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An ancient Celtic artifact was uncovered in the isolated hamlet of Dire Grove, in the United Kingdom. A group of American graduate researchers travels to the location to find the truth about the legends of the region, but are never heard or seen again. After successfully solving the mysteries of the haunted Ravenhearst state, an investigator is hired to search for the missing students, finding a video camera and tapes shot by them scattered around the desolate, frozen landscape surrounding the abandoned hotel that was their campsite.

Mystery Case Files: Dire Grove is the most ambitious entry in the Mystery Cases series by Big Fish Games so far. Instead of being a pure hidden object game like the first titles, the game follows the recent trend of inserting hidden object screens within a classic point-and-click adventure design, with a drag-and-drop inventory and simple puzzles tailored for the casual market. One big addition from the preceding Ravenhearst game is the inclusion of full-motion video clips with live actors that take almost half of the screen. They can be found as VHS tapes laying around the many locations of the game, and played on the crime computer to develop the plot further.

The scenes are presented as a series of mostly static screens with snowfall and other short animations added as atmospheric effects. The player navigates through the locations by placing the cursor on the edges or on obvious openings like holes and doors, where the cursor becomes a golden arrow that can be clicked to move to the next room. Some portions of the scenery shimmer to indicate the existence of one of the hidden object screens on a particular spot.

The hidden object sections take place on separate screens, where the objective is to find and click on all the items listed at the bottom. The hint button at the bottom-right shows the position of one of the required objects when activated, but takes some time to recharge after use. After collecting all the list entries, one of the objects is stored inside the inventory to be used later when solving puzzles.

The inventory can be accessed directly, by moving the cursor to the bottom of the screen to make a series of slots appear, that can be scrolled left or right with the interface arrows. Like in most adventure games, the objects have to be dragged and dropped on logical places of the scenery to solve puzzles and perform actions. For example, a key can be used on a lock open a door. A journal keeps track of any information needed to solve some of the puzzles, acting as general guide to the game. Some of the puzzles take place on self-contained screens, where a mechanism of some sort has to be manipulated directly to solve them.


Mystery Case Files: Dire Grove Windows The video selection computer.
Mystery Case Files: Dire Grove Macintosh Journal
Mystery Case Files: Dire Grove Windows Inside the manager's office.
Mystery Case Files: Dire Grove Macintosh Intro cutscene

Promo Images

Mystery Case Files: Dire Grove Screenshot
Mystery Case Files: Dire Grove Screenshot
Mystery Case Files: Dire Grove Screenshot

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User Reviews

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Critic Reviews

Game Mile Windows Dec 12, 2009 5 Stars5 Stars5 Stars5 Stars5 Stars 100
Casual Explosion Windows Nov, 2009 9.3 out of 10 93
GameZebo Windows Nov 26, 2009 4.5 Stars4.5 Stars4.5 Stars4.5 Stars4.5 Stars 90
Adventurespiele Windows Aug 13, 2010 4 Stars4 Stars4 Stars4 Stars4 Stars 80
GamingXP Windows Aug 20, 2010 80 out of 100 80
Adventure Gamers Windows Nov 25, 2009 3.5 Stars3.5 Stars3.5 Stars3.5 Stars3.5 Stars 70
Jeuxvideo.com Windows Dec 31, 2015 12 out of 20 60
Jeuxvideo.com Nintendo 3DS Dec 31, 2015 12 out of 20 60
Nintendo-Online.de Nintendo 3DS Dec 31, 2013 6 out of 10 60
Digitally Downloaded Nintendo 3DS Apr 28, 2014 1.5 Stars1.5 Stars1.5 Stars1.5 Stars1.5 Stars 30


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Related Web Sites

  • UHS hints for Mystery Case Files: Dire Grove (give you as much detail as any walkthrough to help you finish, but unlike ordinary walkthroughs or cheats, it shows you just the hints you need, so your game is never spoiled.)
Contributed to by Victor Vance (15497) and Macs Black (80133)
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