Mystery Case Files: Prime Suspects” is the second in the popular Big Fish Games Mystery Case Files hidden-object game series. The first is “Mystery Case Files: Huntsville,” but you do not have to play the first in order to play the second—each is its own stand-alone game. They are similar in some ways to other hidden-object type games in that there are a variety of locations to explore and lists of objects that change with each round or level. The chronology of the game is character-based rather than location-based, as some other games are. This article explains the game and win.
Basic Game Play
1. The premise of the game is that the Queen’s Hope Diamond, which was on loan and on display at the Capital City Gallery, has been stolen. Suspects include a colorful variety of characters, each of whom has a dark (and somewhat larcenous) past. From the cast four will become the prime suspects, with one revealed as the culprit. To find out whodunit you will be introduced to each potential suspect through his or her case report, which includes a brief history and current activities. Investigating each character leads you to different locations around town where you must find approximately eight objects in each location. Once you find the required number of objects, you are taken to the “crime computer” to ascertain that person’s possible guilt or innocence.
2. The “crime computer” is actually one of three mini-games used to end each level. One is a “sliding tiles” game in which a picture of a location has been scrambled. You can exchange tiles by clicking on one tile followed by the one you wish to exchange it with. When the picture is reformed, it shows the whereabouts of the potential suspect currently under investigation.
Another mini-game is a memory game, which is played the same as most other memory games. Clicking on a tile turns it over; you must turn over matching pairs of tiles until all the tiles have been removed. Once the tiles are removed another location and potential suspect is revealed as either innocent or a prime suspect.
The third memory game is a word search. There is no list, and the letters are all from different fonts made to resemble a ransom note cut from a magazine. This makes them a bit difficult to read, but the lists are usually short—no more than 10 objects. Unfortunately, the list is not pre-written. Instead, you’re given a subject and are instructed to find words relating to that subject, such as types of trees. These are all basic, well-known subjects and types with no hidden oddities. For example, trees include pecan, chestnut, elm and oak (to name a few)—not gingko or Japanese red maple.
3. At the end of the game you have your four prime suspects and must figure out which among them is the true thief. To do that you must—you guessed it—find hidden objects in many locations until a final sliding mini-game reveals the answer.
4. That’s not quite the end of it, though: the diamond is still missing. You’re charged with finding the jewel box containing the diamond. It’s been stashed in one of the locations. There are no other objects to find, and with the picture given in your case report it is fairly easy to spot among the other bizarre and out-of-place objects.
5. Is it over now? Not quite—one last mini-game to open the box and reveal the hidden crown jewel. This mini-game is different from the others. It requires you to place seven of eight jewels in an eight-pointed star on the outside of the box. You must place a jewel on one of the points, and then slide it to one of the adjacent points where it will stay. You must do this with each jewel until all seven are placed. If this game gives you trouble, read ahead to solve it.
SPOILER ALERT—Do not read any further if you plan to solve the mini-game yourself. Ready? To solve the puzzle is simple: Place a stone on one of the points (it doesn’t matter which). Slide it to one of the two adjacent points, which should be lit or flashing. Again, it doesn’t matter which one you slide it to. Now place a stone in the OTHER point that was adjacent to the starting point. Slide it into the starting point. Again, two points should be lit; you must make sure to slide the gem into the one you originally started from. Next place a gem in the OTHER point adjacent to your second starting point. Now slide it into your second starting point. Continue in this manner until all seven of the gems are placed and ta-dah! You’re a winner.
The game can be played again and will have different lists, possibly even a different thief. The game does not have an “unlimited” hidden-object search that other games sometimes allow you to unlock by winning the game or by finding special objects as you go, so the only option is to start the game over again.