Story:    Dire Grove has been plunged into a record-defying cold, and wild animals threaten at every turn! You’ve been called in to uncover the source of the town’s troubles. But you quickly find yourself in the middle of a feud between the local hunters and the mysterious Mistwalkers who live in the woods. Can you prevent an all-out war? Pick your gender and use an innovative deduction mechanic as you try to discover the secret behind Dire Grove’s curse! (Big Fish Sales Blurb) 

These are really good stories, complex, compelling, well written, and long, which is always good for the Player.

Options:   Great; has Gamma control for brightness – this helps ease the gloom for those of us who need light to see.

Music & Voice-Overs:   Both totally suitable – the Voice-Overs are particularly well chosen.  They make your connection with the game so much more interesting and fulfilling.

Bonus Content:   Extra Game-Play; Wallpapers; Concept Art; Achievements Room; Music; Alternative Ending (great); Video; Dire Grove Collection; Puzzles Collection – this opens Screensavers upon completion.

Desktop:   Case File, Menu (Left); Task, Inventory (Centre); Hint, Strategy Guide (Right); Powers/Abilities (Pop-out Top Right).

Tutorial:   Good, but a little intrusive.

Graphics:    Very colourful, really suitable to story setting, but quite dark – you really do need to adjust the Gamma setting in the Options.  For those who love Winter snow scenes, this game is great.  Lots of ice to break, snow getting in the way, and the usual gorgeous designed backgrounds.

Play Modes:    Casual Hunter; Expert Pathfinder; Hardcore Trapper; Wise Druid; Master Detective.

Map:  Interactive and informative – can jump to various locations when needed.

HOPs:   Good variety, with Interactive Lists, Numbers of same Items (e.g. 7 Ravens); Mini Games that have Puzzle Hints

Puzzles:   There are Story Puzzles, Interactive/Continual Puzzles (some of which won’t close when complete) .

Collections:   Picture Pieces; Morphing Items (cabins) – unfortunately you cannot collect missing Pieces or Cabins after the game is completed.

Game-play:   There is an Evidence Board, upon which you have to examine all the collected evidence, and activate conclusions.  Obviously speak to characters, traverse the locations locating and collecting not only evidence to help find the culprit, but also items that will help you open doors, gates, repair equipment, and weapons, and assist the Mistwalkers and Hunters to come to an agreement.  You gain special skills as you proceed, to help you deal with the dark magic obstructions that hinder your progress.

Player Participation:   Continual, both games are long and complex, and require a lot of Point & Click activity.

Satisfaction Factor:  Both games are very satisfying, especially having the extra Alternative Ending which actually make it three games.

Frustration Factors:   The fact that some of the Puzzles won’t quite complete, leaving you no alternative but to Skip to continue – really annoying when you have actually got it right, is probably the most frustrating, followed closely by the fact that you cannot finish your collections upon completion of all the games.  Most games these days allow this – it is meant as Bonus content so you should be able to complete it all.

Bonus Game:  Long, with a good story-line, with the added bonus of an Alternative Ending.

I highly recommend this game.

Jud House  7/02/2015

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About judsartwork

I write reviews of Adventure and Hidden Object games that are Crime, Fantasy, SciFi, Renovation, Travel, Quest and/or Mystery by genre. I have a Masters in Writing (2006) and have been writing novels, both crime and fantasy for many years; plus Haiku, verse, and prose both fictional and literary. I am also an artist of modern, Acrylic, textural and hard edge work, underwater, fantasy, expressionist, and Cosmos paintings. I use mixed media (Acrylic, Watercolour, Pastels) in textural Monoprints, finding surprises to expose within each work. Having both an analytical and creative mind has meant that I have strong powers of observation, and the persistence required to follow computer problems through till I solve them. Of course I am not always successful, but am willing to ask for a little help in order to then unlock the main problem myself. My Troubleshooting Blog, 'Problems and Solutions', was the result of my tenacity.
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2 Responses to MYSTERY CASE FILES: DIRE GROVE, SACRED GROVE – Collector’s Edition

  1. Sarca says:

    Oh yeah! Dire Grove was a great game! I look forward to this one too!

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