F Mystery P.I. (TM) Stolen in San Francisco Review and Giveaway (Closed) ~ Critique of the Unique

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Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Mystery P.I. (TM) Stolen in San Francisco Review and Giveaway (Closed)

One of my favorite ways to spend a day is cuddled up on the couch with my two children...either watching a movie, playing a game or just hanging out! Sometimes life and schedules get in the way and the opportunity to have a "lazy day" isn't possible. Some days, you just have to put the laundry to the side and steal a moment and when I was given the opportunity to review the newly released "Mystery P.I. Stolen in San Francisco" game by SpinTop Games (a division of PopCap Games), I couldn't wait to share it with the kiddos.

Mystery P.I. Stolen in San Francisco will delight your senses!! It contains over 2100 hidden objects that will take you through some of San Francisco's most popular hot spots such as Alcatraz, Fisherman's Wharf, and the Golden Gate Bridge  As you travel from one location to another, your goal is to find clues that will lead you to the $250 million in gold that has been stolen from an armored car heist and hidden throughout the city! It is your mission, if you choose to accept it, to search these locations and find the gold, so that it can be returned to its rightful owner. If you succeed, you will win a whopping $20 Million...(well, "you" won't win that, but your P.I. character will)!

When I downloaded the game, I worried about two things. First, I worried about my son being able to play the game without frustration. Although not yet diagnosed, I do believe he has a bit of a sensory processing disorder and therefore I have to be very careful allowing him to get started in any sort of game as if he cannot figure it out, it will take him quite a while to calm down from the frustration it causes him. Second, I worried that my children would not play the game "together" and I'd end up creating more of a stressful afternoon then the lazy one I intended. We have played many "hidden object" type games in the past and the main problem with them was the time limit. I cannot even express how excited I was to see the features offered in the "OPTIONS".  It gave the option to play in "Relaxed Mode", which took away the time limit and also gave the option for "unlimited hints". This last one is pure genius, as it allows a simple push of a "hint' button that will show a clue to where a hidden object is located. Having this feature be unlimited, allowed my son to play without frustration! Complete score!

When we first started playing, we didn't read the instructions, which clearly explains the need to find the secret hidden items in each location to unlock bonus games. The bonus games that have the potential of being unlocked include Unlimited Seek & Find and Match 3 Bonus game. My daughter actually stumbled upon more secret items throughout the game and if it weren't for the children, I might not have so easily navigated my way through the puzzles. I didn't find too many items that they were not able to identify by themselves, and when they did get confused on what an item might look like, they simply used a "hint" and the game continued on.

What I really appreciated, was that some of the clues made the children think. As in the screenshot above, instead of listing "mushrooms", it gave the clue of "edible fungi". Several of the clues were like this and some couldn't be solved all in one step, making it even more fun as we tried to figure out all the details. We haven't yet completed the game, not from lack of protest, as I almost had to pry their hands off the computer! They have played it on their own several time since I first introduced the game to them, and surprisingly, they don't bicker too much while helping each other find the hidden items.

THE GOOD: Aside from what I have already mentioned above about the "options", I would like to comment on the fact that the graphics are incredible! The colors are very vivid and the scenes are not so busy as to take away from the beauty of the actual places they represent. I like the mini puzzles offered at the end of each search and find. The game is truly family oriented and is fun for all ages. I must admit, I've stayed up way too late playing this game a few times!!!

THE BAD:  This is not the first game in the PopCap series of Mystery P.I. games, which means that my children will be demanding that I purchase the other games once they succeed in completing the Stolen in San Francisco version. Of course, this is not really a "bad thing"...as it just proves that PopCap/SpinTop has gained a fine reputation and a devoted following.  It is no wonder that the Mystery P.I. series has been downloaded over one million times and is available in nine languages worldwide!

How To Try: SpinTop Games is currently offering a free trial of the deluxe version on their website.

How To Buy: If you like it, the game can be purchased for $19.99 from their website.

How To Win: The great people of SpinTop are offering 3 readers a chance to win their very own Mystery P.I. Stolen in San Francisco game download.  You read that right....THREE WINNERS!!! How golden is that?!

Rules: This giveaway is open to anyone with a valid email address. Please leave your email address in your post or visible in your profile. It is the only way I can contact you if you are a winner! Void where prohibited. For a complete list of rules, regulations, disclaimers and disclosure, please visit the Legal Page.

HOW TO ENTER: Simply feel out the form below. Come back daily to enter! All that is mandatory for this giveaway is to provide me with your name and email address! If you want more chances to win, then feel free to enter the bonus entries. No need to fill out the form more than once. I will tally your entries according to what each is worth! Duplicate entry forms will be deleted.

This giveaway ends on September 15, 2010 at midnight Central time. 

Giveaway is now closed. Winners will be chosen soon and will have five business days to respond. 

Mandatory Entry: Enter your name and email address on the form below OR leave it in the comment section below- only need first name or username.

Bonus Entries:

  • Visit PopCap and tell me another game you would love to try! (+2 entries)
  • Follow Critique of the Unique by Google Friend Connect (One entry)
  • Follow Pop Cap Games on Twitter (One entry)
  • Follow Critique of the Unique on Twitter (One entry)
  • Enter any of my other currently running giveaways (one entry each)
  • Subscribe to Critique of the Unique by email and confirm (+3 entries)

FTC Guidelines require that I disclose that I received a copy Mystery P.I. Stolen in San Francisco via download for the purpose of this review. I received no other monetary compensation and all opinions expressed within are my own, honest opinions. Other opinions may vary. I am in no way affiliated with Spin-Top or PopCap games however have written permission to share the photos and information provided for the purpose of this review. SpinTop has offered 3 readers a chance to win, and therefore will be responsible for prize fulfillment.



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