This year a new casual game called Mystery Case Files: Huntsville (download free trial here) has been turning heads in the sector with a new style of game play, and in the process, it's creating what is probably the biggest franchise in casual games. Published by BigFish Games, MCF is basically a timed I Spy game wrapped with a light mystery story, and although I thought it was not my type of game, it has been sucking me into its grasp all week. I have heartily recommended it to my mother as well.
It's simply a great casual game which does more than just clone other types of gameplay, as has become common . The game is perfectly paced, letting the user steadily move through levels, while still being hard enough that there is a definite learning curve with positive feedback when you attain certain benchmarks. It has simple, but beautiful graphics, and requires only a mouse to play. It doesn't require any special skills or coordination, and the mystery theme should resonate with the current 35 yr old female demographic, at least if the literary world is any comparison. It has significant replay value while still seeming to be deep, it's made to play in 15-20 minute segments, and it's certainly a franchise-style game with room for sequels.
Verdict: A Huge Win - Definitely go download it now here.
See review of MCF's Sequel, Mystery Case Files: Prime Suspects, here