Playing crime mystery games is an entertaining way to unleash your inner sleuth and pass some time if you are bored. Mystery crime games generally centre on a despicable murder that the player must solve by looking around the crime scene, interviewing suspects and witnesses, and solving collections of small puzzles along the way. Most free mystery crime games have cartoonish animation and a point-and-click interface, but some games were originally designed for radio and have downloadable case materials.
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Radio-Based Murder Mysteries
Some mystery crime games can be found on media other than online sources -- radio-based murder mysteries are an example of this type of game. The Oxford and Devon local radio stations of the British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) have aired murder mysteries that players must solve based on the audio presentation (originally played over the radio) and downloadable case materials. Amateur sleuths listen to the audio files and then look at the materials available on the website (see Resources) to solve the murder. A Christmas Gift Too Many and Who Murdered Marilyn Spencer are two of these mystery games.
Text-Based Crime Mystery Games
Fugitive Hunter is an example of free mystery crime games that can be played entirely through text, with the player typing in what he wishes to do and using any information that turns up in a search for the criminal. It is all done through the game's website, and the player can type in a task, such as "surveillance at..." and then see what information is made available. This game pits the player against several wanted fugitives, with the aim being to track them down and deliver them to justice. Their disappearance has baffled the authorities, and the player has to investigate to solve the mystery. The player accomplishes this through a mixture of surveillance, interviews and sorting through police records; all the information required to solve the crimes can be found on the website. The final fugitive in the game is Osama Bin Laden.
Typical free online games of all genres are operated through a point-and-click interface. Crime games often use this method because it enables the player to explore the crime scene, search for clues and communicate with suspects using only a mouse. Covert Front follows this style and is based on a World War I alternate history, in which the scientists and professionals who attended a conference in Berlin, Germany, have gone missing. The player has to use his sleuthing skills to solve puzzles, gather clues and discover what happened to the missing people.
Other Mystery Games
Other crime mystery games follow the same general point-and-click style of Covert Front but focus more on conversation than movement and searching for clues. One example of a game like this is Death in Sakkara, which is about a journalist's trip to Cairo, Egypt, to find an archaeologist who has gone missing. The player clicks on the names of locations to go to them, and selects the desired option in a conversation from a few phrases listed at the bottom of the screen. Finding clues as to the whereabouts of the archaeologist requires clever use of dialogue with witnesses and suspects and the solving of several smaller puzzles.
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