Mystery Trackers: Blackrow’s Secret is a casual adventure game set in a grim and dark world worthy of a late night campfire tale. You play a professional detective charged with protecting an actress who’s under some sort of mysterious threat. A ghostly figure causes your car to crash and she gets hauled away to Blackrow, the scariest and most quarantined part of town. Looks like today’s shaping up to be another ordinary day!
The backdrop of plagues and malefic ghosts sets a stirring tone to the whole of Mystery Trackers: Blackrow’s Secret. Fortunately you’ll spend most of your time focusing on which items belong to which puzzles so you can move forward. Mystery Trackers emphasizes sheer quantity of items and encourages you to pack your inventory full. Sift through those little treasures to see what you can use on your immediate surroundings. You’ll often need to zoom in to manipulate the items on an individual level, adding a slightly abstract layer of puzzle solving to the game.
Hidden object scenes fill out some of the longer stretches of the Mystery Trackers: Blackrow’s Secret experience. Each one takes place with a text list of items beneath a crowded scene above, pretty much the usual set-up for a game of this nature. A few of the items are marked in red as interactive, meaning you’ll have to uncover or assemble them in stages instead of just clicking and calling it a day.
Complementing your item hunting and puzzle solving is a clever little device called the supernatural energy detector. In case the name didn’t give it away, this machine can be used to sniff out information from areas and items that had contact with something not of this world. Use the detector to hunt down clues, then search for a way to recharge it for the next time you get stuck. Supernatural energy doesn’t get detected for free, you know.
One of the first things that really sands out about Mystery Trackers is its level of polish. This is the kind of game that’s filled with little optimizations that are so perfect they often go unnoticed. Small animations for using items, puzzle clues hidden in the layout of the screen, mini-games with unique designs and sound effects, these things add up to really fill out the experience, even though you’ll barely realize they’re there. It’s also worth noting that the artwork for Blackrow’s Secret is simply amazing. Not a fan of the dark gothic look? You’ll still appreciate the attention to detail!
Mystery Trackers: Blackrow’s Secret doesn’t go out of its way to stand out of the crowd. It really doesn’t have to, though, since it’s such a well put together game that flows smoothly from beginning to end. Excellent puzzles, great design, and plenty of fun diversions from the mini-games and achievement hunting.