1,111 Posts

Reviews for Mystery Case Files: Shadow Lake Collector's Edition

[Post New]by bfgTokoro on Nov 20, 12 12:38 AM
Hi Fishies!

What do you think of Mystery Case Files: Shadow Lake Collector's Edition? We’d love to hear all about it, as would many of the other fishies in our pond! You can now share your review on our website, just pop over to the Mystery Case Files: Shadow Lake Collector's Edition page here.

Unsure how to submit a review? Please check our help article Big Fish Game Reviews for more information.

After sharing your review on our website, please feel free to repost your review in this thread!

Remember, a lot of fishies that will be reading your review will have never played the game before. If you are posting spoilers, be sure to include the words SPOILER ALERT at the top of your post .

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If you’re experiencing technical issues with this game, be sure to swim over to the support thread dedicated to the game here.

**If you are seeking game help, the best thing to do is to start a new thread in the Game Forum by clicking on 'Create New Discussion'!

Happy gaming!


1,111 Posts

Re:Reviews for Mystery Case Files: Shadow Lake Collector's Edition

[Post New]by bfgTokoro on Nov 20, 12 12:38 AM
Hi Fishies,

I just wanted to add to the OP: This thread has been reserved for reviews only.

If you have any questions about someone else’s review (even if you feel that their review contains incorrect details about this game) please contact that user directly via PM instead of replying to or quoting their post as this can develop into a discussion that is not suitable to the review thread.

While the reviews in this thread are first and foremost helpful to other players, they also tell us and all who were involved in making this game, what you liked/disliked most, what you’d like to see more/less of in future games, etc. This can only help us in continuing to provide better games, which is what we all want!

We want to ensure that everyone who visits this thread can easily find the reviews that they’re looking for, so the Moderation Team will be proactively removing any off-topic posts (i.e. non-reviews) that pop up in this thread.

For any non-review related posts, please feel free to create a "Comments" thread in this Game Forum if there isn't one already. You can always create a new thread for any game questions or tips.

Thank you!


514 Posts

Re:Reviews for Mystery Case Files: Shadow Lake Collector's Edition

[Post New]by CelticCoco on Nov 20, 12 1:02 AM
Okay, I played for just under 30 minutes and love it. I will leave the technical parts to someone more gifted at that then I am, but the basics are pretty good.

The Strategy Guide is quited different, nothing like a walk-thru, this guide simply shows the steps to complete the task you are working on. The only page available is the one that shows where you are at that moment. Very interesting.

The HO scenes are very different; clear graphics, very detailed, but small. I only did one so far, but the list popped up when I entered the room and as I'd click on various areas they would pop open in a new window, yet the list remained. Hard to explain, but I liked the interface. The hints recharge fairly fast and give specific actions to follow, though I had a bit of trouble with the SPOILER film developing.

The cutscenes are very good, there are subtitles, as well.

One thing I am not fond of is the extras; the wallpapers are not available until you complete the game.

There are a few spots where the scene changes and it slows down - I am not fond of an hourglass twirling but the game went fairly smooth, unlike the last MCF which glitched for me.

I will be buying this in a few days when my second game credit comes in, but am already hooked!

Happy Gaming Fishies! CelticCoco

883 Posts

Re:Reviews for Mystery Case Files: Shadow Lake Collector's Edition

[Post New]by FORTUNATUS on Nov 20, 12 1:02 AM

Looks ok so far... I have 26 minutes to go and it's late here so I'm signing off. I am at the second location (prison) and just finished the H0G.

Wish it wasn't based on the supernatural (hoping it doesn't get in too deep); but otherwise thus far looks ok enough... I DO like the sale being offered

I enjoyed the MCF's prior to the last one (which was way overboard gross); this one, to me, just so-so based on as far as I've gone in demo.

Will be interested in other's reviews tomorrow (those who purchase and get further into the plot, etc).

eta: correction: I did NOT like the very last MCF but did the series otherwise. The characters in this one and the settings are depressingly familiar to so many other games in this genre (tho the live acting is good... appropriate to the theme, anyway), and interesting in that they incorporated them into the gameplay itself.

Edited on 11/20/2012 at 12:53:54 PM PST

1,263 Posts

Re:Reviews for Mystery Case Files: Shadow Lake Collector's Edition

[Post New]by Imberis on Nov 20, 12 1:17 AM
This is from the demo: (Well, and maybe more, since I bought it.) Backgrounds and screensavers and whatnot are locked at the beginning, but they are unlocked once you get past a certain point in the game.

Pros:- Interesting hidden object scenes. They take up whole rooms. They're not exactly interactive, though, minus zooming in on drawers and maybe using a key to open something.
- Really great graphics.
- Voice acting/acting is good. The Ghost Hunter guy made me laugh.
- Music is fine. I like that it's not overbearing.

Cons:- The story (so far) is not that original.
- Mini-games are pretty easy.
- (Edit: I'm dumb, there are arrows at the top of the journal!)
- The strategy guide is awful. No table of contents. No pages! It only gives you a solution for the screen you're on, except sometimes even that doesn't work, and it gives me the previous screen that I've already solved. You can't tell how many chapters the game is. It does have a percentage of the game completed, though.
- "Live" puzzles are weird. The puzzle pieces have a "weight" to them, so when you move them around they sort of spin and they can bump into each other and wreck the alignment of the other pieces.
- No achievements!
- Collector's edition things are not explained well. I see "bonus content" in the journal on some pages, but it's not explained.

Final Thoughts:
This game is entirely too short. The "bonus" chapter took me FIFTEEN minutes. Seriously. Also, you must finish the bonus to get the morphing objects, so don't put that off until the end or then you'll just be running around looking for morphing objects after you've finished the main stuff. [The game DOES NOT tell you this!] To me, this game is not worth the money. The story got more interesting toward the middle, but then the further you get into it, the worse it gets. The gameplay is repetitive. Go to location. Find objects. Psychic yells at you to come back and get drawings. Place drawings. Do irritating puzzle. Repeat the whole process five or six times. End. I got so irritated having to listen to the psychic over and over, and you can't skip her dialogue when she's bothering you on location.
Honestly, I wish I could edit my review on the game's page to give it less stars. I'm a little peeved that Big Fish couldn't even give us a description of the bonus content and how it works (either on the game webpage or in the game itself), until I asked some nice Mods here.

Edited on 11/20/2012 at 7:37:38 PM PST

324 Posts

Re:Reviews for Mystery Case Files: Shadow Lake Collector's Edition

[Post New]by CasualGran on Nov 20, 12 1:19 AM
Yes! Yes! Yes! Being a huge fan of the Mystery Case Files series I've bought this 9th one unseen the moment I saw it appear as the Tomorrow's Game Today. And it surely meets my high expectations!

- Real actors doing a terrific job
- Crystal clear graphics
- A thrilling storyline
- Interesting minigames
- Excellent guidance by the Strategy Guide

5 out of 5

A game worth every dollarcent spend!

Happy Gaming!

2,391 Posts

Re:Reviews for Mystery Case Files: Shadow Lake Collector's Edition

[Post New]by Eoarod on Nov 20, 12 1:29 AM
I think I'll just start this review with where I usually end - try this one for yourself!

So far it's so utterly different I can't even formulate a proper review (OK - that and I'm sleep deprived; being a member of the "12:01 am club" )

I too may come back and edit some more coherant thoughts into this once I've finished the game - but for this morning I can't emphasize "try it for yourself" enough!

I was one who was horribly dissapointed with EFR and so far I am ever so NOT dissapointed with SL!

Before I head back to lose myself in this gem - I will say it runs super smoothly & I hit "Buy Now" without even giving the "Try This Game" a passing glance so for a change I'm not reviewing a demo sized download!

Whether this year's MCF is your cuppa or no - it sure isn't the "same old, same old" I'm sure not flying through this one - so put your thinking caps on (and brace yourself for some uber "jump out of your chair moments!) and dive into the lake!

Happy Gaming!

7,281 Posts

Re:Reviews for Mystery Case Files: Shadow Lake Collector's Edition

[Post New]by shorenuf on Nov 20, 12 2:41 AM
Dreary as the atmosphere is, of course I bought the game.

Widescreen, spoken dialogue from real actors, jump out of your seat moments, very creepy…

2 mode HOPA -- easy mode can be very easy if you choose the ongoing tutorial. Without it, there are still sparkles, but less direction. Harder mode has no tutorial, no instructive on screen hints. But alas, there are still black bars with a bit of guidance. (I played in hard mode, then created a new profile to see the difference. The black bar info was exactly the same. There aren't that many sparkles either. There is a journal which basically lists your tasks and notes, but if you do not want any clues, don't access it.

Rather than any puzzles, in the time I played there was one multifaceted task requiring uncovering several clues. It was well over 1/2 hour before any semblance of HO scene appeared -- it was different from the norm.

The story is definitely a mystery -- not much was uncovered in the time I played. You, Master Detective, have been asked to come to Bitterford Maine where "something is terribly wrong." Cassandra the psychic request you meet her at the motel where she is staying.The town is totally deserted, the motel looks like no one works there, dates don't seem to make sense -- everything is a mystery, indeed.

The artwork, music, atmosphere, rot and decay all fit the mood -- this is not a colorful romp with friendly ghosts and goblins for sure. But, there is some game play that required logic. It took a while to complete the first task, but I think partly because there was an order to the availability of certain inventory items and locations. On the whole it looks to be more adventure than HOG, and of course I am curious.

Far as I can tell, there are no morphing objects (looking at the thread here, guess I'm wrong), no achievements, no collectibles. The Strategy guide is a picture book (something many people disliked in the previous game), the extras listed are wallpapers, screensavers, forums, credits, making of, more games. No mention of a bonus chapter.

So, I own it, I'll play it, but I won't stay up the rest of what's left of my night's sleep (very little) to continue.

I suppose you should demo it though…

Good night.

14 Posts

Re:Reviews for Mystery Case Files: Shadow Lake Collector's Edition

[Post New]by Baranduyn on Nov 20, 12 2:49 AM
Bluntly I uninstalled it after fifteen minutes. I'm a little sad because MCF was my introduction to HOGs but I can't work up any interest in this one.

I do find the live actors offputting in the extreme. I just can't bear them. I'm not interested enough to put up with them for the duration of the game.

41,630 Posts

Re:Reviews for Mystery Case Files: Shadow Lake Collector's Edition

[Post New]by Poutoule on Nov 20, 12 2:49 AM
I usually need 20 minutes of a demo to get a fair idea of a game, I played 45 minutes of this one (casual) and still find it extremely difficult to describe it and sum it up....

- 2 modes, casual, expert

- Note book

- Map, you can jump from one place to the other, locations are added as you progress in the game

- Integrated SG which shows you very little, you're definitely not held by the hand

- Voice overs

- Living actors (not my cup of tea)

- A lot of cut scenes

- H0 are entirely different from our regular ones, objects can be located in two different scenes, you sometimes need one to carry on finding others. Objects are sometimes tiny.

- In some you have to put back objects you've found

- Mini games are quite...puzzling !, you get moving pieces with living/moving characters that you've got to assemble. Not too easy as they float around, a lot of dragging and pulling. They do make you seasick after a while

- Music is real good

- Excellent graphics

After a prisoner finds a strange item he is confronted with paranormal phenomenons and so are you trying to solve the case. A buy for me as I just can't miss one MCF but definitely not keen on too many actors and cut scenes.

Edited on 11/20/2012 at 6:11:30 AM PST

329 Posts

Re:Reviews for Mystery Case Files: Shadow Lake Collector's Edition

[Post New]by saphhire on Nov 20, 12 3:08 AM
This game can only be described as weird very weird. The SG stinks, but without it you wouldn't get anywhere. Things have to be done exact...............No rhyme or reason to the way things are done...........code to safe part of this part of that........where is the logic..............I don't care what kind of sale they have this is a no buy...............................WANTED DIFFERENT WELL YOU GOT IT...................They won't be able to offer this as an SE for you won't be able to figure things out........................unless they give you the SG too.................but I will say a walkthru would be better (then this SG)................I have all MCF this one I will miss.....................BUT TY FOR THE DIFFERENT.............

377 Posts

Re:Reviews for Mystery Case Files: Shadow Lake Collector's Edition

[Post New]by nomatt on Nov 20, 12 3:09 AM
Excellent game. So refreshing to find something differant and so well done. I'm sure this is destined to become a classic game. Cannot fault any part of it. So many innovations that other developers are now going to have to try so much harder. Nicely done BF.

1,188 Posts

Re:Reviews for Mystery Case Files: Shadow Lake Collector's Edition

[Post New]by bootsie21 on Nov 20, 12 3:42 AM
Excellent game. So refreshing to find something differant and so well done. I'm sure this is destined to become a classic game. Cannot fault any part of it. So many innovations that other developers are now going to have to try so much harder. Nicely done BF

Excellent! am so enjoying it

27 Posts

Re:Reviews for Mystery Case Files: Shadow Lake Collector's Edition

[Post New]by bee4u on Nov 20, 12 4:16 AM
I really don't know if I like this game. I loved MCF until the last one. Madeame Fate to me was the best one.

-The acting on this one was too much.
-The HO scenes took rooms instead of just one area.
-The graphics are good.
-I don't see any morph objects yet (demo time cut short!?).
-I'm glad it's not a total morph game which are a pain.
- The guide only shows where you are at the time.
-Too much show and not enough play.

Will I buy it... I don't know. I'll toss a coin to see if I do or not. I think I like the older versions of MCF better, the games that started it all.

654 Posts

Re:Reviews for Mystery Case Files: Shadow Lake Collector's Edition

[Post New]by tj1147 on Nov 20, 12 5:47 AM
Review after playing about 45 minutes of demo:

Well, this is certainly different from what I expected the new MCF to be like. Details are outlined previously by more experienced forum posters.

The graphics are quite good and are fitting for the story. I had the speakers on to begin but the voices were out of sych with the mouth movement of the characters but later on (when I put the speakers on again) were back to "normal". There is no way I could play this game with the speakers on (says the only one in the whole theater that screamed out in the first major scene of "Jaws"!). There was one scene early on in the game that really caused me to jump!

I (think) I like the way the H0 scenes are done in this game although they are a bit dark and some items are small. Puzzles thus far were OK. I enjoy the "live actors" in games but wonder if this is part of why the DL is so large as someone commented in another thread they finished the game in three hours...not me! I can see it is going to take me a long time...and will keep paper and pen handy!

Not sure yet how helpful the SG will be but the map looks good.

I may be going on "reputation" but I will definitely buy this game today.

Late edit to post:
Well, I went on MCF "reputation" and am extremely disappointed - in myself for buying this game.

Edited on 01/25/2013 at 11:40:47 AM PST

1,174 Posts

Re:Reviews for Mystery Case Files: Shadow Lake Collector's Edition

[Post New]by shanette1706 on Nov 20, 12 5:55 AM
OK, I've finished it, and errrrrrrrrrrr.....

I loved it about 50% of the way in. But the ending was disappointing! I expected so much more in the end, after so much hype in the first part of the game...

The music was OK. Not my favourite sound though.

The visuals... I think the effects for EFR were better.

Mild Spoilers:

I think I was most disappointed with the fact that the detective didn't have her own case files anymore!! Why??? I loved to read how she felt about the situation etc. It's been reduced to just tasks and notes.... Bummer The strategy guide may have confused me more than it helped me.

I haven't started on my morphing object quest yet... A tad tired. Lastly, I thought the dang Lake would play a bigger part in this game!!!!!!!

But please don't think I'm ripping on this game. I'm a huge, huge MCF fan, but this one was a tad disappointing plot-wise. Let's say Lea made up for everything else

Orca Whale
Orca Whale
22,629 Posts

Re:Reviews for Mystery Case Files: Shadow Lake Collector's Edition

[Post New]by cherbtoo on Nov 20, 12 5:55 AM
I bought instantly and the game automatically filled my large widescreen desktop monitor .

The first thing I always check before playing any of a CE are the Extras and I have to say that I was initially very disappointed to see that it only said ...

More Games
Making Of (the bit I saw looks interesting)
Wallpapers (of which there are 3)
Screensaver (only saw 1)

so I am wondering what there is, if anything else, that is going to justify it being worth the cost of a CE as I honestly do not think that the first three items above should be classed as Extras and I feel slightly cheated by them. I am guessing that the rest is going to pay for the cast's wages but, if that is the case, I wish they would be honest about it instead of trying to make the extras look worthwhile by giving a list of 6 Extras when, IMO, aren't.

Having come here to write this 'review' I am feeling slightly happier now that I have learnt that there are at least some morphing items to look for although I must admit that I haven't noticed any so far but that could just be because I wasn't expecting to see any or had had the wrong glasses on and so must backtrack now wearing these LOL.

Anyway I am in Chapter 4 and am having to play Casual as the only other option is the Expert - Quit holding my hand one and with an MCF game you can guarantee that I will need it holding somewhere down the line.

I am finding the graphics to be a tad too dark for my personal taste particularly where the hidden object scenes are involved as some items are small and hard to see and I have had to use hints to find some which I don't really like doing.

I loved the unexpected music in the boy's room and was sorry that clicking on the gramaphone didn't let me hear it again as I would have revisited that room purely for that purpose .

I have also enjoyed some of the puzzles that I have done so far eg hangman (I feel we need more word puzzles including in our games) and the wiring one but I find the 'floating picture' ones to be hard on my wrist as the pieces do not stay vertical once you have turned them round and turning them isn't the easiest thing to do because you are fighting against the programming. This repeating puzzle is the reason why I am having to rest and am not still playing the game.

Thanks to the stickies in the Forum we can see that there are 10 chapters to the game plus the bonus so we have some idea of length. I think these stickies are a great idea .

Summary ... I like a lot of the game but not all.
RTR is still my favourite .


131 Posts

Re:Reviews for Mystery Case Files: Shadow Lake Collector's Edition

[Post New]by pubprof on Nov 20, 12 6:12 AM
How can you lose? Great game, great series and when you buy the game you can buy any other CE for half off! I have several I have been saving for when I had the money, but I can't pass this up. Who needs to eat when you can play great games.

1,237 Posts

Re:Reviews for Mystery Case Files: Shadow Lake Collector's Edition

[Post New]by MURPHY on Nov 20, 12 6:13 AM
MCF had a really good thing going while it was still being made by BFG. To me the game content and game play has strayed too far from what I think the majority of us like. Really disappointed in the last two MCF games and I won't be buying this one.


Re:Reviews for Mystery Case Files: Shadow Lake Collector's Edition

[Post New]by Gabbyellen on Nov 20, 12 6:17 AM
As you can see I am not a person who reviews many games...this is the exception. I am such a HUGE fan of all of the Mystery Case Files games until this one. This game is beyond bad! I was not a big fan of the "live" actors in any of the games but i tolerated them because the games were interesting enough to just ignore them. This game is boring,boring and plain old boring and your actions have to be done in such a precise order that it's like someone has to hold your hand and lead you through the actions. Where's the excitement? Where's the interesting story line? I don't know what happened to this series but this is a dramatic change and it's all for the worse. Needless to say, I won't be buying this game...and I'm really disappointed. Awful!!!

Oh, and Lea Thompson should be embarrassed to have anything to do with this mess! What happened to her career?

Edited on 11/20/2012 at 6:20:15 AM PST

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