Welcome to Ravenhearst Manor. A master detective (yourself) will be useful in assisting in the investigation of some disturbing occurrences surrounding a young woman's diary, and the missing entries that have been ripped out of the diary. On the mission of the Queen of England, herself, you need to search through a year's worth of abandoned rubble and tricky locked doors to find the missing pieces of the journal and, subsequently, unravel the tale of Ravenhearst Manor.
Ravenhearst Manor is the setting for the unfinished journal of Emma Ravenhearst and is also the last resting place of its lost pages. It is up to you to seek out these missing pages by going from room to room, and searching the manor's grounds finding items in a hidden object setting, unlocking doors by solving abstract puzzles, and then, once you have found the pieces, putting together a paper puzzle depicting a scene from Emma's journal. With each jigsaw puzzle photo that is pieced back together, you will be able to view another entry in her disturbing journal. You will learn of betrayal, heartbreak, and murder most fowl as you learn what happened out at the isolated manor so many years ago.
Each round of the game starts with a map of the grounds. There is a sidebar on your right-hand side of the screen. The lower square of this bar is dedicated to informing you how many hidden objects you need to find, to move on to your diary puzzle.
For example, you may see that there are 28 hidden objects left to find. Between the rooms available on the folders in the centre of your screen, you must find 28 objects. Each room has approximately 8 objects. Knowing that you may leave an area when you have hit a rough patch and try another room for a few minutes is a helpful way to avoid using you hints, which are limited to six per round, not per puzzle.
Each time you are ready to move on to another area of the house, you will consult the map folders and choose from the highlighted rooms available. For instance, you will see that the Library is available and has 8 hidden objects contained within its walls. You will then click on the Library, and complete the hidden object portion of the game. Again, if you find that there are a few items in the Library that you just cannot find, return to the map and try another room for a bit. One room in each round will be locked, and you must solve a quirky and quite unconventional puzzle to unlock the room, before going on to play the hidden object portion of the game.
Once you have collected enough hidden objects, you will be brought to a diary puzzle screen. The diary puzzles are straightforward jigsaw puzzles depicting scenes straight out of Emma's diary. Of course, every young woman takes a time out to illustrate her journal in the third person. Clearly, you must; no? Well, apparently Emma did and you will be presented with a pile of shredded bits of her drawings each time you complete a round from the map area. (This is usually about 30 hidden objects from around the grounds and one lock puzzle.) The diary puzzle will consist of ripped up papers that must be put back together. You will see the picture you are trying to form in the centre of your screen and your pieces in the lower part of the screen. Click on a piece to lift is and take it to the picture. Pressing the space bar will rotate the piece to make it the correct orientation for the puzzle. This is not necessarily an easy puzzle, but it is not difficult to get the hang of. There are approximately six to seven pieces shown at any given time, and as you take a piece from the bottom and correctly place it on the photo, you will receive a new piece in its place at the bottom until you are nearly through with the puzzle.
Hidden object games are fairly straight forward. You will see a list on your right-hand side bar consisting of a number of items. You must then scour a horribly cluttered area to find these items. Each time you find one, click on it, and it will be removed as well as its name from the list. Therefore, when the item "bowler" shows up on your list, you may think you are searching for a person bowling, and you may be right. Unfortunately, you may also be looking for a bowler hat (or both!). Be careful and think about words with double meanings. Another interesting aspect of the hidden object game pertains to the timer (which will click BLARINGLY in the upper right-hand corner of your page). You must be cautious with your clicking. If you think you have found something that resembles, say, a pocket watch, and upon clicking find that the item is not being collected, you are probably clicking on a similar-looking item, such as a compass; best to not keep clicking and find the actual pocket watch. This is because multiple incorrect clicks can make that blatantly mocking timer speed up for a loss of five whole minutes.
Each round has a tricky aspect thrown into the mix in the form of a locked door. There is a guide to each door following this section. If you choose to skip this guide, the best strategy for the entire game would be to find the locked room in each round and complete it first before you do any hidden object games.
These puzzles are horribly unconventional, and at times, the grace of dumb luck may be the only thing getting you to that unlocked door. Therefore, playing the lock first ensures that you have six hints to use if you get stuck. If you get too lost, you can always exit to the map and re-enter the lock puzzle and try again.
As a last resort, you will see a telephone on the lower end of the sidebar. The telephone sometimes will even begin to ring, as if taunting you. The phone is there for a quick exit. It is to be used only if you are about to tear your hair out and cannot finish the puzzle, because you are starting to go a little bit mad. If this happens, click the phone, and you will be prompted to choose whether or not you want to give up. You will lose all your hints if you say "yes" but you will not have to look that puzzle in the eyes again (until the next time you play the game through). These doors are not typically locked. You may not just be looking for a key, but with the assistance of the following step-by-step walk through, they will be a piece of cake.
Download Mystery Case Files Ravenhearst at Big Fish Games.