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Scarlet Hyacinth 

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When the police can not solve an outbreak of criminal activity, you are expected to come to their aid.

Unsolved Case- The Scarlet Hyacinth is a Hidden Object Adventure game from the Domini Games' catalogue of titles.  This review is based on the Collector's Edition version of the product which casts you in the role of a private detective called in by the police to help solve what turns out to be a wave of crimes which threatened to plunge the city into chaos unless you can help.

Having created your preferred gaming environment by adjusting various volume levels, opting for full screen viewing and applying special effects, you can select your chosen difficulty mode from the four available,  The choice can be made from Casual, Advanced, Hardcore or Custom.  These modes offer varying speeds of Hint recharging plus whether active zones are indicated and the inclusion of a tutorial.

Set in a modern day city with its  own fairground facility, you are immediately set to work searching for clues regarding the discovery of an unidentified man's body.  The normal pattern, featured in other Domini Games titles seen recently, then follows.  The city, in a slightly run-down state, is noticeable lacking in residents going about their normal business or vehicles apart from your own car used to transport you between locations,  Even the police station, where some of your work will need to be conducted lacks the normal traffic you would expect to see at any time of day.

Assisting you in your investigative detective work is the usual collection of features you might expect in games of this type.  Running across the base of the various scenes is a Journal with actions for Notes and Tasks, pictorial Map, Inventory showing five items at a time, plus links to Strategy Guide and Hints features.  Occasionally a step-back link to the previous scene will be added to the panel.  Additional pop-out features, showing the current state of Collectibles found and an investigation status will appear in either side of the screen.  The Collectibles feature will shimmer whenever Collectibles (Patient's Picture, Poisonous Flower and Pill Pellets) can be found in the current scene.

When large distances of movement is required, a car will be provided for transport.  Shorter distances will be managed with an occasional click of the mouse cursor as you move between scenes.  At other times the cursor will change shape to indicate when other types of action are possible.  Overlaid windows are used when areas need examining while a split-screen approach is used when conversing with one of the other limited characters found in the game. 

Such conversations involve spoken and printed dialogue.  In some cases you could be provided with a choice of responses.  Your choice can have an effect on the flow of the story line that has a psychologist as one of the main suspects in this case of revenge murder.

Interspersed within the main investigative story line is the usual mixture of task-based operations with a scattering of mini game puzzles and Hidden Object challenges.  As usual with Domini Games, both of these types of game play generally feature a choice in the style of action.  With mini game puzzles, you can usually select either an Easy or Hard version of the puzzle although there are a couple of puzzles that do not offer a choice.  If you do not fancy the challenge of Hidden Object game play then you have the opportunity to switch to Match 3 action  and thus avoid a five second penalty for over-clicking when searching for items.

Once the murderer is brought to justice then you will gain access to a bonus chapter plus replay the mini game puzzles, Hidden Object challenges and check on the Collectibles items gathered.  While never feeling that I was totally drawn into the story that reminded me of several other games,  it was challenging at times.  I downloaded my copy of the game from Gamehouse.com where it is priced at $19.99.  You can also download it from Big Fish Games where it is priced at £15.85.  The game requires a 2.0 GHz processor with 1024MB of RAM and 1.49GB of hard disk space running Windows 7 and later.

Unsolved Case - The Scarlet Hyacinth Collector's Edition | Big Fish Games

Unsolved Case - The Scarlet Hyacinth Collector's Edition | GameHouse

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OverallDomini Games Unsolved Case - Scarlet Hyacinth rated 60 out of 100

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