Review by KFHEWUI

Reviewed: 09/13/12

An average game that is dragged down by lack of story and dull gameplay

A few days before the premiere of the next big blockbuster movie, the movie has been stolen, and a private investigator has been called in to find the movie quickly. The private investigator has seventeen hours to find the movie before the premiere, and if they do find it, they will be rewarded with a nice paycheck of seventeen million dollars. As for story design that is as far as the game goes, there is no plot development or characters to interrogate, and it all leads up to an underwhelming ending.

Mystery P.I. Lost in Los Angeles is a hidden object game where the player is given a list of ten items and must find each item in the picture, and the game is composed of twenty-six levels. The first twenty five levels are composed of several pictures where the items must be found, and the number of screens in each level ranges from three up to nine.

Mystery P.I. Lost in Los Angeles has low spec requirements, and I played it on a HP computer (that is from around 2008) with Windows XP and had no trouble however the game is also compatible with Vista, 7, and Mac.

Controls are solid, and the game uses the mouse for clicking the hidden items. The keyboard is used for entering a name at the beginning of the game.

Each level has a different music track, and overall the music is not bad yet it is completely forgettable. It does do the job of filling in the background but nothing more.

The bulk of the game is composed of twenty-five different screens that are repeated numerous times throughout the game, where the player has to find the hidden objects, and on the left side of the screen is a cell phone which houses the list of items. Each level has ten hidden objects that the player must find, and for the first twenty-four levels the required amount of hidden objects found is lower than the total sum of each scene so the player can either go straight to the mini game or they can look for the last few items for bonus points. For the final level all ninety objects must be found (nine screens with ten items per screen). Besides these objects there are three bonus objects in each level like key, film reel, and sheriff badge. Find all twenty five sheriff badges rewards the player with a million bonus points, but the film reel and key unlock bonus mini games once they have all been found. Also every level has a timer, since there is a seventeen hour deadline, but the game is very generous with the amount of time received that not once did I ever come close to running out of time.

One problem I have is that objects that are to be found are random objects that sometimes are sorely out of place yet have nothing to do with the game. Some levels also repeat items a lot, but more importantly what does having to find a banana or returning popcorn to a bucket has to do with find clue as to who took the film? It would have been a lot better if the items had more purpose to the game instead they feel like they are stretching the game out. Also the game can be picky sometimes when clicking on an item the game can be picky, and sometimes only clicking on the middle of the item will acknowledge the selection.

Graphic look okay, and some of the hidden objects do blend well while others stick out like a sore thumb. The interface is well design and easy to navigate.

At the end of each level, there will be a mini game that must be completed to obtain the clue, and these mini games range from a bejeweled like mini-game, completing a puzzle, and rotating pictures to match them up with the background. Thankfully these mini games break up the game play however they are too far apart. The final level is one big puzzle where the player has to use all the clues that they found to solve the case which ends with a bitter ending.

After beating the game there is not much left to do however there are the mini games to play that are unlocked by finding all the film reels and keys. The two mini games are unlimited seek & find and the bejewel like mini game.

Mystery P.I. Lost is Los Angeles is average game at best, and the lack of a story and the one trick pony gameplay gets stale fast. While the game is not bad, there is not enough meat on the bone to recommend this game other than to the most die hard fans of hidden object games but even then there are much better games of the genre out there.

Rating:   2.5 - Playable

Product Release: Mystery P.I.: Lost in Los Angeles (US, 07/28/09)

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