Study: Casual Video Games Helps Reduce Depression and Anxiety

I believe this to be true. At the end of 2009, I played Bejeweled Blitz for hours — something I rarely do. We had a family crisis and there wasn’t anything I could do about it. Playing the game gave me purpose (trying to top my friends’ high scores) and helped me relax a little. Games also come to the rescue when my brain won’t focus.

It’s like those times when you don’t feel like going to a party or another social event. Once you get there, smile and chat… you feel better. Casual games (non-violent, family-friendly) do that for me and I can get on with my day. Here are the details of the study:

East Carolina University’s Psychophysiology Lab and Biofeedback Clinic completed a year-long randomized, controlled clinical study to look at the efficiency of casual video games for reducing symptoms of depression and anxiety. Almost 60 subjects that met the criteria of clinical depression participated in the study. Half of the subjects were part of the control group. The participants played three family-friendly, non-violent puzzle games: Bejeweled 2, Peggle and Bookworm Adventures. (All of the games are made by PopCap Games, underwriter of the study.)

The result was a 57 percent reduction of depression symptoms along with improved moods.

“The results of this study clearly demonstrate the intrinsic value of certain casual games in terms of significant, positive effects on the moods and anxiety levels of people suffering from any level of depression,” stated Dr. Carmen Russoniello, Director of the Psychophysiology Lab and Biofeedback Clinic at ECU and the professor who oversaw the study (as well as previous studies involving the same games’ effects on stress levels). “In my opinion the findings support the possibility of using prescribed casual video games for treating depression and anxiety as an adjunct to, or perhaps even a replacement for, standard therapies including medication.”

Ehh… I’m not sure I’d recommend games as a replacement to standard therapies and medicine. But at least, it’s an option that might work with all the therapies or for those who are just feeling down, but haven’t been diagnosed with depression. Depression is a real problem, a real illness. But some don’t see it as a real illness without physical symptoms. Nonetheless, games do affect the mood and chase the doldrums away.

Russoniello said that the games had both short term (after 30 minutes of game play) and long term (after one month) effects when compared to the control group.

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Anyone looking tMystery Case Files: Dire Groveo finish the year off with a bang and lots of fun should head straight for Mystery Case Files: Dire Grove. This point-and-click game tells the story of four friends who are  graduate students filming their adventures only to run into trouble. The friends have disappeared and you find their movies dispersed throughout the captivating game.

In England, you run into a snowstorm where you come across an abandoned car with a video camera just outside of Dire Grove. Naturally, you can’t help but become curious and investigate the four friends’ claim that the legend of Dire Grove is real. While you won’t see a big leap between this one and Mystery Case Files: Return to Ravenhearst, it takes on a whole new story that comes together nicely with a satisfying ending. I wasn’t too happy with the ending Mystery Case Files: Ravenhearst. Return to Ravenhearst is good, but it’s not a stand-alone story like Dire Grove.

Some scenes require you to find items that appear in the list — like in hidden object games, but then you’ll be rewarded with something you need for your travels. One of the strengths of the series is that you can go any place you wish. The only time “order” matters is when you need to find something before you can move forward. You’ll see sparkles appear in scenes, which indicate you need to explore the area.

Mystery Case Files: Dire GroveThe setting goes far and wide, although it won’t look that way in the beginning. Then you discover openings to bigger areas as you explore and check everything possible. For the longest time, I made no progress because I had overlooked a barely noticeable door in one of the rooms. You may get stuck at times when you have everything and yet, can’t progress. Do not give up. Keep looking around and touching everything or ask for a hint. Sometimes you just miss a step. Hints are almost always available, but you’ll need to give the hint meter a few moments to refill.

I’m not a fan of horror films, so I can promise you that those who feel the same won’t have a problem with this one. The films only make up a part of the action and I’m grateful they came with closed-captions. When I first heard about the game and its use of video, I freaked because my experience has been that most things don’t come subtitled.

A couple of short phrases that didn’t have captions, but you can find out what was said with a little research. These little quotes aren’t detrimental to the story. Do pay attention to the videos because they give you clues that can help as does your casebook, which captures your notes of what you’ve seen. The film also has some jerky action, not too agreeable for this gal who gets dizzy easily.

Mystery Case Files: Dire GroveConsidering the Mystery Case Files: Dire Grove takes place in England, the actors also have a British accent adding to its authenticity. The whole production reels you in making you feel a part of the game. A Collector’s Edition is available, which offers bonus game play, challenge and achievement system, tracking down 50+ objects that change shape and a strategy guide.

Mystery Case Files: Dire Grove is a superb game that will entertain you for a full day, a wonderful way to spend a winter day huddled around the computer and staying warm even though the most of the scenes are frozen.

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PC Game Review: Pure Hidden

Pure HiddenYou’ve probably heard this before when an original hidden object game came out, but this time I mean it — Pure Hidden flips the hidden object genre upside on its head, spinning it around and throwing everything we thought we knew about hidden object games out the door, heck — out of this world.

Pure Hidden takes place out of the world in a colorful scene reminding me of 1960s or 1970s graphics style with a plant and budding flowers. The flowers hold boxes, or surprises. But you can’t open them until you complete a puzzle inside one of the boxes. Upon finding the “key” or object to open another box, you can move on or you can finish the puzzle.

Pure HiddenGood surprises wait for you behind those boxes. You could be finding hidden objects from a list, but the scenes vary. They’re nothing like you’ve ever seen before — more like different styles of mosaics.

You’ll never encounter identical scenes and objects. A couple of games repeat — not the hidden object ones, though. The dominoes game repeats and it’s a delight to do it again.

Despite “pure” in its name, the game has you doing more than finding items. Yes, sometimes you’ll look for a bunch of the same objects. But also, you’ll knock down a bunch of dominoes, help seeds bloom, look for differences in two scenes — however, in a lot of unique ways. One way has you spinning the scene around from day to night in 3D to find the differences.

Pure Hidden

Although you can move on to another scene once you find the object to open the next box, you may not help help but want finish the scene because it’s compelling and fun. You can play zen (ohhhmmmm – relaxed) or timed mode, so whatever your preference — you got it. Really, this one is for savoring not rushing through.

Hints are available when the asterisk fills up and you can select which item you want to find. The game posts a circle for you melting away any frustration in trying to find something.

The music wows. No story exists to waste your time. And the game has you from the first click, or close to it. Just go play for ten minutes. Pure Hidden is pure gold. It’s the kind of thing you’d want to do on a rainy day and a sunny one, too. Good to know innovation and creativity remain strong out there in the hidden object genre.

Free Download

Download the game from Big Fish Games.


    Magic Encyclopedia Moon LightI thought this game was custom-made for me. The logo had “ME” on it. Of course, the initials stood for “Magic Encyclopedia” not “Meryl Evans.” Magic Encyclopedia: Moon Light follows Magic Encyclopedia, and continues with its hand-drawn adventure with a new story and main character.

    Fans of the original will be surprised and delighted by the follow up, which has surpassed the original in terms of size, adventures and puzzles. This one tells the story of Katrina who had a strange (what else?) dream and her brother asks her to look into his professor’s disappearance. She finds herself traveling the world collecting scrolls and gems to figure out what happened to the professor.

    Magic Encyclopedia Moon LightThe hidden object portion has you looking for pieces of objects to put them back together. Once you collect all the pieces for an object, it enters your inventory for use on one of the scenes and not necessarily the same one where you found its pieces. The last half of Magic Encyclopedia: Moon Light contains a lot of narrow, stick-light objects that will frustrate the searcher as they hide so well. Maybe too well. Clicking items don’t always take either.

    Also, parts hide in little black holes that you zoom in on when the mouse rolls over these spots. This neat feature is a little bit of a curse, too. Sometimes the spot sits very close to an interactive item and the interactive item keeps lighting up instead of the spot. Those teeny-tiny parts will have you relying on the crystal ball for hints. You have unlimited hints, but must wait for it to fill back up. But sometimes the crystal ball doesn’t cooperate though it looks full.

    Magic Encyclopedia Moon LightMini-games pop up every now and then when you’re trying to access or open something on a scene. Some resemble the puzzles you see in other hidden object games while others bring something new.  You can skip them after so much time passes and the skip button comes to life. The mini-games do challenge enough that I skip a couple after spending too much time on them. I still wanted to figure them out and I knew I could do that later because you can access the mini-games from the main menu and replay any after unlocking them. Love this feature.

    The only thing below quality is the font used. The font looks like  the oft-used font that comes with Microsoft Word and other software. It’s as tired and amateur as Comic Sans. Magic Encyclopedia: Moon Light delights, charms and challenges with its graphics, audio and game play. Go download and try Magic Encyclopedia: Moon Light.


    Talk about cheering up a gal who couldn’t do much while recovering from hand surgery! I had no idea another Mystery Case Files (MCF) game was coming out. It doesn’t feel so long ago since we had the pleasure of seeing Mystery Case Files: Madame Fate. Then I discover it’s a follow up to Mystery Case Files: Ravenhearst. I had mixed feelings because the original’s ending disappointed me. However, the game had a strong story and intriguing puzzles.

    Wow! MCF: Return to Ravenhearst surpassed all expectations and blew away all previous Mystery Case File games. I believe that this one truly takes the Mystery Case Files franchise and hidden object to a full-fledged adventure where hidden objects take a back seat rather than rule the game.

    Most hidden object games give you two or three scenes you can roam, one at a time, from a map. This one reminds me of the first adventure games from Sierra that I played on my Apple ][+ as a kid. Of course, the overall production transcends those old adventures.

    Navigate around MCF: Return to Ravenhearst by clicking the sides of the screen when you see an arrow pointing indicating you can go in that direction. As you move your mouse around the screen, the cursor turns into a magnifying glass or a white sparkle showing there’s more to that item.

    The casebook plays a big role as who can remember everything s/he reads (aside from those with photographic memory). You could write it down, but you may not remember or realize the significance of a note that appears in the casebook.

    Other games with a similar casebook just rehash the story. This one provides useful details. Review the casebook as it contains clues and information that will come to play later.

    Good news — if you haven’t played any of the Mystery Case Files, it won’t affect playing this one. There’s little reference to the previous games.

    The game picks up from the previous after the release of Emma Ravenhearst’s soul. But Charles Dalimar — the villain of both stories — continues to torture other souls. He was also responsible for the strange goings-on at the carnival in MCF: Madame Fate. We must help free the tortured souls so they may rest in peace.

    We’re seeing an influx of adventure games (yeah!), but some come too easy. Not MCF: Return to Ravenhearst. I got stuck in a few places and had to walk all over the house a few times before I figured them out. Gamers who feel games are too easy shouldn’t find that a problem here. The nice thing about getting stuck is that you don’t have to figure it out right then to move forward.

    Big Fish Games, publisher of the series, has also released a separate sound track. Why? The music was annoying that I turned off the sound early on.

    Some objects are nearly impossible to find. One was hidden behind a toy in a glass case. Even with the hint, I couldn’t see it. There’s no limit on the hints, but you do have to wait for the meter to refill after use.

    Another negative was the game’s snarky comments when you make a useless move. I’d think, “Gee, thanks for the insult.”

    Nonetheless, these little peeves hardly interfere with the experience of playing the almost perfect game.

    I thought the hype surrounding MCF: Madame Fate was overdone, but not for MCF: Return to Ravenhearst. It never let me down. The game also relies on some video and they fit beautifully with the story and scenes. I generally don’t like videos because they lack captions, but that’s not an issue here as they come with subtitles. Yeah!

    What will MCF bring next? When? I hope it continues to build upon the superb MCF: Return to Ravenhearst.


    Mike and Isabel of The Nightshift Code return in Nightshift Legacy: The Jaguar’s Eye, an adventure that mixes hidden objects with a variety of puzzles.

    Game developers have a challenge in telling a good story, providing the right amount of story updates between scenes and puzzles, and tying the story with the game. Not an easy balance to achieve.

    While Nightshift Legacy: The Jaguar’s Eye comes with a heavy-duty story, the story gets lost and confusing along the way. I love a good story in a game, but this one had too much going on and didn’t flow well between scenes and puzzles. It may make more sense if I took the time to read the stories.

    I like most of the mini-games, which aren’t standard fare. The anagram game requires moving letters around to form words. Great game, but tedious to play because it involves more mouse work than necessary to move the letters.

    The time line mini-game is a great idea that needs better execution. Boxes appear above pictures. Each picture provides a clue so you can move it into the right box. The earliest event goes into the first box while the last event goes into the last box. The clues are too hard.

    One of the beautiful things about the casual games industry is that most games come with a way to play at your own pace. Forget about that here. Time plays a big nasty role. You have to start the WHOLE level over if you run out of time during mini-games. That means finding the hidden objects again before returning to the almost impossible mini-game.

    Logic is my favorite mini-game. As a kid, I enjoyed doing logical puzzles where you read a story and solve the puzzle using logic. Maybe we’ll see logic show up in more games. So much can be done with logic puzzles without ever feeling repetitive.

    The mini-games steal the show in Nightshift Legacy: The Jaguar’s Eye. The hidden objects portion involves finding objects that work together in multiple scenes. Speaking of multiple scenes, the game never makes it clear I need to look elsewhere for more objects. In some scenes, the list of objects is everything you need to find in the scene.

    However, in others, the list of objects cover multiple scenes rather than just one. I had to figure this out the hard way. So if time stops, that means you found all the objects in the current scene and need to go to another scene for the rest.

    It penalizes you for incorrect clicks and some of my clicks were correct. I admit I had to replay a few levels because I ran out of time.

    The do overs go fast because the object locations don’t change, so you won’t likely want to replay the game unless you want to figure out the puzzles that had you relying on the hints to solve it. It’s OK if you need to use lots of hints, you’re not the only one.

    Download the game from Big Fish Games.


    Samantha Swift, an archaeologist, travels all over the world to find rare artifacts for a museum. Her latest venture calls for finding six roses that belong on the Shield of Athena. Adventurers will find a rosy game in Samantha Swift and the Hidden Roses of Athena.The game ranks up there with Natalie Brooks and other hidden object games slash adventures slash mini-games.

    Samantha, Adam Woodson and her father’s former partner, Dr. Butler, must also deal with two bad guys who also want the roses, but for selfish reasons.

    Anyway, I played this game over a month ago while recovering from hand surgery as it only needed one hand. Since typing was not possible, I had to hold off writing the review until my hand healed. What stuck with me was the game had wonderful hand-drawn graphics along with a strong story that neither overwhelmed nor confused.

    In replaying the game, I got stuck on a scene and couldn’t get pass it even though I did what I needed to do to move on. I used a hint to confirm I wasn’t forgetting something. So I tried starting over with a new ID and it froze in the same spot one step further than before.

    Thank goodness, I got through it the first time. I tried exiting the game and restarting the computer. Nothing worked.

    Replaying the game also showed me that objects rarely change location and the list of items to find changed a little. So once you finish the story, you won’t want to replay it. But that’s often the case with this genre.

    I also appreciated this wasn’t a timed-game, something I couldn’t manage with one hand. Besides, non-timed games compel us to enjoy the game more because it’s not a race. When it’s a race, we take short cuts and use more hints.

    Every hidden object scene contains items highlighted in blue. You can’t find these until you’ve collected the other hidden items. Once done, use the found hidden items to interact with the scene to find the blue items. This feature appears in more of these point and click adventures. That and you may need to find items in other rooms before completing the puzzle in the current room.

    Hidden objects often fit the story line and theme rather than have you find things to make the game longer lasting. Found artifacts end up in the museum that you can visit anytime during the game. Click an artifact to get its details and place of origin. Samantha travels to Guatemala, Tibet, Japan, Rome and elsewhere.

    Lightning bolts hide in every scene to give you more hints. Experienced gamers might find this one a little easy, but worth experiencing the gorgeous graphics, interactive puzzles, humor and fitting background music.

    Just play one hour of Samantha Swift and the Hidden Roses of Athena and you’ll find you want to keep going.

    Download the game from Big Fish Games.


    PC Game Review: Mushroom Age

    Mushroom AgeMushroom Age sounds like a quirky name for a game, doesn’t it? What images does it conjure for you? None of the thoughts I had about the game based on its title and logo accurately represent the hidden object game’s story. About the only thing you might figure out from the title it’s an eccentric story. Don’t judge the game by its name — in this case.

    The first thing we see is Albert Einstein, but not quite. His name is Einbock and he hates it when folks confuse him with the genius behind the theory of relativity. Vera — us players — wants to find her fiancé Tom as she hasn’t heard from him.

    Thanks to Einbock’s not cooperating, she snoops around to finds Tom’s cell phone and starts messing with it. Minutes later, she lands 1000 years into the future. Her travels won’t stop there as eventually she reaches Jurassic Period and Stone Age as well as meets Socrates and Nostradamus.

    The cell phone has a feature that can’t be had on any of today’s cell phone: time travel. Vera’s lands in a graveyard in 3008 where she meets a funky robot with a laugh that cracks me up. The poor guy — though 1000 years into the future — malfunctions and Vera must reboot him on occasion by playing a “Wheel of Fortune” / Hangman game to figure out the password.

    Vera has to do more than try to find Tom after discovering a dangerous plan. Dialogue shows up as both text and audio saying what the text shows. Though my hearing is far from perfect, I find the voices annoying. The voices sound like a parent talking to a young child. Clarity is important, but audio can sound clear without talking down as it does in Mushroom Age.

    Mushroom AgeWhat amazes about Mushroom Age is that it lasts a long time (23 chapters) for a game of its kind, which blends hidden objects and doing things to make something happen. It resembles games like Azada and Dream Chronicles. The game not only expects you to find needed items (and all items have a purpose), but to use them together such as starting a fire or unlocking a gate.

    Although you return to some scenes, it doesn’t mean doing the same thing as before or finding the same objects. Besides, every visit to a scene has a reason not just to save development time. The only thing that repeats are several mini-games, but they become more difficult with each play.

    The end of a chapter shows how much of the game you’ve completed to that point. However, a couple of chapters make the number go down instead of up — obviously a bug.

    The hint system lets you ask for a hint anytime as long as the hint meter is full. If you’ve found all the objects in one room and request a hint, it becomes a wasted hint because it tells you to go in another room and nothing else. This becomes a problem when playing some confusing mini-games.

    Despite the sharp-looking graphics, the character movements aren’t as sharp. They resemble characters glued to Popsicle sicks — they’re frozen and their whole being moves as a stiff entity.

    Mushroom AgeSeasoned hidden object and puzzle gamers will recognize many of the genre’s features in Mushroom Age. Yet, the game comes together as an original. The game’s title reflects a piece of the story that comes later, but it could’ve had a better name. Nonetheless, casual game players — no matter the experience or whether they have green thumbs — will likely to find Mushroom Age fascinating and funny.


    The third Hidden Expedition game of the hidden object game series takes on many new features to take the series to new heights. Hidden Expedition: Amazon promises fans a bigger adventure with more to do and it delivers.

    In the latest expedition, the only thing you receive is an old beat up map with a reference to the legendary Beetle Temple to aid your search to find a missing professor. As you delve deep into the Amazonian jungles, you discover pieces of the professor’s journal to learn more.

    The heart of the game comes in finding many hidden objects and crossing them off your list. Of course, these Amazon-themed scenes surround the hidden objects in hopes to make them harder to find while staying true to the theme.

    Two new twists join this edition while you hunt for objects — some move into your inventory for later use. You also can click any item on your list of hidden objects to see a silhouette of the item. Does this make the game too easy? Or does it help a lot considering some objects blend in too well with the scene? Hints are still available where a circle appears around the object’s location. Seeing silhouettes doesn’t count as a hint.

    But I say the game is what we make of it. If you want it to be hard, don’t look at the silhouettes period. Who says you have to use hints? We can control how easy or hard we make a game.

    Seek out five beetles per scene to receive one shiny new hint added to your hint pack. If you find only four beetles when you finish the scene, no hint for you even if you find one in the next scene. The beetle count starts over with each new scene.

    Puzzles. That’s the best new feature in Hidden Expedition: Amazon. Who cares if Mystery Case Files uses this? I love these puzzles and take ’em where I can get ’em. No, no… these aren’t jigsaw puzzles, but bona fide brain puzzles where you must figure out what to do. I figure out most of them and accidentally passed on one of them not realizing I clicked “Solve” when I thought it was “Hint.” So if you get stuck, you can kind of skip it.

    You also hit “find 20 of something” scenes. Another copy from Mystery Case Files. While some elements look familiar, Hidden Expedition: Amazon offers original puzzles plus one extraordinary feature: a symphony. According to the game’s press release, this game contains the first ever, live orchestra music score for a downloadable casual game. The music rings from the Berlin Film Orchestra instruments.

    The game’s press releases heavily promoted this feature. Well, beware some of us are not easily impressed with such audio. The music sounds lovely, but I couldn’t tell you that it exceeds some other casual game’s high quality audio as they won’t sound sharper or better to me. To me, I look for the rhythm and tone — whether they annoy or complement the game play. Here, the audio lovingly pairs up with the game and its top notch scenes.

    Hidden Expedition: Amazon deserves a spot on your computer even if you play a select few hidden object games.


    PC Game Review James Patterson’s Women’s Murder Club: Death in Scarlet

    James Patterson's Women's Murder ClubI’ve been a fan of James Patterson’s work since first reading Along Came a Spider. It was the first time I enjoyed something with a “spider” in it though it was figurative. Since then, I loved reading Alex Cross stories. Maybe I appreciated it more because the stories took place in Washington, DC — the only place I’ve lived outside of Texas.

    I don’t read fiction much these days with my focus on reviewing and abstracting non-fiction books. But that didn’t stop me from checking out James Patterson’s Women’s Murder Club TV series. I liked it, but its network canceled the show. Gosh durnit.

    Nice seeing Dallas resident, Angie Harmon on the show along with her cool buds including the one that looks like Oprah Winfrey. The platinum blond lawyer was a little much, but you adapt to her. Besides, they didn’t match the book’s characters, but the game does. From what I understand as I haven’t read these books, but they’re on my long list of fiction books to read if I ever make it to the list.

    The show didn’t win raves, so I wasn’t optimistic about the computer game. Good thing my “judging the book by the cover” didn’t stop me as Women’s Murder Club: Death in Scarlet proved creativity is still possible in hidden object games. With hidden object games coming out daily — sometimes more than once a day — casual gamers wonder if any originality remains. “YES!” The evidence is in this game. I’ve seen all the TV episodes and the game doesn’t copy any of them or the books.

    James Patterson's Women's Murder ClubOf course, the story starts with the discovery of a young woman’s body. After a little analysis, we learn someone poisoned her and branded her chest with Chinese letters. Detective Lindsay Boxer and her friends set off to search for the woman’s identity and her murderer. Forensic examiner Claire Washburn, newspaper reporter Cindy Thomas, and ADA Jill Bernhardt help Lindsay with her investigation. We not only do Lindsay’s job, but we also do Cindy’s and Claire’s job. Jill doesn’t appear much, but she’s around.

    The game tells the story through short dialog — something that should be a standard in games. It can be hard to read a lot of dialog in one sitting especially on a screen. I think we absorb the story better in pieces. Occasionally, the game updates us on the story through well done comic strip style cartoons between scenes.

    The “Skip” and continue buttons appear at the bottom of these scenes. However, these sometimes show on top of the dialog and you can’t read some of it. I moved the mouse all over the place trying to hide the controls to no avail. This problem occurs off and on throughout the game.

    While finding hidden objects, some items go into your inventory for later use making a true connection between the found objects and the game’s storyline — something few hidden object games pull off. Sometimes you pick up a cotton swab for collecting evidence and parts of an object that you need to put together.

    As a kid, I loved doing logic puzzles where you had to figure out the order based on the information given. A mini-game takes place in Claire’s lab where you first pick up all the supplies you need (bottles, Petri dish, eye dropper) and then sort the bottles based on their instructions.

    After putting the chemicals in order, you use the dropper to describe the substance such as red foam, blue fizz, and purple none. Kind of boring after the first couple of times. But it involves you in the investigation making you feel a part of the action. The computer processes and reports the results of the evidence. I don’t know a better way of doing that. At least, it’s better than playing Memory!

    Another mini-game involves sorting microfiche covers so you can look up articles in the newspaper archives. Sort the covers by color and a common theme. Once you finish, you’ll pull out one of the microfiches, do a search using keywords (which you must figure out — another cool feature), and read the article for more inside information on the story.

    Though you return to some scenes a few times, it never feels like you’re looking for the same stuff again (except in the lab, but it’s justified). The objects — even the small ones — almost always pick up without a problem (some hidden objects make it hard to pick up the right items). Some hidden object games don’t do a good job of describing or naming more obscure items — not an issue here.

    James Patterson's Women's Murder ClubWomen’s Murder Club: Death in Scarlet does a beautiful job of integrating hidden objects, sound, art, mystery, and detective work. I believe it deserves recognition as one of the best hidden object games.

    It won’t surprise me to see another one come out considering all the Agatha Christie and Sherlock Holmes games that keep popping out. Women’s Murder Club: Death in Scarlet surpasses those in all-around production values. An almost perfect game.