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Publisher: Big Fish Games    Genre: Puzzle & Trivia
Min OS X: 10.4    CPU: Intel

Blood Ties
December 17, 2008 | John Samsel

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Blood Ties, developed by Merscom and published by Big Fish Games, is a new hidden object game, based of the show of the same name, where you solve a series of missing person cases. I guess the question that I am here to help you answer is that is this a case worth taking on? Why don’t we find out?

Taking the Case
Blood Ties is really your typical Hidden Object game. There are case files given, and locations to find the various objects. I definitely appreciate that there is a reason to find these scattered objects for “clue” purposes, as opposed to arbitrarily being tasked to find random objects. Yeah, granted, the objects themselves are still arbitrary. (Yes, this sock and plunger are clues for the case. No, you may not ask why! You don’t want to know…) Otherwise, a nice touch it is that the game seems to be much sharper and a slightly higher resolution, than other Hidden Object games. Instead of wondering whether this mass of pixels is an item or not, it is just easier to identify the objects. There are hints that can be used for each case as well, with additional symbols hidden in each location to activate further hint uses.

Unfortunately (or fortunately), that is all there is to this game. There are no other mini-games to keep up variety. So there is no puzzle or any other game type to keep you entertained with.

There is also a dull presentation to the game. The story is given through dull menus showcasing the characters from the show, sending you on these cases to find fragments to complete a talisman of sorts to keep this demon Astaroth at bay. Each case file gives a blurb about the person, and that really is it. Having not watched the show, I cannot say whether these cases tie into the overall mythology of the series, or may feature easter eggs for fans. As an outsider, though, it did not do much to entice me.

Graphics and Sound
As mentioned above, the graphics are definitely at a higher resolution than most other games of this type. Objects are then much more distinct and easier to find. Style-wise, most locals have an urban nighttime street vibe that would be expected for a crime drama. It is really what you would expect.

Audio-wise, it is standard, moody ambient music, equally suited to the atmosphere made. There are random sound effects, such as footsteps and rustling paper here and there, coming in and out whenever.

Case Closed?
Overall, Blood Ties is not that bad of a game, even the score might indicate otherwise. Purely as a hidden object game, there are better ones, but there are much worse. What hurts the game most is just the lack of mini-games to add variety.

• Decent graphics

• No variety
• Lackluster presentation

Blood Ties
Publisher: Big Fish Games
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