s also movement in the background. In a bar, for example, a television switches between shows, while in a shed you’ll see a hook swinging back and forth. It's mesmorizing to watch, and it shows Big Fish Games has put some effort into making MillionHeir standout from other casual flair. The soundtrack is suitably toned, never being over dramatic and giving players a sense of mystery. Sound effects also play in the background and reflect on each area, such as the crackles of a fireplace in Phil’s study and birds chirping in the gardens.

  
The game looks nice on the DS.

The game looks nice on the DS.
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While the mechanics haven’t changed much from the PC titles, Mystery Case Files: MillionHeir is a worthy addition to the DS library. The game is perfect for quick pick up and play sessions, there’s a lot of replay value on offer, and as a whole everything is presented nicely. If you’re looking for something with depth though, there are better titles available.
The Score
Mystery Case Files: MillionHeir is a worthy addition to the DS library. It’s great for quick pick up and play sessions, there’s a lot of replay value on offer, and it’s neatly presented. If you haven’t liked other Touch Generation titles however, then you need not apply. 7
Looking to buy this game right now? PALGN recommends www.Play-Asia.com.

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8 Comments
5 years ago
Meh for $34 or whatever it is - im gonna give this one a shot.

Sometimes i just like getting away from deep/lengthy console games.
5 years ago
I finished this one last week and really enjoyed it, sure it's not that deep, but I couldn't stop playing it...

Some really nice environments to hunt around in and pretty unique gameplay made for an enjoyable experience.
5 years ago
I've played other versions on PC of Mystery Case files and it get's you hooked however these are just downloadable straight from their website for a fee. If this is retailing for $34 there would need to be a heap more content. Cause with DLC they average out at about 3-4 dollars for PC version if your a member of big fish games.
5 years ago
Really? I'll have to take a gander at that!
5 years ago
You can download demos of the PC games as well by the way. Apparently over 1 million people have downloaded demos.
5 years ago
I'm stuck in MillionHeir. I'm at the screen where there are all nuts and bolts and all 4 sides have to match. It's 2 weeks now and I still can't get it. Anyone out there with the answer?
Pam
5 years ago
scarlett101 wrote
I'm stuck in MillionHeir. I'm at the screen where there are all nuts and bolts and all 4 sides have to match. It's 2 weeks now and I still can't get it. Anyone out there with the answer?
Pam
You have to do that a couple of times thoughout the game. The easiest way (and yeah, probably cheating a little but given you're stuck...) is to watch one corner nut very carefully and see what position it starts in before they get jumbled.

Restore that to its correct place and then combined with the edges around the puzzle it should be fairly straightforward.
5 years ago
Yeah, I got stuck with one of them. Do what MrAndyPuppy said, before they get jumbled try to remember the location of a few. Makes things so much easier. It should reset automatically when you load up your profile.
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  Pre-order or buy:
    PALGN recommends: www.Play-Asia.com

Australian Release Date:
  1/10/2008 (Confirmed)
Publisher:
  Nintendo
Genre:
  Strategy
Year Made:
  2008

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