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Mystery Case Files: Ravenhearst

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Mystery Case Files: Ravenhearst is an adventure-puzzle casual game developed by Big Fish Studios, and distributed by Big Fish Games. It is the third installment in the Mystery Case Files series. The game is available exclusively at Big Fish Games website. The Mystery Case Files franchise is the number one brand in casual games and has sold more than 2.5 million units to date.

Story

Rumors surrounding the Ravenhearst manor in Blackpool have circulated for decades. The Queen of England has enlisted your help to solve the mystery behind the ghostly apparitions in and around Ravenhearst manor. You are provided with the recently acquired diary belonging to Emma Ravenhearst which holds the key to unraveling the history of this unsettling place, yet some pages are missing. You must venture into Ravenhearst, find the missing pages, and solve the mystery.

Plot

As the player collects the pages of the diary, the story reveals itself. Emma Ravenhearst, a young teacher from Iowa, arrives in England to continue teaching. After she arrives, she meets a charming young man named Charles Dalimar, who courts her. While initially responsive, Emma hesitates when Charles expresses his wish to marry her. Charles, however, remains insistent and goes as far as to construct a large manor and offer it to Emma. She finds this unsettling and tries to end the relationship, but news comes from Iowa that her father has fallen ill. Emma feels she must return, but falls feverish and sick, leaving herself to be taken care of by Charles.

Now under the care of Charles, a series of ill-fated events begins to unfold. Emma grows fearful as a worker falls to his death from a ladder while working on the mansion and Charles takes to reading books about black magic and necromancy. As Emma falls deeper into sickness, Charles hires a maid named Rose to take care of her. Emma soon experiences feverish nightmares, seeing herself in a wedding gown - a wedding gown that Rose later finds in the attic, along with a furnished children's room and a package of unopened letters sent to England by Emma's parents. Rose also spots Charles preparing Emma's dinner and adding something to it that Emma assumes to be poison. Rose fears for her life, and plans to escape with Emma. This concludes the second to the last diary entry.

The last entry to the diary is dated "Today", and is written by the ghost of Emma, who haunts the manor. It urges the player to find seven skeleton keys hidden throughout the manor, and visit the cellar to open the cellar door with them. When the player accomplishes this, an upright casket is found, which, when opened, reveals the remains of Emma, dressed in the wedding gown. It is heavily implied that Charles has murdered Emma in fear of abandonment. The skeleton dissolves as Emma's spirit is freed from the manor.

Gameplay

Like the Mystery Case Files titles that came before, Ravenhearst relies heavily on the hidden object puzzle. However, players will also run into strange locks, reminiscent of Rube Goldberg contraptions. An unfortunate glitch found only in the retail version of the game (as opposed to the downloadable version) occurs during the door puzzle in the third mission. Solving the puzzle requires a game of Tic Tac Toe to be won; the glitch prevents you from seeing Xs or Os as they are drawn on the board although it is still possible to win.

Reception

According to independent tracking site game-sales-charts.com, following its release on December 5th, 2006, MCF: Ravenhearst held the #1 sales spot on nearly all casual game distribution sites including its home distribution channel, Big Fish Games, where it has remained in their top 20 since.[1]

Mystery Case Files: Ravenhearst was "the third-best-selling PC title in the United States for the week ending in the annual Black Friday shopping splurge" selling 100,000 copies in six weeks.[2]

Return to Ravenhearst

In November 2008, Big Fish Games released a new game in the Mystery Case Files series titled Mystery Case Files: Return to Ravenhearst.

After the events in Madame Fate, you soon discover that the spirit of Charles Dalimar, Emma Ravenhearst's murderer, is on the loose and desperate because Emma is now free of the Manor's curse. He is actually the one responsible for Madame Fate's death stating that your rescue of Emma was pointless, for Rose Somerset, Emma's nursemaid in the first game, was his "true love".

You again return to the manor, but then you soon discover that there are more to the mansion than meets the eye: there is still a section of the manor unexplored, and some parts that you have already explored has been refurbished by Charles' tormented spirit. You must now uncover the secret of what happened to Charles after he murdered Emma, and put a stop to his psychotic obsession.

References

  1. Mystery Case Files: Ravenhearst Sales Data. GameSalesCharts.com (2008-01-02). Retrieved on 2008-01-02.
  2. "Hidden Object" Series Hit for Holidays. Reuters (2007-12-20). Retrieved on 2008-01-02.

External Links

Template:Mystery Case Files

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