Reviewed: August 4, 2010
Released: July 17, 2010
App Store Price: $2.99
The Jim and Frank Mysteries – The Blood River Files HD is one of the latest adventure games to come to the iPad but rather than profess to be an adventure choked full of puzzles, Jim and Frank revel in their 60+ challenging and creative puzzles. Story takes a backseat as we follow these guys around the town of Tinyville, and they talk to anyone they encounter and perform all sorts of interesting tasks that usually turn out to be some cool twist on a puzzle that we are probably already familiar with.|
The graphics are great and the HD on the iPad not only paints a much prettier pictures for all of the stunning backdrops, it makes it just a tad easier to find those hidden Eurekas on the screen. The art style is a blend of comic book and children’s storybook with charming character design and architecture not unlike the Professor Layton games on the DS. There is some great non-intrusive music and even a bit of spoken dialogue for a few key characters and moments within the game that add to the overall quality of this title.
Eurekas are the only real hidden-object quest in the game and these become your currency to unlock hints and complete solutions to the puzzles. It’s definitely in your best interest to find as many as you can, otherwise you might be headed to the in-app store to purchase additional Eurekas that cost “real” money.
Puzzles range from logic tests to math, geometry, word games, and subtle visual challenges. If you get stuck you can purchase a hint to get you started and if you simply don’t get it, you can purchase the entire step-by-step solution.
The game is presented as a linear adventure but by using the slick menus system you can go back and replay any puzzle as well as check out the Cue Card challenges or try to assemble a clever jigsaw puzzle from the pieces you will unlock during the main game. There is so much to do and so many addictive hours in store for you if you get this game.
The HD version of The Blood River Files is triple the price for the iPad but you get your money’s worth with extras puzzles, exclusive bonus art and better graphics that actually enhance the gameplay. Also, with the larger screen, it is easier for the entire family to gather around and play the game together. You’d be surprised how fast the younger kids can find those Eurekas. And Crystal Leaderboards will track your scores and progress so you can compare your sleuthing abilities with the rest of the world.
The Jim and Frank Mysteries – The Blood River Files was great on the iPhone and its even better in HD on the iPad and a great bargain considering the countless hours you will have playing this game. If you love brain-teasing puzzles presented within a charming animated interface, look no further. This is one mystery that has been solved.