Mystery Case Files 5: Return to Ravenhearst
This is the game that started it all; a landmark in the industry. Never before had a hidden object game allowed you to walk around at will and collect items, adventure-style. Return to Ravenhearst
was the first of its kind.
Options include separate sliders for Music, SFX and Environment, plus full-screen or windowed.
My system wouldn't run it full-screen until I changed my desktop resolution to 800x600
, but being able to play this incredible game again was totally worth the inconvenience. Sadly, the Steam overlay doesn't work with this one.MCF: Return to Ravenhearst
continues the story that began in MCF 3: Ravenhearst
, and was VERY briefly (right at the end) touched upon in MCF 4: Madame Fate
. Learn just how far Charles Dalimar was willing to go to hold on to his one "true love". This is a dark and disturbing tale, which features both spirits and a madman psychopath. Fair WARNING that if it's creepy-crawly, it's in this game! ;
You do not have to play the two previous installments to understand the game, but I recommend at least checking out the story segments of Ravenhearst on Youtube before starting this one!
This is the first game in the MCF series that uses live actors for its cutscenes. They're nicely environmental, although one actor in particular tends towards corny rather than scary. ;p
We have a very detailed journal
, which will not only track clues and observations, but also grace us with extra story (woohoo for those of us who like to read!) It will also track your in-game time, which is used to compete against the Top 10 (pre-populated) players on the Main Menu page.
There is no MAP
in this game, nor any form of fast-travel. You'll be doing a lot of to-ing and fro-ing, but the environment is so beautifully-crafted that I did not mind this for the most part.
Backtracking is very logical, but you are required to remember things that modern games hold your hand on. For instance, "I just found an electrical fuse... Where did I see something like that, again?" In today's games, the answer would be scrawled boldly across your journal, but it's not like that in Return to Ravenhearst
. You are actually required to think in this one... Or you can just backtrack and look for sparkles! lol~
The Hidden Object Scenes
are plentiful, and will usually be visited more than once. The to-find lists are randomized, and it's actually a blessing when you are asking to find something that was listed previously. Some of these items are so well-hidden that reactions - when you finally find them - range from "OMG, I did not see that at all!" to the silent, but expressive *face palm
take at least
three minutes to refill, but each time you find a hidden object or new inventory item, the meter will get a boost and speed up a bit. There are no directional hints in the adventure portion, but if you're stuck, you can pick up an inventory item and drop it on the hint button.
There are of course mini-games aplenty, and SKIPPING
a puzzle will add 30 minutes to your in-game time counter, as well as locking up your hint button for a while. There are no instructions for the mini-games, and while they're not as hard to figure out as the door locks in the first Ravenhearst
, they can take some time to figure out.
While we're talking about puzzles, one of the ones towards the very end is a real doozy, and that brings me to the dreaded Whack-a-troll mini. The reason I mention it is that I have friends with poor coordination, and I'd hate for them to miss out on this game! For them, I offer this tip: You do not technically need to complete the whack-a-troll sequence. The item that you are awarded by the minigame will help you get a hint for the aforementioned puzzle, but you can still finish the game without using it. The hint you will obtain from using this item is in the spoiler below:
Added to journal after using the coin (from the whack-a-troll mini) on the telescope:
is breathtaking, utilizing a full orchestra for effect. Tracks range from spooky to haunting to moving to downright chilling.
This is a very long game, taking on average 7 to 8 hours to complete. There is a lot of adventure gameplay to it, but it is of course heavy on the HOS, as well.MCF: Return to Ravenhearst
is a one-of-a-kind, even after all of these years. It is darkly environmental, immersing you in the tale of what those in the manor had to endure, without ever pushing you into the realm of actual fear. This is truly a game to experience, and one which I highly recommend.