I frequently bemoan free to play mobile games. Allow me to make amends and talk about a rare gem in the slew of games vying for your attention and money.
AT Game’s Another Case Solved is a free-to-play mobile game available for iOS and Android that doesn’t actually suck the fun out of itself with unreasonable demands of your wallet. Yes, there is a pay-to-win aspect, but it’s minimal, and easy to ignore because the game is surprisingly generous. But, first, the gameplay!
Another Case Solved is a puzzle game that mainly focuses on chaining like items together. Collect five clues to receive a piece of evidence. Connect three pieces of evidence at the same time, and you get a bonus tile that doubles whatever you collect with it. You collect specific amounts of clues or evidence to meet a to-do list of requirements. Once you successfully collect everything, you are rewarded with money, and maybe even progression in the storyline. It seems pretty easy, and it is, but I can’t help but take pride in the strategizing necessary to succeed at times. The game tries to give you a variety of helpful tools, but you still have to think for yourself.
Along with the chain puzzles, there is a “Guess Who?” style of puzzle, a “huckle buckle beanstalk” game (I had to Google that one. It’s pretty much hotter or colder.), and the last a logic puzzle asking you to figure out the location based on a list of hints. All four types of puzzles have their own set of helpful tools.
The story for Another Case Solved is surprisingly meaty. You, a private investigator of your creation, are trying to establish yourself in a city that is currently experiencing a ban on sugar and the political battles that result from it, legal and other wise. You meet and develop relationships with officers, politicians, journalists, and crooks while solving a number of cases and mysteries. Initially, you have to start from the bottom, taking on newspaper ads with less than urgent needs like finding a kid’s pet cat. Eventually, you start to get more recognition for your work, and more money along with the recognition. Each job you take through the newspapers allows you more work on the real cases; the ones with conspiracy, murder, smuggling, and kitties.
The game, so far, has five chapters and a set of bonus cases. I have thoroughly enjoyed the writing and character development that I just did not expect from this game. My female detective has experienced friendship and betrayal, the dangers of gang activities, the questionable grey areas of politics, and a budding love life. I’m not sure what might be different for a male detective, but I imagine it’s just as interesting.
The art style is consistent with the detective theme, though cartoony instead of gritty. You can customize your detective to your liking with dozens of options for facial features, hair styles, hats, and clothing. You can decorate your office with a number of unlockable pieces of furniture, which have more than just an aesthetic purpose; they also change which tools you have available to you during the puzzles, or provide more chances to find hidden candy. The audio is also fitting to the theme, but is minimal and has little to note.
Another Case Solved is a fun game that has a lot going for it. It’s addicting, easy to pick up, easy to go non-IAP (though I might just buy candy just to support the developers), it’s very generous, and it’s much deeper than most games you will find in the mobile stores. If you want a fun puzzle game on your phone, or even just a simple time-waster to pull out whenever you need a diversion, I thoroughly recommend Another Case Solved.