Mystery Case Files: The Harbinger Collector's Edition
August 21, 2020
3 Difficulties + Custom Mode
Exclusive Bonus Chapter
Integrated Strategy Guide
Wallpapers & Cutscenes
Soundtracks & Concept Art
Replayable HOs & Puzzles
Achievements & Collectibles
Morphing Objects & Jigsaw Puzzle
After Eipix was acquired by Playrix, the mother of hidden object games, the Mystery Case Files series has finally landed in GrandMA Studios’ palms. In Mystery Case Files: The Harbinger, Master Detective was called to Darkmoor to investigate the death of a young man. Interview witnesses, explore the crime scene, and discover what lurks behind the shadows of Darkmoor in this twenty-first Mystery Case Files adventure!
With the change in the developer, it is impossible for the look and feel of this new sequel to be the same as the other Mystery Case Files games. In terms of its theme, Mystery Case Files: The Harbinger most closely aligns with Fate’s Carnival – a little suspense, a little fantasy. Despite its slightly more whimsical theme, this sequel does not sacrifice its fair share of thrills and mysteries. Thanks to its interesting characters and superb storytelling, the game is engaging and absolutely intriguing from beginning to end. Long-time fans of the series can still look forward to clues and callbacks to past games along the way.
Grandma Studios‘ signature style and creativity are written all over this game. Although Mystery Case Files: The Harbinger might not be extremely complex when it comes to the gameplay, it is crafted with such precision and sophistication that are hard to deny. The hidden object scenes are layered and highly interactive, while the puzzles are entertaining and the “super puzzles” are delightful as always. In addition, the game equips you with two gadgets. Some might find them “gimmicky”, but at least they are not one of those overly-cute talking animals that are so prevalent in today’s hidden object games.
Mystery Case Files: The Harbinger’s production values are indeed impressive. All the scenes are rich in detail and lush in colors. However, when compared to Eipix’s previous works in the series or Mystery Case Files: Shadow Lake that utilized real-life actors, this sequel looks a tad cartoonish. Visually, this game might fit more in GrandMA’s own paranormal murder mystery series The Unseen Fears than in the Mystery Case Files series that typically goes for more serious and dreary visuals. Regarding the audio, the music is nothing short of excellent and the sound effects really help drive the game. On the other hand, the voice-overs are more questionable. They are great when assessing each character individually, but the variety of accents and intonations is certainly a headache to keep track.
Despite some arguable production decisions, Mystery Case Files: The Harbinger is able to maintain its momentum all the way through its long playtime. The main game has a whopping five-hours length and the bonus chapter adds an additional 70 minutes. There is a lot of features included in the Collector’s Edition, but nothing that is out of the norm. This includes a strategy guide, wallpapers, concept art, soundtracks, videos, replayable hidden object scenes, replayable mini-games, achievements, collectibles, morphing objects, a jigsaw puzzle, and fortune predictions feature.
GrandMA Studios’ magical touch helps solidify Mystery Case Files: The Harbinger as another strong addition to the iconic franchise, despite the fact that it is “simpler” than most.
In this series:
- Mystery Case Files: Huntsville
- Mystery Case Files: Prime Suspects
- Mystery Case Files: Ravenhearst
- Mystery Case Files: Madame Fate
- Mystery Case Files: Return to Ravenhearst
- Mystery Case Files: Dire Grove
- Mystery Case Files: 13th Skull
- Mystery Case Files: Escape from Ravenhearst
- Mystery Case Files: Shadow Lake
- Mystery Case Files: Fate's Carnival
- Mystery Case Files: Dire Grove, Sacred Grove
- Mystery Case Files: Key to Ravenhearst
- Mystery Case Files: Ravenhearst Unlocked
- Mystery Case Files: Broken Hour
- Mystery Case Files: The Black Veil
- Mystery Case Files: The Revenant's Hunt
- Mystery Case Files: Rewind
- Mystery Case Files: The Countess
- Mystery Case Files: Moths to a Flame
- Mystery Case Files: Black Crown
- Mystery Case Files: The Harbinger
- Mystery Case Files: Crosssfade