|Publisher: Big Fish Games Genre: Puzzle & Trivia|
|Min OS X: 10.3 CPU: G3 @ 400 MHz RAM: 128 MB Hard Disk: 120 MB|
|Mystery Case Files: Madame Fate|
May 2, 2008 | David Peck
Mystery Case Files: Madame Fate is the latest Spot-The-Object (STO) puzzle game from Big Fish Games. In case you're not familiar, the developer establishes a premise, a theme, and a reason for the player to visually search through multiple screens looking for a vast array of dissimilar objects, usually in very cluttered settings. It's an eye-brain exercise, as in just how observant are you?
In this case the theme is the Big Top and mysterious Madame Fate, the fortune teller who can make $5 disappear in the blink of an eye, is gifted with second sight, seeing the future, and talking with spirits, but for some reason is having a hard time determining why she is going to perish at the stroke of midnight. The irony of it all! You, the player are gracious enough to volunteer as the concerned private dick (as in detective), searching for the essential clues to corner the culprit(s) and reveal the plot!
Those of you familiar with the genre all ready know, it's really all about the puzzles. The plot is just fluff, a reason to get you looking for "stuff", all kinds of stuff. This aspect of the game comes with the territory. Find 3 stars, a duck, a trowel, a pair of soiled underpants, a speaker, 2 headless kittens, a microscope, a Dingman mouth gag, 3 snakes, a grand orrery, and a lightning bolt.
Ok, I admit to taking some liberties with the list to liven it up a bit. But what do 3 snakes and couple of ducks have to do with discovering the murder plot?? Oh, never mind, it's better to just go with the flow. Hmm, I wonder if anyone has thought about an adult version of this type of game? Anyway before I distract myself with the possibilities, that's the idea and it sounds pretty easy.
How hard can it be looking for objects that are laying there in plain sight? Turns out pretty hard, especially when the graphics, though they are high quality and colorful, are not as crisp and clear as I'd like them to be, hindering my ability to spot all the "stuff". Many objects seem to sit in the shadows. Therefore the difficulty of this game is a notch above its competition in this regard. And I'd be ok with that if not for the timer. Even with a 60 minute timer I was having difficulty finishing up a location of 4 scenes and a couple of mini-puzzles. But keep in mind I don't consider myself a STO-Puzzle whiz.