If there is one thing I enjoy almost as much as reading a good mystery, its playing a fun mystery video game. Thanks to the power of technology and computers there is a plethora of fantastic mystery themed games on the market. From Mystery Case Files to Nancy Drew I am an avid mystery gamer.
Mystery Case Files: Dire Grove is the sixth game in the Mystery Case Files PC adventure series. It is a point and click adventure game with search and find scenes (similar to the Eye Spy books) scattered throughout the story line. There seems to be an unending supply of search and find games out there, similar to this one. I can say right now that this particular game is a shinning gem among mystery games. This game alone is what got me into playing mystery adventures.
I picked this game up on a fluke on day at a Wal-Mart. I was walking through the electronics section of the store, perusing the selection of titles when this one caught my eye. With its frozen title and mysterious snowy forest, I was instantly intrigued. When I saw it was a mystery story inside a game I instantly and purchased the title. I got it home, installed it, and began. I was instantly drawn in by the live action videos, the creepy atmosphere, and the gorgeous music.
The game opens with you as a detective as you drive on a rural back-road in England. There are notes about a previous case you've solved and your intentions of returning to headquarters. When a freak snow storm causes you to pull off into a town of Dire Grove the mystery begins. You soon realize the creepiness of the situation when you find a video tape of a college student being attacked by some unknown assailant.Being a detective you take it upon yourself to find out what happened to her.
You enter the small township and realize that the entire place has frozen over in a strange and ungodly manner. It's almost as if a new ice age has over taken the town. No one is to be found and its strangely quiet. From here on in, the mystery gets thicker and thicker. You realize that there is something truly malevolent coming after you. You must solve the mystery and save yourself before it is too late.
I give this game credit for being the only point and click game to ever scare me. I jumped a few times throughout the game and was sufficiently creeped out by the strange beauty of the game. More importantly, the game has engaging gameplay, beautiful artwork, and a interesting mystery story to solve.
Once I had finished my first run-through of the game I instantly wanted to restart, which I did. Dire Grove is one of the only games I have ever wanted to come back to over and over again. It's atmosphere, story, and game-play make it, not only one a good mystery adventure game, but also just a good mystery story too.