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    Mystery Case Files 3: Ravenhearst (HOG)

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    genkicoll

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    Mystery Case Files 3: Ravenhearst (HOG)

    Post by genkicoll on Sat Jan 07, 2012 7:46 pm

    Mystery Case Files: Ravenhearst
    by Big Fish Games - December, 2006

    Series links:  Please see the Mystery Case Files Series Index 

    Available at:
    Big Fish for PC and Mac



    Rumors surrounding the history of stately Ravenhearst Manor  have circulated for decades. The recently acquired diary of Emma  Ravenhearst may hold the key to unraveling the tale behind this  unsettling place, yet the pages are missing. Players assume the role of  Master Detective to unlock secrets held within Ravenhearst, scouring a  myriad of enchanting rooms in the manor for cleverly hidden clues.  Locating and assembling diary pages helps tell the story of the house  and, ultimately, unlock the mystery.

    • Dozens of puzzles to solve.
    • Thousands of unique items to find
    • Walkthrough (Gamezebo)

    Click images to enlarge
    __


    Last edited by genkicoll on Tue Jan 21, 2014 10:56 am; edited 4 times in total
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    genkicoll

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    Re: Mystery Case Files 3: Ravenhearst (HOG)

    Post by genkicoll on Mon Jan 09, 2012 1:32 pm

    This is the start of a storyline that is touched upon in Madame Fate (MCF4) and continued in MCF5: Return to Ravenhearst (RTR being the first IHOG-adventure of the series).

    The number one thing I remember about Ravenhearst is the story. It starts out as "just" a hidden object game with a romance as the theme... but it evolves into a dark and compelling story.

    I am now replaying this game for the first time in 10 months, and so, here begins the "now"-perspective review:

    Mystery Case Files 3: Ravenhearst (HOG)

    Options include Music, Sound and Effects, with a Full-screen/Windowed option.

    I had forgotten that this game starts out in a way that you cannot mistake for a simple romance. The main menu graphics are dark and eerie, with environmental music and ambiance.

    Clicking on "Strategy Guide" on this page doesn't seem to do anything, as it does not take you out of the game. Upon exiting the game (or Alt-tabbing out of it), you will see that the strategy guide page at Big Fish has popped up, should you like to purchase it (Door-puzzle guide).

    You have two difficulty options: Detective Mode (normal, timed gameplay) or Relaxed Mode (which gives you extra time).

    There are no cut-scenes, but plenty of story (which I recommend, as the story is quite interesting) via Emma Ravenhearst's diary entries, which you will find throughout the game.

    You have FIVE hints to use per "level". The introductory level has three rooms to search, one of which can't be done until you solve the "puzzle lock". The number of rooms to search increases as you progress through the game. You do not have to find every single item (they give you a two-item leeway), but HINTS are limited, so use them wisely!

    A slight irritation is that you have to wait for a moment for your "crime computer" to register that you've found each item - you can't click one object after another because the "computer" won't notice that you've clicked on the additional items.

    At the end of every level is a jigsaw-type puzzle, yellowed like an old black and white photograph (as indeed, I'm sure it was meant to be), for you to put together. Finishing the puzzle will bring you a scrolling-text version of Emma's diary entry. You can access it anytime via the diary (top right) or skip it altogether - your choice.

    You will revisit levels throughout the game, but never the same set of rooms (ie. at the beginning you visit the front porch, entryway and the parlor. On level two you visit the entryway, dining room and servant's quarters). Items-to-find are randomized, so you may need to find one item you've had to find before, but six new ones on the list... Or you may have an entirely new list - it is, after all, random! Snicker

    Now, back to the "puzzle locks" aka "door puzzles". You must figure out the door puzzles before you can access certain rooms (it will be obvious which ones, as you'll see a big picture of a lock representing the room!) Click everywhere, try everything. These puzzles are SKIPPABLE, but there is a penalty, and you will lose all of your hints for the next level. The skip option can be accessed by clicking on the telephone on right hand side. (Thank you, Grammaton, for the tip about the phone!)

    If you get stuck, Big Fish has solutions to all of the locks on their MCF: Ravenhearst forum page. The puzzles do make sense, so give it a try before you peek at the solution! I'm having a lot of fun trying to figure them out on my own.

    Graphics-wise, there's a lot to take in. There are odd items scattered everywhere, and yet the developers kept the "feel" of it from being overwhelmingly cluttered. The way the music, story, graphics and gameplay work together to create a mysterious and eerie ambiance.

    I am happy to be revisiting this classic Mystery Case Files game, and the beginning of a truly enthralling game story. :thumb:
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    JustTheFacts

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    Re: Mystery Case Files 3: Ravenhearst (HOG)

    Post by JustTheFacts on Tue Jan 21, 2014 8:38 am

    Interesting Antique
    Sunny Sunny Sunny

    BASED ON COMPLETED GAME

    FIRST IMPRESSIONS
    This, the third game of the Mystery Case Files series, is also the first of the series-within-a-series, the Ravenhearst games. I can see in this game the origins of some of the great traditions for which MCF is known. But it is still an archaic game, and not much fun to play.

    SIGHTS & SOUNDS
    Ravenhearst is miles more sophisticated than the first two MCF games. Not only are the graphics much better, but the gameplay and story treatment improves too. But the graphics are still awful, the HOP scenes are still junkpiles of irrelevant stuff, and some items are still tiny or partially hidden. The jigsaw games at the end of each chapter are distorted by the no-WS stretch, and are therefore more difficult to play.

    I do like the improvements in sound, however. The music is varied, both eerie and suspenseful. There are some great sound effects, and there is the moaning and whispering of faint voices, just out of hearing range. Lovely spooky stuff!

    WHAT’S HAPPENING?
    Ravenhearst Manor’s story is shrouded in mystery and myth.  Is it haunted? By whom? Emma’s diary may have the answers, but pages are missing from it. Your latest assignment, Master Detective, is to discover the missing pages, and reveal their secrets. It is a classic haunted house tale. The nice thing about it, is it is a story. One that unfolds for us with the recovery of the diary pages. It is very involving, and even knowing the end, I still found myself looking forward to each new unveiling.

    GAMEPLAY
    This is a HOP game, and there are no inventory items, quests or side tracks along the way between HOPs. But there are puzzles. At the end of each chapter, a jigsaw in sepia must be completed to move on. As well, most locations have a “puzzle lock” to be opened in order to enter them. These are what are now seen as classic MCF puzzle boards, where a series of moves, most of which you can only discover by trial and error and a lot of random clicking, eventually activates a contraption that opens the door. These are far from easy and get harder as you progress, but there is no skip option. You can use your (limited number of) hints.

    The HOPs are standard word lists, still as cluttered and irrelevant as the other games, and just as irritating. Here, where you need them, the vast improvements in graphics are not so noticeable. You travel across 32 locations (HOP scenes) in the house, repeating some several times.

    The game is different in a couple of other ways as well. There are two modes of play, regular and relaxed. Both are timed, but relaxed gives you more time. And we see what I imagine are some of the earliest morphing objects. They are not for collection, simply to add an extra layer of creep and charm to the game.

    COMBINED IMPACT
    Of its kind and time, this is an excellent game, showing the ability to adapt and improve over the previous MCF games. It is still too archaic, though, to play for fun unless you have far greater tolerance than I for awful graphics and repetitious gameplay. But those puzzle boards are something else!

    I Don't Recommend This Game!

      Zoo Tek Phoenix

      Current date/time is Fri Jul 21, 2017 11:42 pm