Find the missing gold in Goldengate City.

SpinTop’s popular Mystery P.I franchise returns in the sixth instalment, Mystery P.I.: Stolen in San Francisco. You’ll find yourself in the Golden Gate city, tracking the whereabouts of an extremely valuable stack of gold gone missing. As always, time is critical: it’s your job to find the gold and catch the thieves before they disappear for good.

The owner of the missing gold, worth a cold hard $250 million, has given you a deadline of 17 hours to track down the gold and capture the crooks responsible. A modest $20 million awaits your pockets if you can successfully complete the task in time.

Mystery P.I.: Stolen in San Francisco follows the classic mold set by the previous titles. The game features 25 unique San Francisco-based locations, and contains 25 levels with anywhere between two and nine locations each. At the end of each level, you’ll have a mini-game to complete in order to obtain your next clue. Objects are randomized for each scene, promising a different gameplay experience for everybody. However, in addition to the randomized items, you’ll find 3 specific special items in each of the 25 locations.

Collecting all the keys and peace signs, which are not randomized, will reward you with unlocked game modes in the main menu. If you can manage to find the third non-randomized item per each scene, the flashlight, you’ll be given 1,000,000 in bonus points. Bonus game modes include Unlimited Seek and Find: an in-game extra which allows you to try and locate over 2,000 hidden objects, as well as Match 3 Bonus Game: an option which allows you to replay the Match 3 portions of the game over again. Players of the previous games will find this exceptionally familiar.

The gameplay of Mystery P.I.: Stolen in San Francisco follows its predecessors so closely that if it weren’t for the different setting, one might wonder if they were playing the exact same game as the previous titles over again. The goal is simple: find the hidden objects on the list. If you need help, a hint button is available that will renew endlessly. Using hints by default costs you a small portion of your score (the same goes for clicking in the wrong place too much), while finding objects quickly back-to-back multiplies it. If scores or time limits aren’t near the top of a player’s list of things they like, not to worry: time limit and score penalities (in the form of hints) can be switched on or off from the options menu.

Veterans of the Mystery P.I. series will find themselves right where they left off, while newcomers will find the gameplay simple and friendly. End-level mini-games are no exception: while they come in varied forms, none are very difficult to complete.

Now that that’s been said, one may wonder, what exactly does Mystery P.I.: Stolen in San Francisco have to offer in the “new gameplay” category for the series? The answer is fairly simple and rather blunt: not much, if anything at all. Aside from the 25 San Francisco-influenced locations, you’ll find yourself playing essentially the exact same game as before, with the same repeating objects and fewer mini-game variation than the previous title. For those who like consistency and to play the same familiar titles as before, this is good news. For those who were hoping for something new, I’m afraid you’ll be disappointed. As characteristic of the series, the story is more of a beginning-game description. You won’t see any development at all through the course of the game.

That being said, how about what Mystery P.I.: Stolen in San Francisco does well? Well for starters, it’s a good solid basis of hidden object gameplay. People new to the series will probably find it quite enjoyable, and the lack of storyline does give a slightly leisurely air to the gameplay. In conclusion, if you loved the previous Mystery P.I. titles and didn’t mind the repetitive nature, or like finding hidden objects in San Francisco, you’ll probably very much enjoy this game. However, if you tire of repetitive gameplay or were looking for something new and refreshing, this isn’t the game for you.