526 Posts

Re:Please post your REVIEWS here for Mystery Case Files: Dire Grove, Sacred Grove Collector's Edit

[Post New]by slimjims36 on Nov 25, 14 8:23 PM
Hmmmm, thought there would be an insane amount of reviews by now. Puzzling. However, I hate to admit it, but some of you reviewers are right. Nothing that grabs you and turn yourselves inside out. Sorry EG and BFG, the big puzzles (which I imagine were the result of thousands of outcries to bring back the puzzles from Ravenhearst) were not the same as those we enjoyed before, more complicated, and nowhere near as fun.

Yeah, everything was okay, but what does it tell you that I got through the entire trial without hints, yet the original Dire Grove I've never been able to complete because of the complexity and difficulty (and yes, this was a bar set very high, perhaps so high that nothing or any new MCF games will ever measure up).

Good game, but something is .. . .. . well, missing.

46 Posts

Re:Please post your REVIEWS here for Mystery Case Files: Dire Grove, Sacred Grove Collector's Edi

[Post New]by n2u2nyte on Nov 25, 14 10:51 PM

Edited on 12/08/2014 at 3:34:06 PM PST

742 Posts

Re:Please post your REVIEWS here for Mystery Case Files: Dire Grove, Sacred Grove Collector's Edit

[Post New]by megwoman25 on Nov 25, 14 11:15 PM
I beta tested this game and so hoped it would get changed up but alas it hasn't...The only thing different are the fact the developers added a ridiculous amount of extras none of which even make the game more appealing in my opinion. I like elephant games but lately their games have become kind of stale in terms of story line, game play etc so I was hoping that they were focusing most of their efforts into making this game as awesome as they could but sadly its just more of the same fare. I LOVED the original Dire Grove game but I felt this story line did no justice to the original and I would love to see a new story line for MCF since it used to be what all the other games tried to live up to. Now it seems, its just another game.

There are a lot of amazing games on the market that are out of the box but this is not one of them. The druids and hunters did nothing for me. The extras did not pull me in or want to play more. The achievements were pedestrian, nothing exciting or creative just skip and puzzle related. I wanted MORPHING OBJECTS! and not the 9 building ones but real hard to find ones! MCF had morphing object hidden object scenes for freaks sake so I felt these were not ok and the puzzle pieces were too easy to find.

I liked the hard figure out what to move to do them puzzles but I wish there had been a customized level, a way to turn off black bar tips but leave the snarky comments of MCFs past.

Overall, I felt this was very disappointing. It was not as bad as Shadow Lake but I have no desire to buy it even with the sale...

One last thing...I don't like how I see a lot of developers stealing Mad Head games signature hidden object scenes where you click on the object and then make something else like a badge.....I wish developers would stick to their OWN signatures because that keeps games interesting. I like diversity and everyone doing the same thing because it worked in a past game makes the future games a big bore because its all the same. Keep your special skills please!

2.5 out of 5 stars. graphics/music awesome. Lots to do. Just not up to par with an MCF game. Boring extras. Only 6 chapters...boring plot line...

990 Posts

Re:Please post your REVIEWS here for Mystery Case Files: Dire Grove, Sacred Grove Collector's Edit

[Post New]by abarrett on Nov 25, 14 11:21 PM
I played the beta version when the speculation thread started on FB, and I played the demo just to see if anything was changed. This is a good game if you are a fan of the pachyderm games, but a mediocre game compared to Dire Grove or the first couple of Ravenhurst games. Each MCF game had a new twist on gameplay, whether it was morphing objects, live actors (some good, some bad), and interesting storylines. This game had nothing new, felt more like a pachyderm game and felt much less a MCF game. While this is an improvement over Shadow Lake, it is not up to the high quality that MCF was.

102 Posts

Re:Please post your REVIEWS here for Mystery Case Files: Dire Grove, Sacred Grove Collector's Edit

[Post New]by janey3315 on Nov 26, 14 3:18 AM
Good morning fellow fishies...I'm thinking the reason for the delayed reviews is because of the long download time plus one must play the game a bit before reviewing. It took me 12 hours to download this game and I have a new computer. I think there was one stall or time out during my download....

Obviously... I usually do not write reviews but I've played hundreds of these HOG's and have been on this site playing for years and years. I decided to write because I feel strongly about this game in that my absolute favorite game is the first Dire Grove. The game feels like another Elephant game that was put together a few months ago ...not the entire year long. But it's just the fact that it's MCF Dire Grove that should mean something. I can't help but think this game is an afterthought and would love to know why it feels thrown together. If I'm wrong I apologize to the developers because of the time and effort they have put into this but if players are waiting a year for this game to be released ...there should be a wow factor and it just felt like more of the same...just my thought...also it is worth the price but I guess I always expect more from MCF since it is a yearly release and it is a forerunner brand name.

I felt the exact same way that another reviewer said about always having to have a broken zipper in every HOG game ever I think I've played one too many of these games and I just get I don't want to deter people from buying or at least trying this game because of my personal pet peeves. With that being said....Happy Thanksgiving All!!!!!!


Re:Please post your REVIEWS here for Mystery Case Files: Dire Grove, Sacred Grove Collector's Edit

[Post New]by jjnshane on Nov 26, 14 4:48 AM
Well, I liked it better than Shadow Lake... But that isn't saying much!

As many other reviewers have said, this just does not feel like a MCF game -- there is just so much lacking in this game that makes a MCF game. I go months without playing any Big Fish Games (I currently have 12 game credits stored up!) but I always await Thanksgiving week with bated breath because a new MCF game is exciting and worth waiting a whole year to play! But this was a big let down. A near mockery of the original Dire Grove. This game just felt very generic and there was a lot about the game that I found irritating.

First of all, the voice over of the Master Detective is obnoxious -- The Master Detective should be in your own voice in your head. Did people complain that they didn't like reading so the game makers had to add in voice overs for dialogue? This just really created a disconnect for me with the game -- I like to be the Master Detective, and this voice over pushed me into more of the third person.

Also, when talking to the other characters in the game you are given conversation choices... but it doesn't matter what you pick, the conversations end up the same and you have to go through all of the conversation choices before you are done.

And by the way, if you are going to have characters talk in the game, could we at least have a them all speak in accents? Dire Groves is in Yorkshire County, England, and it is assumed that all of the characters have lived there their whole lives -- so why do some of them have accents and others sound like American teenagers? Is it really that difficult to find voice actors who can do an accent? (sorry, this one bothered me the entire game!)

The game play I found to be either incredibly trite, or completely unintuitive. The use of a "Deduction Board" implies that we actually have to deduce things and make connections in the evidence... but no, we are just told a story (there is that disconnect / being placed in third person again). I miss my journal... And then there are the unlock mini-games, which do bring back memories of the first Ravenhearst (sort of) but are so off base that I had to constantly hit the hint button to figure out what to do next.

BFG, please go back to being the designers of the Mystery Case Files Games... if they are going to be as generic as this one was, then you might as well pump out a MCF game several times a year.

The one saving grace for this game is the bonus chapter at the end...


Re:Please post your REVIEWS here for Mystery Case Files: Dire Grove, Sacred Grove Collector's Edit

[Post New]by jennkneefur123 on Nov 26, 14 5:51 AM
What a total let down. I don't buy a lot of HO games except for MCF which I started playing when Huntsville came out. Every year each game has gotten better and better, however with this game I felt disconnected. The only tie in that I felt to the previous MCF's was the bonus alternate ending chapter. By the end of the game I was using my hints just to get through the game and finish and go back to my favorite genres, time management and puzzles

With the previous MCF games I always got a chill, especially at the end. Not so with this game. It felt like there was not enough HO scenes. Like I spent more time walking around looking for items to unlock other items that had my character looking for more items and so on and so on. The door puzzles...well...some were super easy whilst others were super hard. I only skipped one puzzle as I just could not figure out how to do the last part. The strategy guide was almost useless as the steps to some didn't make any sense, however after rereading it over and over and trial and error, I finally solved them. And I don't like using the guide unless I absolutely have to.

Although I understand the concept of having two different characters to choose from, I really didn't care for the option. I opted for the girl as I am a girl. I think I would have rather of chosen the guy since it makes more sense from previous games. I didn't care for the conversations either. Why make us choose what to ask a character next when the outcome is the same? And the deduction board? What is up with that? When I first hit the button to deduce I thought I would get to make a decision on what happened, but instead I was told a story that I had already figured out.

So all in all, I am really bummed out this year over this chapter of MCF. I don't like to be negative about a game because the devs put a lot of effort into this, but I just was not wowed this year, I was bored. Guess I will be a bit more selective next year before purchasing another, especially if it's from EG again. On the plus side I felt the music and graphics were great! I downloaded this game in less than 30 minutes so I guess I got lucky there.

Wishing everyone a wonderful day and a Happy Thanksgiving to those that are celebrating.


Re:Please post your REVIEWS here for Mystery Case Files: Dire Grove, Sacred Grove Collector's Edi

[Post New]by monkeesee3 on Nov 26, 14 12:17 PM
cme550 wrote:Just like last years MCF I found this not the same as previous ones. Elephant is a great developer, but they do not make MCF like BFG. I think I am done with MCF and that makes me sad.
I never post but have to agree, 100%. I was hoping after last year they would have turned it around, the second I saw Elephant Games my heart sunk, it was fun in spots but not the same. MFC is the whole reason I spend my time on BFG, sad they let it go.

198 Posts

Re:Please post your REVIEWS here for Mystery Case Files: Dire Grove, Sacred Grove Collector's Edit

[Post New]by chipper23 on Nov 26, 14 1:45 PM
Just finished the main game and it was a huge disappointment. It was a good game but nothing like previous MCF games..I replayed the first Dire Grove last week to get in the mood and there is no comparison...The graphics are beautiful but ( I thought )the storyline was boring with too much talking and too many characters..I have played other games from Elephant that were just as good or better then this..The days of "Ravenhurst" "Return to R" Madame Fate ect are gone...I give it 3 ***.

18 Posts

Re:Please post your REVIEWS here for Mystery Case Files: Dire Grove, Sacred Grove Collector's Edi

[Post New]by NifaFifa on Nov 26, 14 3:25 PM
I also am a person who owns all the MCF games that you can purchase on Big Fish, so I don't own the Nintendo one, or the other one which I can't remember. They are my favorite games, and I almost always love playing them. When they introduced having live actors, I LOVED it! They are always getting better each year, with the exception of Shadow Lake, which admittedly fell flat for me, and was my least favorite of them all. WAS, being the operative word. This would now, beyond a shadow of doubt, be my least favorite.

When I bought this game, I wasn't aware that BFG had handed off developing duties, but now that I know that, it explains a lot. This is simply not a MCF game. If it was any other line, I would probably think it was a decent game, but this is MCF, the pinnacle of this genre, and therefore I am TERRIBLY disappointed. Where are the live actors? I loved that aspect of MCF! It's what makes the original Dire Grove, 13th Skull, and the later Ravenhearst games so awesome to me! And the storyline, blech. I haven't finished yet, and I'm really finding it hard to stay engaged, because it's, are you ready for this....BORING. I NEVER thought a MCF game would be boring. Usually I am on a marathon playing session because I can't wait to see what happens next. But this, meh, I couldn't really care less.

Will I finish it? Yes, I'll see it through til the end, but it may be spread out a bit, since I don't feel that draw to play. And next November, when they start all the hype and speculation, unless they've gone back to developing it themselves, I won't be joining in the party.

You break my heart BFG and MCF.

Edited on 11/26/2014 at 3:53:53 PM PST


Re:Please post your REVIEWS here for Mystery Case Files: Dire Grove, Sacred Grove Collector's Edit

[Post New]by schismgames on Nov 26, 14 4:08 PM
I wish they would go back to having more hidden object mini games. I don't mind searching around for how to use objects but in this game it just seems to go on endlessly without the nice breaks the hidden object games provide.

166 Posts

Re:Please post your REVIEWS here for Mystery Case Files: Dire Grove, Sacred Grove Collector's Edit

[Post New]by darkhalf01 on Nov 26, 14 4:21 PM
Unfortunately I'm with the majority here. MFC was something I looked forward to at this time every year. When Elephant took over MCF last year I was apprehensive, but I loved Fate's Carnival, so this year I was hoping for something great...alas, it was not to be. Definitely too much hand-holding. The step-by-step puzzles were hard, but didn't really make much sense, and just became frustrating. Nothing grabbed me in the gameplay or storyline. Overall, I found the game rather boring. Looks like MFC has become just another game

7,281 Posts

Re:Please post your REVIEWS here for Mystery Case Files: Dire Grove, Sacred Grove Collector's Edit

[Post New]by shorenuf on Nov 26, 14 4:38 PM
At least there was some challenge in the big puzzles. Otherwise much more like "just another game" than those super MCFs of yesteryear. Times do change, and we expect more, but for its day, Madame Fate was eons above what else was out there (well, for the Mac players, anyway.)

I too am sorry BF Studios gave up the franchise. Because, in their day, they were the benchmark. MCF, Drawn, Hidden Expedition -- so truly beautiful in presentation and content. Oh well.

Back to this game -- it's not terrible, and actually much like the Elephant games we thought were great in their day. So could it be we are just tired of this casual genre?

To end were I started -- I loved the Big Puzzles in this game. They forced me to think. I actually had to walk away and come back to some of them before anything clicked.I applauded their cleverness, felt accomplished for never using a hint, felt somehow that I "won" the "game."

Sea Anemone
Sea Anemone
2 Posts

Re:Please post your REVIEWS here for Mystery Case Files: Dire Grove, Sacred Grove Collector's Edit

[Post New]by coriv on Nov 26, 14 4:42 PM
This was such a disappointment. Where to begin? It appears that Elephant Games has really dumbed down the Mystery Case Files genre. With the exception of the mini games, this was way too easy, the story line was juvenile, the characters were poorly animated and the beautiful artwork that defined MCF is gone. The Big Fish Games signature series has been ruined, in my opinion and MCF is really the only reason I keep my membership (although I do buy other games, I have been more selective lately because it seems the games coming out these days are cookie cutter and relatively boring). Does anyone know if this is how MCF will be handled in the future? Has it been "sold" to Elephant Games? If so, I'm going to can my membership and just buy games full price on occasion if they look interesting.

236 Posts

Loved it!!

[Post New]by pgillenw on Nov 26, 14 7:21 PM
Let me say I was one excited woman to see the game title -- I immediately downloaded and started the demo -- within minutes I was hooked.

Oh I loved the original Dire Grove and I was so pleased be transplanted back to the original scenes -- I felt at home.

Elephant has created a wonderful blockbuster of a game.

One thing I missed was "snarky comments", I like snarky!

Now lets get to it and bring a sequel to 13th Skull.

62 Posts

Re:Please post your REVIEWS here for Mystery Case Files: Dire Grove, Sacred Grove Collector's Edit

[Post New]by lyssa7712 on Nov 26, 14 7:31 PM
oh, woe is MCF. maybe if I hadn't pulled Dire Grove out of my bag of replayable games recently it might not have been so jarring. But what Elephant (a developer I normally really like) didn't do with this release is a shame. none of it had the feel of a MCF game. while the scenes were the same, the atmosphere is not. the gameplay isn't anywhere near as challenging either. and I lament the storyline, like many other reviewers here I just didn't care. I've always been sucked right into a MCF game (okay, excepting Shadow Lake which I couldn't even finish), I don't know that I'll get this even as an SE. maybe if it pops up as the *gasp* Daily Deal or COTW.

and I'll echo the scratching of the head over the conversational choices that weren't choices after all. why? it's kind of insulting.

35 Posts

Sad and Disappointing

[Post New]by deebers2u on Nov 26, 14 9:48 PM

Sacred Grove is another nail in the coffin for the MCF franchise. We could have guessed that from the lack of hype and the no-fanfare release on FB, etc., I suspect. But hope dies hard. Those of us who loved the earlier MCF games can't help but be disappointed with this lack luster effort. It seems like no one who really cares is in charge.

The series has been dumbed-down and homogenized to the point where it's just like everything else. The wonderful, whacky logic is gone. The supposed suspense comes from puffs of "mysterious" fog. The sound effects and music are ordinary. The level of interaction with the environment is nearly nil. Nine "morphing" houses? Really? The puzzles are so obscure and illogical I was hitting the Hints button constantly, just to get through them.

The art is beautiful. But so what?

Dear BigFish -- there's really no point in even bothering next year, is there? What a loss. I'm now sorry for any slight criticism I may have made about anything earlier by MCF. I think I'll just replay the original Dire Grove and Escape from Ravenhearst (the two highest points, for me).

49 Posts

Re:Please post your REVIEWS here for Mystery Case Files: Dire Grove, Sacred Grove Collector's Edi

[Post New]by kcojco on Nov 27, 14 12:31 PM
deebers2u, I concur, except I want them to redeem themselves next year! (holding onto hope)

Great for Elephant, mediocre for MCF.

After Fate's Carnival (loved it) I really had high hopes. HATED all the boring dialogue I had to go through, clicking each question, etc. Story was silly in my opinion.

Don't change the ingredient's when you have a winning recipe!

Edited on 11/27/2014 at 12:34:36 PM PST

34 Posts

Re:Please post your REVIEWS here for Mystery Case Files: Dire Grove, Sacred Grove Collector's Edit

[Post New]by saratt on Nov 27, 14 5:29 PM
I too am disappointed. I felt the story line was boring and definitely missed the suspense and thrill of the original Dire Grove. I also did not like the discussion section where we had to select what we wanted to say. Too much dialog and took too much time, by the end I really didn't care anymore
I wanted more Hidden Object scenes, less of the pairs and other matching games that were in place of the HO scenes.
What I did love were the puzzles, they were complex and I don't think I would have gotten through it without the strategy guide.
I also loved the map with the flags, definitely saves time traveling all over and helped with trying to remember where I needed to do something.
I am a big fan of Fates Carnival, that felt true MCF to me, I prefer that over this.

129 Posts

Re:Please post your REVIEWS here for Mystery Case Files: Dire Grove, Sacred Grove Collector's E

[Post New]by mendolyn on Nov 27, 14 7:27 PM
Another meh installment of MCFNovember 27, 2014

Fun Factor
Visual/Sound Quality
Level of Challenge
Sadly this one just didn't grab me. I remember when I played the first Dire Grove and how I was instantly interested, creeped out, and thrilled by everything that was happening, my whole family was gathered around the computer screen to see what would happen next, it was pure MCF interactive entertainment awesomeness. This demo had none of that.

SPOILER ALERT, oh no somebody offended the forest druids or their gods or their wolves and now it's really cold.... ...this storyline feels tired to me right from the start. I literally have no interest in finding out what happens next. All the graphics are nice, but everything I'm doing seems so blah, counter-intuitive, and pointless. The characters in the game seem to move like marionettes and aren't very interesting. All the stuff you search for seems implausible and at some points I forget why I even have stuff in my inventory. and let me tell you in real life that missing zipper pull wouldn't have stopped ANY mother of two from getting that backpack open but a detective has to go rummaging around over 5 different screens for a zipper pull? i also didn't enjoy ANY of the puzzles, i agree with a previous review...the puzzles didn't make much sense and the instructions weren't very good. i'm not a stupid person but i simply failed to see any continuity in the design of some of these puzzles. I hate to be completely negative about this game because I absolutely loved the first Dire Grove and a few of the other MCF's. This is a poor sequel and very lacking in my opinion. I'm afraid it's a 'no' from me.

Edited on 11/27/2014 at 7:36:14 PM PST

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