SpinTop’s Mystery P.I. – Lost in Los Angeles is the fourth game in the Mystery P.I. hidden object game series. In it, an important and exclusive copy of the most important blockbuster movie of the year has gone missing. Using your skills of observation, you must find and recover the missing film.
You have been hired to find the missing film before it’s too late. If you succeed, a handsome reward of $15 million awaits you, but time is running out. You have a mere 17 hours to recover the blockbuster and return it to the film studio.
Following the format of its predecessors, the game features the very linear style of classic hidden object gameplay that the Mystery P.I. Series is known for. Not all objects are obvious though: the game often uses tricky and clever descriptions or ploys of word to make you really think. Some objects are even actions you must perform to cross that item off the list.
The objects themselves are also hidden very well, but at the same time, aren’t too difficult to find. After each level, a bonus game will appear. Bonus games range from crossword and jigsaw puzzles to Match 3 games, leaving a small and refreshing surprise at the end of each level in order to earn the clue. There are 25 clues and levels to be discovered, with 25 unique areas to sleuth within.
In addition to classic mode, Lost in Los Angeles also features two additional game modes: Unlimited Seek & Find, and the Match 3 Bonus Game. Unlimited Seek & Find will take the gamer through each of the 25 unique locations to find all the hidden objects possible: there’s no time limit, so there’s no pressure. With over 2,100 objects to discover, this extra mode promises hours more gameplay after the game is finished. Furthermore, Match 3 Bonus Game allows players to enjoy the simple gameplay of the Match 3 mini-games without having to play through the various levels. Each additional mode becomes available through finding bonus objects scattered throughout the 25 levels.
Lost in Los Angeles benefits from the fact that the game does not sidetrack: the format is very linear and neat. Gameplay is simple and a well established hint system is available. Using hints detracts from your score, but players can access via the Options menu the ability to enable unlimited hints, which is especially useful for newer or less experienced hidden object gamers. Scores can also easily be raised by finding objects in combos. The game has a nice long length, and it’s fun to play for a quick few minutes or for hours at a time.
However, there are detriments. The storyline is barely touched, if at all, during the actual gameplay itself: in fact the only mention of the storyline is at the very beginning at ending of the game, making it more of a back-story than an actual plot you participate in and watch develop, making it difficult to grow “attached” to the story. Objects you must recover in each level are entirely random and seem to have no relation to the actual clues, which are only recovered after completing each area within a level, followed by a mini-game. Objects you will need to find are sometimes repeated through the various levels.
Overall, in regards to gameplay, Mystery P.I. – Lost in Los Angeles is an excellent title that further proves why the Mystery P.I. Games are so immensely popular and successful. It embodies the classic hidden object game. However, gamers who are looking for a story or some form of script and situation development in the game or during gameplay will most likely be disappointed by the detachment of gameplay and storyline.