Mystery Case Files: The Malgrave Incident

Point, click, it's all in the mind...

You know when you hear the word 'incident' that something grisly has gone down. 'An incident on the line' always means some wandering cattle are under the wheels of the 14.43 from Bristol.

The first thing the police do after finding a corpse is set up 'an incident room'. And of course there was an 'incident' when Matthew visited Cadbury World...

So The Malgrave Incident had us intrigued when it was announced. Our excitement took a nosedive when it appeared the game would be a 'hidden object' puzzler, but it's actually a more traditional point 'n' click adventure than the series' last Nintendo outing, Mystery Case Files: Millionheir on DS.


Where Millionheir was almost exclusively a 'find the item' title, Malgrave only chucks these bits in here and there. They're just as tedious as they were in Millionheir but they are at least well illustrated and use some clever foreground/background shifting to make them more dynamic.

Unlimited hints are available during these bits in case you can't pick out a fan or chess piece in a sea of debris, but it's during the adventure bit of the game that you're more likely to need guidance. Only you won't get any...

The game plonks you on an eerie island, home to the eccentric Winston Malgrave, whose odd activities you must investigate. You'll increasingly find yourself wandering in circles trying to find the one vital item that will let you get closer to discovering what he's up to.

Once you have the things you need it's rarely to hard to work out what to do with them, but the backtracking can be tiresome. Layton-ish puzzles pop up here and there and can be frustratingly oblique.

Hints for these sections would have been useful; instead there's the option to skip them altogether but that feels like a cop-out - we'd rather work out the answer with a little help than simply give up.

Up to three mates can chip in during the hidden object bits to look for missing items, although you could always gather round one remote to play by committee during the other puzzles.

It's a bit of a worry that Nintendo are pushing this as one of their big Wii games of the moment. It's well made for a 'casual' game and fairly enjoyable, if frustrating, but not really A Big Deal.

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The verdict

Not exactly the sort of thing that will keep the Wii thriving for another year, but a competent point 'n' clicker all the same. Not too taxing, but well made

  • Generally very good visuals
  • Some decent, atmospheric sound effects.
  • Satisfying
  • Occasionally need eagle-eyes
  • Little too much aimless wandering
Nintendo Wii
Puzzle, Point and Click, Adventure