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Raccoonus avatar 5:46 PM on 12.01.2008  (server time)
Playing my mother's DS collection: Mystery Case Files: MillionHeir

While home for Thanksgiving weekend, I took the opportunity to peruse my mother's DS collection for something to play. We're pretty much opposites when it comes to our DS purchases; I'm of the Final Fantasy IV, Puzzle Quest, and Professor Layton ilk while she tends towards Brain Voyage, Touch Master, and some weird Yoga "game". Anyways, I noticed this little cartridge in her bag called Mystery Case Files: MillionHeir and decided to give it a try. The verdict? Not a horrible timewaster, but it's a bit repetitive and lacking in visuals due to the small screens of the Nintendo DS.

(Probably missing from the list: TESTICLES)

The storyline is quirky and inane, something to do with a man named Phil T. Rich (how punny!) having gone missing and it is up to us as great detectives to discover who his rightful heir is. To do this, we play a search-and-find game on a slew of maps, trying to locate the oddest of objects. Find all the objects, beat a mini-game puzzle, move on to the next potential candidate, and rinse, lather, wash, and repeat until the very end of the game. Let's compare this to--oh good job, Paul, setting this up in the first paragraph--Professor Layton and the Curious Village. The storyline and the gameplay mechanics are completely their own beasts, but they mesh well enough together. The mini-games between scenes are the sort that a dying dog could master (use the microphone to blow dust off for fingerprints, for instance).

My mother, being the n00b she is, played the game on the Easy difficulty. This meant she could tap on the screen for infinity until she found all the hidden objects. I stepped it up with the Medium difficulty, which set a timer and also punished you for tapping too many wrong items by subtracting minutes. It didn't matter. You'll find all the clues well before the timer even comes close to running out. Unless you are blind. If you are blind, you really messed up buying *this* game. After beating the game, I unlocked the Gumshoe difficulty, as well as the Treasure Hunt bonus game. Replay value is there, with randomly generated maps, and there's also multiplayer races (though someone else needs their own cartridge to play), but after that the game is pretty much done.

As I said before, not a complete timewaster. In fact, it took me the weekend to finish up with Mystery Case Files: MillionHeir, and I can verify the game is perfect for a rainy morning by the window, just tap, tap, tapping away. I think she got it for $20. I got it for free, and that's how you should try and get it. Got it?

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