Known as perhaps the most popular TV crime series in the world, CSI entertains millions of viewers with its intricate crime scenes, smart clues and cutting edge crime-solving tech.
So it is no wonder I felt at least a bit curious when none other than Ubisoft released CSI: Hidden Crimes, an official game set in the same universe and with the same characters as the popular TV series.
So, does the game lives up to its name? In short, yes. Read on for the details.
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Considering that shows like CSI would be quite hard (and very expensive) to produce as a video game while preserving the series’ format, the developers adopted a simple, yet very smart approach: translating CSI as a hidden object game (hence the game’s name) where you, the detective, have to search crime scenes for clues to solve cases.
In the game, you play as a newly-hired crime scene investigator, whom you can fully customize to provide him/her with your preferred look. That doesn’t mean that you won’t see any familiar faces though, as all the series’ main cast makes an appearance via amazingly-detailed illustrations.
Right from the start, the game places you at a crime scene to gather clues. At the same time, the characters you interact with provide you with relevant information and hints about the crime and how these clues come into play to solve it. Each crime scene carries six different clues (they can vary from game to game) that you will have to find and gather. Each of the clues you find provide more insight into the case, while a few of them can be taken to the lab for further analysis.
This is another pretty neat aspect of CSI: Hidden Crimes. Some of the clues that you can take to the lab are actually mini-games that you have to play in order to get even more information about the case. For example, one of the first crimes is about a woman that has been strangled, and one of the clues is a bungee cord that you have to tap on in order to find DNA to add more information to the killer’s profile.
Once enough clues have been gathered and analyzed, you can arrest the one you believe is the killer from among a series of suspects.
Truly Free To Play
Being a free game, CSI: Hidden Crimes certainly offers in-app purchases. However, a pleasantly surprising aspect of the game is that they are not mandatory to advance through it. The game uses an ‘energy system’ that requires you to have a certain energy level in order to perform actions like analyzing clues for example.
However, while you can buy currency from within the app for this, you can also simply wait a few minutes for some tasks to be taken care of. Or you can visit crime scenes often (or share your progress via Facebook) to earn rewards.
All in all, I found CSI: Hidden Crimes to be a fine game with plenty to offer for aficionados of the hidden object genre. It also carries a bit of puzzle and drama elements, and the inclusion of simple mini-games adds even more variety to it. Being free, you’ve got nothing to lose by checking this one out, especially if you are a fan of the series.