This is the 4th installment of the Mystery Case Files series of games, but also the first game in the series to straddle the line between Casual Adventure and Hidden Object. Explore creepy ol' Ravenhearst Manor and solve the mysteries within.
Ranked in these QuestionsQuestion Ranking
Pro Least Experimental of the MCF games
Mystery Case Files has what, 13 games now? If you've always wanted to play it but you're unsure which one to start on, this game is probably the safest bet simply because it is the most 'normal' Casual Adventure HOG. Every other MCF game after this one tried innovating a new element with mixed results. Dire Grove had a jumpscare, 13th Skull had unskippable FMV dialogues, Escape had less intriguing HOGs, Shadow Lake replaced the HOGs entirely with a worse variant, and so on. Not saying those games were bad, but if you want the vanilla MCF casual adventure experience, Return to Ravenhearst won't try to dazzle you with innovative gimmicks.
Pro Blends hidden object with adventure gaming well
This was the first MCF game that allowed you to traverse an area back and forth to collect inventory items and solve puzzles, with the hidden object portions interspersed in between. Things you find in the HO portions, could be used to open a locked door, for example. This combination adds a bit more depth and meaning into your searches, and for the most part the puzzles they solve together make sense.
Con Getting lost can lead to frantic pixel hunting
It's not unusual to at one point, find yourself stuck in a part of the manor, wondering if you missed an item you should've picked up four rooms ago. Because the Manor has no strict checkpoints, you could backtrack all the way to the front gates. This leads to impatient clicking around every nook and cranny until that hint bar fills up (and it fills up real slowly). Not to mention, some key items are hidden in the scenery a little too well, and over-clicking can penalize you if you're not careful.