1 - 10 of 19 User Reviews

User review by christaxx


where do i begin, after using gamezbo site for a few years now to check game reviews before purchasing this is the only game that has driven me to actually write a review. im a huge fan of mystery case files and on owning all the previous had to have this. when i first started playing i quickly realised the awful ham acting of the psychic was going to drive me insane. so im afraid i had to mute her. the actual hidden object scenes where as good as usual and in places the atmosphere was very creepy.( my youngest son who is a huge hidden object fan i wont be letting him play this one.)
it was very short but i think the bit that drove me most to distraction was after you handed the loaded photos to the annoying phychic was the spinning photos you had to join together.
so on the whole dont waste your cash and this one is going on ebay. sorry mcf

1 out of 1 people found this review helpful

User review by facesunderwater


I guess I enjoyed this game more than most.

Yes it wasn't as cool as Dire Grove and The 13th Skull, but it was still fun. I thought the artwork in this game was amazing. The weird fog and map were neat. I loved the silly ghost hunter characters. The psychic did get on my nerves by the end because of the overacting. Plus having to go back and see her constantly wasn't great, but I did like trying to find where to put the drawings. The ladder thing was kind of annoying. I don't like having to move things around several times. I also had a hard time trying to understand how to do the sandbox puzzle.

I liked the creepy atmosphere. I was actually creeped out by the idea of going back into the warden's house. That was cool. I also enjoyed those weird floaty puzzles you put together to move on. This wasn't the best MCF game by any means, but I had fun and liked it overall.

1 out of 1 people found this review helpful

User review by aitchie


I was delighted to see another MCF game, but they seem to have gone downhill since the excellent Dire Grove. This one is quite dark. There is a map to transport you between the locations but it just takes you to the 'entrance' to each location so it soon gets frustrating for example when you have to keep returning to the motel and then taking another 3 or 4 clicks to go pick up some more pictures for example.

The HOG scenes are quite nicely done and spread out in a location so they aren't just on one screen, but as the zoomed view disappears once you have collected all you can from one area it doesn't take a genius to complete them.

There is a 'bonus' extra scene - the quarry - with the special edition of this game, but if you don't go and do it, you complete the game anyway and then can't go back. All the bonus area does is unlock morphing objects throughout the rest of the game to collect so not sure it's that worth while.

Overall a reasonable adventure HOG but lacked interest and lacked the magic that some of the earlier MCF had.

1 out of 1 people found this review helpful

User review by Addreamy


I have played all of the MCF games released for Mac/PC (as well as numerous other games.) This game thoroughly delighted me - and made me jump more than once!

I played the CE on hard mode and found it to be challenging without frustrating. The length of the game was excellent, particularly with the addition of the Collector's Edition gameplay, which I chose to do simultaneously with regular gameplay.

This game has a number of excellent innovations. First, rather than having to sort through endless junkpiles, the HO are scattered across several different scenes, some of them insets. Objects make relative sense where they are found without being obvious. Several of the other puzzles were completely new, including one involving wires in a unique way, and all the puzzles related to the medium. I had a ton of fun with the scavenger hunts, and the resulting jigsaw was incredibly clever with an excellent cutscene payoff each time.

The acting was spot-on for anyone who has ever watched the reality ghost shows on TV and the medium's personality reminded me strongly of a different current reality show featuring a medium: in other words, it was realistically over-the-top, and it was clear that Lea Thompson had a ton of fun with the role. (I believe she mentioned in the promo chat that her own mother is a medium.)

The ending did seem a bit abrupt to me - I hope that simply indicates that we are not done with this storyline!

Well-done, BigFishGames!

2 out of 4 people found this review helpful

User review by hilofoz


I have now played through the complete CE of Mystery Case Files: Shadow Lake. Looking back on it, I feel I can only give it four stars, not the usual five for MCF, but I would really have given it 31/2 stars. It just does not have the length nor the depth of the other MCF games.

Firstly, on the positive side, I found the live acting very good, and the Ghostbuster couple really funny. I do not find live acting a problem. However I did see a problem with the voice synch. at certain stages.

The theme and story were good, I liked the idea of matching drawings to the locations. I also enjoyed splitting the HOG scenes into different areas, and the fact that these were not over cluttered and full of irrelevant junk. I also enjoyed the few puzzles that were in the game, and especially enjoyed the seance movies. A very novel element, and have never seen this in any other games previously.

The artwork was brilliant as usual, and the sound effects evocative, without being too obvious.

My criticisms are these:

1. Generally very short, I think about three to four hours play in the main game.

2. A little repetitive in things to do.

3. Not enough puzzles. The puzzles in the game were sometimes confusing in what one had to do to solve them, especially towards the end.

4. Too much backtracking. (Forgetting the ladder was annoying)

5. No real extra game play in the CE edition, just a simple task, after finding the object to initiate this.

6. Some HOs small and hard to see against a very dark background.

7. The game lacked a real sense of moving through spaces and places unlike the others in this series.

The MCF team may have had to pay a premium price for professional actors at the expense of taking the time to develop more areas.

6 out of 6 people found this review helpful

User review by drippingstars


Well first off all this is my least favorite of the MCF games. My favorites being Dire Grove &13th Skull. With that in mind, I had pretty high expectations for this game and the developers just didn't come through. That being said, I don't understand all the hate for this game. Some reviewers actually rated it a 1? Seriously? Surely most of us have come to expect a bit more from MCF (I sure know that I have!), but this certainly isn't the WORST game I've ever played, not even in the top 10 worst games I've ever played.
I like that they took some chances. Having HO scenes spread out across more than one room was a pretty nice touch that I think worked because it made sense. Making you feel like you're actually playing a role in the story, it made sense that if you were looking for objects to use you would have to search in more than just one location to find them. So the HO's had an organic flow to them which was nice.
I don't mind the live actors. I sort of liked the quirky and over-the-top portrayals. For some games this really doesn't work, but (for me anyway) MCF always seems to do a pretty decent job of integrating live actors into the game.
The bad? Well, MCF games usually have such depth and detail and numerous locations for you to travel to. I know some folks liked it, but having to travel everywhere by map was one of my biggest peeves! I like getting lost in a game and exploring. But when you need a map to jump from place to place that flow simply doesn't exist. The game play felt choppy to me at best. There was no real depth or dimension to any of the locations. You're just sort of there. Also a big no-no for me -- no bonus chapter. So why exactly did we pay for a CE if we don't get any extra game play out of it? I know I don't buy CE's for the wallpapers!
All in all I didn't find this to be a terrible game. Just an average one. And not at all what I would expect from an MCF game after waiting a whole year. Maybe they'll do better next time.

6 out of 6 people found this review helpful

User review by krystal850


I had to play this game twice as the first time I decided to zip over and open a vent before opening the buliding and the screwdriver disappeared.. never to be seen again ugh start over. The second time I finished the game without ever having lowered or opening the safe What gives.?? I think MCF tried to be innovative by using a good portion of the game with live actors but less is more. I;d prefer to unfold the story through game play and not so much watching video. There were hardly any puzzles. No morphing objects that I could see. No extra chapter. There were some floating jigsaws that I liked and I liked that the HO scenes could move room to room but overall this one just didn't have it. I guess I will have to lower my expectations and just treat the MCF's like any other game. I found the plot a bit old, the art work fantastic and the game play okay, I thought many of the HO scenes were small and void of color (inside the truck for example). When I look back on this game I feel that the developers may have fallen in love with the process of making it and not seen it so much from a play-abilty angle. I loved them all up to Escape from Ravenhearst and this one has done nothing to restore my confidence. Maybe next time.

5 out of 5 people found this review helpful

User review by greenguppy


Note: update of review February 2014: Have just played again for the third or fourth time (CE) and STUMBLED across a bonus hidden object game in the jail cell in the sheriff's office. The pop up said this is one of two bonus locations/hidden object games. Does anyone know where the second one is?

I have just begun playing and may change my mind but it is enough different from run of the mill for me to at least enjoy trying to figure out what to do next. Unique puzzles but that's their specialty. Hidden Object hunts can be carried room to room which makes for another new challenge. Overall they get five stars for coming up with a new way to play a game that's not a boiler plate while still keeping some of the atmosphere and familiarity that makes us buy the next in a series. Commendations on that.

Negative points do exist....starting with the strategy guide which only shows your current page. If you missed doing something two pages earlier you're just out of luck! No page turning at all! I cry foul!

I am not a fan of live actors and gimmicks so I feel the psychic readings part could have been handled some other way, so we didn't have to keep watching Leah Thompson vamp it up on screen. And you couldn't rush or skip those.
So, I imagine I won't replay this as many times as I have replayed Dire Grove, Return to Ravenhearst and Escape from Ravenhearst. But......

I think this is a good game; different, challenging, and moody.

Morphing objects unlock suddenly early on and aren't in SG. This is the bonus game.
You can do without the CE if you don't like morphs. I buy CE because of the SG and extras like morphs. Glad I at least got the morphs. I sure didn't get much of a SG.

Also check out user tip forums for more help than SG gives.

1 out of 2 people found this review helpful

User review by wildt


I like this game too bad it didn't get enough ratings I think the reason some people did not like it becouse of the changes the people who made the the game said that it going to be some changes I don't know why some people is supprise they should know it gong to happend and should got a chance.

0 out of 3 people found this review helpful

User review by wahi_mom


Seriously disappointed in this game. I've come to expect a lot from the MCF series, and while this game delivers on beautiful art, the puzzles left me completely bored. Recent entries in the series have been challenging, this offered not a challenge, just a lot of backtracking. They went from HO-Adventure back to more of a pure HO format, which I think is probably good for some players (like a kid), but is not what those of us who are more passionate about HOA games have come to expect. The final puzzle was just dumb, and at that point I was so bored that I didn't even want to bother.

There are other game series that I have loved that have completely jumped the shark, and I fear that Shadow Lake is MCF's moment. I'd be willing to see if they can turn things around next year, but this is really just not worth it, at all. A waste of time, and not in a good way.

4 out of 4 people found this review helpful

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