capsule review

Mystery PI: Stolen in San Francisco

At a Glance
  • Generic Company Place Holder Mystery PI: Stolen in San Francisco

Somewhere in the foggy underbelly of San Francisco, an armored car has been robbed and $250 million worth of solid gold stolen. As the Mystery PI, you've been hired to recover the gold before the trail goes cold. To do this you'll need to examine the crime scene, and several other San Francisco locations, to collect clues and ultimately solve the puzzle of the missing gold.

Like earlier games in SpinTop's hidden-objects series, such as Mystery PI: The Vegas Heist, Mystery PI: Stolen in San Francisco is slick-looking and well-produced. Every scene is beautifully rendered--and mostly accurate. I live in San Francisco and recognized several of the locations; and the ones that I didn't recognize seemed plausible. The detail in each scene is amazing, and the background music includes cable car bells and seagull cries for a nice San Francisco ambience.

Scenes include San Francisco icons like Chinatown, a cable car, Alcatraz, the Golden Gate Bridge, and more. The hidden-objects list in each scene contains straightforward items like "3 bottles," but also cryptic hints like "scan me" or obscure terms like "jerry can." In some scenes you must perform actions, like "fix one-way sign," that require still more sleuthing. (It's no shame to avail yourself of a few hints, as I did; it just costs you points.) You can also hunt for keys and peace signs to unlock extra games, and there's a secret hidden object (shh! I can't tell) that earns you serious bonus points. As you finish each set of scenes in level, you can complete a puzzle to earn a clue that will let you solve the gold heist.

Mystery PI: Stolen in San Francisco kept me challenged, and the sheer beauty of the game was a delight. The between-level puzzles became a little tedious as I moved through the levels, however, and I found myself skipping a word search or jigsaw puzzle now and then. I would have liked for the in-scene tasks to relate more clearly to the theme of the game, as I've seen in other hidden-objects games. But those are just minor quibbles; playing Mystery PI: Stolen in San Francisco is a great way to relax and challenge your little gray cells. This demo lets you play for 60 minutes.

--Kim Saccio-Kent

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At a Glance
  • Generic Company Place Holder Mystery PI: Stolen in San Francisco

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