Diner Town Detective Agency - Review

Diner Town Detective Agency
Ages: Everyone

OMG, it's Flo playing detective with Bernie. Flo and the Diner Toons have become such celebrities that they are now playing detective, suspect, innocent and guilty roles. Play First has done a good job at taking a hidden object game and wrapping enough elements around it to make 25 amusing simple mysteries. Highlight the city scene and the set of choices appear: Who filled the Egyptian vase in the museum with chocolate pudding; Who is taking undercover pictures of the people in the gym; Who freed the gerbils in the school; Who is putting fingers into the jelly donuts; and Who is substituting the toys in cereal boxes with vegetables? You can see the seriousness of the crimes and Play First keeps it up - 25 crimes worth.

The scenario involves searching for evidence, eliminating suspects, interviewing the Toons for hearsay evidence, matching it with Bernie's Theories and then id-ing the culprit. Some of Bernie's theories seem pulled out of the air, Bernie is not Poirot. The game play involves finding hidden objects, and the variation of finding pieces of broken objects - much harder since the pieces are meaningless shapes. Forensic tools involve a magnifying glass and a special liquid that can be splooched onto a scene to reveal truly hidden objects. Play First has kept the objects reasonably hidden and the graphics are cleanly done, so a player should be able to find all without relying on too many hints. The hint function needs time to restore itself, so you can't continually use it. There are other activities; picture puzzles to eliminate suspects, fingerprint matching, lining up event cards, and mini-tasks do along the way.

Standard mode is a timed one; Relaxed is un-timed and Freeplay is a classic hidden object game. You can choose which mystery you want to solve first and can go back and forth between the Story mode and the Freeplay. There is enough diversion in the Story mode to keep you at it for quite a while.

Online purchase is $19.95, and a free trial can be had at http://www.playfirst.com/game/dinertown-detective-agency

Fun Factor: Easy and well done
Female Factor: Maybe Flo could take the lead instead of Bernie.
Player Friendly: Good help and clear graphics on the hidden objects.

Reviewed by: Editor - 06/09

  • Diner Town Detective Agency
  • © Play First
  • Platform(s): WVISTA XP