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Excellent Hidden Object/Puzzle Game

  • Mar 9, 2011
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You are driving through Dire Grove when your car breaks down in a snowstorm. While looking for shelter you come across an abandoned car with a camcorder inside. You soon find out the four teenagers are missing and something supernatural may have gotten a hold of them. Your job is to find the missing teenagers, free them, and stop the kidnapper from acting again.

"Dire Grove" is another excellent hidden object/puzzle game in the Mystery Case Files series. Each game in the series improves on the prior entries and "Dire Grove" is one of the best in the series. It is an interesting mix of live action (seen through videotapes you find throughout the game) and animation and there are some genuinely scary graphics in the game. The storyline is a good one, well written and developed, and having the students appear in live action footage only adds to the urgency of the game. There is a nice atmospheric feel to the game, not only because of the graphics but the background music. While some hidden object games fizzle at the end, the conclusion of this game was just as well done as the rest of the game.

"Dire Grove" is untimed (as it should be) so you can take your time, soak in the atmosphere, and try to solve various puzzles. Pay attention to virtually everything in the game because you may need to use it later in the game. The hidden object games can be difficult but you have ample hints (the hint button refreshes pretty quickly). If you click too fast your cursor freezes for a moment – literally (nice touch). There are a few mini games, none are too difficult, but they can be tedious - these games can be skipped if you wish. There is a lot of revisiting locations in the game - sometimes you find a hidden object game in a location that didn't have one earlier – and a map of Dire Grove would have been a nice addition. Although there is no map, there is a logbook that proves especially helpful close to the end of the game. There is also an inventory bar that I referenced several times. The game is sometimes easy and sometimes hard - towards the end I had to reference a walk-through because I was stumped. My total playing time was approximately 5 hours, although it felt longer.

"Dire Grove" isn't perfect and has a few odd glitches (my logbook repeated the same page three times and the game froze a few times) but for the most part it is a good challenging game and another winner in the Mystery Case Files series.

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review by . February 23, 2010
I don't know about you, but I play casual games as an escape, to go someplace where there are no utility bills to pay or meals to cook. Somewhere new and exciting. "Dire Grove" is the perfect escape, so immersive you'll shiver in your computer chair, as it never stops snowing in the strange, isolated little English town where you're marooned behind an abandoned car, its lights on, its doors open, a cryptic note on the front seat.    The graphics are gorgeous and "Dire Grove" …
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The Celtic legend of Dire Grove has been passed down from generation to generation for centuries. When a recently unearthed artifact in the United Kingdom corroborates the legend there begins a journey of survival for a small band of researchers in the small resort of Dire Grove. Discover the secrets hidden deep within the snow that now blanket the once peaceful community of Dire Grove!
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