Mystery Case Files: MillionHeir

November 17, 2008

At first glance, Nintendo’s Mystery Case Files: MillionHeir looks like it may be fun for the type of people that like Phoenix Wright or Hotel Dusk. Don’t be mistaken: this game is not really about mysteries. Rather, this game is a series of simple challenges, like finding items in drawings and putting together 12-piece jigsaw puzzles. While this is the series’ first appearance on a Nintendo system, developer Big Fish Games has been releasing installments for years on computers.

The plot is thin indeed; players are technically solving the mystery of the disappearance of a rich man, creatively named Phil T. Rich. The other characters’ names are equally groan-worthy. There is no interrogation in the game, because somehow finding crowbars and outlines of elephants is just what people need to open up to you.

The controls for the base game are fine. The game allows for right- or left-handed control, and uses a simple tap-and-drag interface. Unfortunately, Big Fish Games has added in a few gimmicky controls, like blowing into the microphone. Also among the more tedious tasks is having to clean your detective’s badge. Thoroughly.

To add variety, Mystery Case Files lets players use flashlights and x-ray devices to find more items, but all this manages to do is make players take one more pass trying to find things without adding any more fun or challenge.

MillionHeir is repetitive, and you’re going to have to like the object-spotting core gameplay to enjoy it at all. That said, it’s polished. Acknowledging what is here, there’s a lot of it. Just don’t expect the traditional Nintendo level of enjoyment.

Plays like: An issue of Highlights.
ESRB: E– This isn’t just okay for kids…it’s for kids
Pros: Polished, relatively intuitive controls
Cons: These puzzles are only for children

Score: 2/5

Questions? Check out our review guide.