A Maniac Mansion For All – Stranger Cases Review

Nov 27, 2018
Adventure

The hidden object genre is peculiar. It’s perfect accessible for many, capturing a lot of classic adventure game themes, but is often eschewed as niche; which is what brings us to Stranger Cases, a game aiming to change that with a free-to-play, all-ages hidden object puzzler.

You play as a daring gumshoe detective helping a scientist find his baby robot drone, venturing through a maze of increasingly head-scratching rooms. Each one serves as a standalone level that you need to progress through, with their own secrets to uncover as you solve a variety of brainteasers.

The clean visual design and intuitive interface never leaves you hunting for items long, and the brisk pace lends a sense of immediacy some adventure games lack..

On the difficulty side, Stranger Cases isn’t Myst, but that’s really the point. Not only is there a hint system, but most of the dialogue and well animated visual prompts help you piece things together quickly. Rather than leave you lingering over what items go together, Stranger Cases is more concerned with ensuring you have fun. The clean visual design and intuitive interface never leaves you hunting for items long, and the brisk pace lends a sense of immediacy some adventure games lack.

The sound design and music aren’t quite as on the mark. The main tune is fine but repetitive as you press on. The sound effects take the worst hit, all sounding like audio samples you’d find for free on YouTube. Not a deal breaker by any means, it’s just far from ideal. There’s no spoken dialogue, so at least you don’t have any awkward voice acting to deal with?

Truly, the greatest highlight about Stranger Cases is that it's a mainstream-targeted hidden object game.t

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What this leads to is an experience that’s pleasant enough, if not groundbreaking for the genre. An acceptable, entertaining thing for you to play with your kid or to do yourself if you want a casual brainteaser for on the bus. It helps that each level’s got enough content for a quick ride, and you can do multiple in a row, though without paying, expect to sit through ads – which is a fair trade all things considered.

Certainly worth your time, but cracking the mystery of Stranger Cases won't redefine adventure games for you.

Truly, the greatest highlight about Stranger Cases is that it’s a mainstream-targeted hidden object game. We get so many aimed at the “lonely housewives” market that it’s nice to see one more in the vein of classic edutainment titles like Pajama Sam and Spyfox, if a tad bit more humorous than taxing. Certainly worth your time, but cracking the mystery of Stranger Cases won’t redefine adventure games for you.

Our Rating

ProsCons
A hidden object game for everyone with a charming aesthetic and slick design.Nothing groundbreaking design-wise, and the sound design leaves much to be desired.
Rating
7.0/10
Stranger Cases
Stranger Cases
Developer:
Price: Free+
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Elijah Beahm

Elijah is a man who can't stop talking about games, geeky things, and to the chagrin of his colleagues, horrible puns. He's been working as a game journalist for several years now, and in addition to Appolicious, His other work can be found at GameCritics.com, I Need Diverse Games, and The Unabridged Gamer on YouTube. When not reviewing games, you'll probably find him ranting on Twitter, writing, or replaying Dead Space 2 for the zillionth time.

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