When hidden object game developers tackle a sequel, they attempt to recreate the experience of the original while adding new twists. Notmuch thought goes into creating scenes and sprinkling objects around, so with hidden object games the hard part comes in spinning anintriguing story and features that keep players hunting. Unfortunately,Mystery P.I. – The Vegas Heist does the opposite of what most would expect in a sequel to Mystery P.I. – The Lottery Winner.

Sin city. What happens in Vegas stays in Vegas. Entertainmentcapital of the world. No matter what you call the city of Las Vegas,most agree it has a personality of its own. Bright lights, grandhotels, addicting games, delicious overflowing buffets. Even thoughdetecting occurs in the casino, at the roulette table, and by thepoolside; Mystery P.I. – The Vegas Heist doesn’t ooze the spirit Vegas as well as it can.

Maybe the game needs Elvis-like music for Vegas inspiration and morestorytelling. The story opens the game telling about the "heist of thecentury" – someone stole four billion dollars from the vault before acasino’s grand opening. After that, nary a word about the story or theheist comes up until the end, which makes it easier to lose interest asthe scenes repeat themselves with objects that appear in the samelocations.

If players find the missing money within 16 hours, the casino willpay a generous reward of 50 million dollars – in a JPG image no doubt.In the hunt for 25 clues and hidden objects, players also look for keysand poker chips to unlock unlimited seek and find mode.

New are four mini-games, none of which appeared in the original.Three of the games are puzzle-related. One puzzle calls for rotatingthe pieces until they are in place; another requires swapping piecesuntil they all land in their rightful places; and the third puzzle gamecalls for rotating and dragging pieces from the side onto their spotsin the board. The fourth and best game is crosswords. Find all thewords in the grid — they show up horizontally, vertically, anddiagonally using different sizes and shapes of letters resembling aransom note.

Players can play with unlimited hints or with hints that cost 7500points and then a waiting period for the hint meter to refill beforeusing hint again. Using a hint costs more than finding an object, whichis worth 5000 points. As players start a new level, their points alsorevert back to zero. So they don’t have an endless number of points touse in hints, but it doesn’t take long to collect enough in the latterlevels where players must find over 50 objects. Do the math – 2300objects in all spread out in 25 levels.

The game’s redeeming quality is the list of objects. "Months in ayear," "fire hall mascot," and "dinner to go" challenge more than "12,""Dalmatian," and "takeout box." Sometimes the game doesn’t acceptclicks on the right hidden object, but at least it happens onlysporadically. More aggravating are the instances where, for example,the game says to find three number 5’s, but after clicking the five on"five times pay," the game won’t accept that answer. Sure enough, three5’s show up elsewhere, but the "five times pay" is a legitimateselection. This happened again with palm trees.

Mystery P.I. – The Vegas Heist retains the sharp andbrilliant graphics expected of today’s games. While this game doesn’tcommit any sins, it’s a shame that it doesn’t taking advantage of theVegas theme as well as it could with more story and scenery.Nonetheless, it’ll keep anyone with enough patience to find out whathappens busy for hours – especially since it offers hard-to-find itemswithout being impossible.