A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this app.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that Criminal Case is a series of murder mysteries you solve by completing simple puzzles. For instance, locating clues involves playing a hidden-objects game, whereas other clues are identified by putting puzzle pieces in the right place. But parents should keep in mind that this is ultimately about murder, and the game doesn’t shy away from showing you used murder weapons, dead bodies, or autopsies. There also are occasional references to drugs and sex, as well as infrequent crude jokes. Parents also should be aware that this game is designed to murder your wallet, since you can't complete a case unless you're willing to wait a long time or pay real money so you don't have to wait to do the next puzzle.
- Parents say
- Kids say
What's it about?
CRIMINAL CASE has you, as a detective, solving a series of mysterious murders. After locating clues at the crime scene, you have to examine the autopsy report and the forensic evidence, as well as speak to witnesses and potential suspects, so you can eventually make an educated guess about who the killer is. The quicker you solve the puzzles, the better. Though this does play like a puzzling episode of CSI, there are twists and turns in each case, so you shouldn't accuse the first shifty-eyed person you come across.
Is it any good?
For all its simplicity, Criminal Case is rather engrossing and addictive. The individual puzzles, such as the ones where you have to locate objects in the world, are simple but challenging enough to hold your interest; that's good, since you'll have to do them multiple times to get enough stars so you can examine the evidence. Thankfully, the objects you have to find do change every time you redo a puzzle. However, the game requires either cash or lots of patience: Unless you're willing to wait until the autopsy has been completed (which takes 20 minutes), or you have enough energy to redo a puzzle (which takes 40 minutes), you have to spend real money to complete each mystery. Still, with dozens of murders to solve, this will keep a would-be Sherlock Holmes occupied for days.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about in-app purchases ahead of time to avoid conflict once the game is downloaded.
Discuss our criminal justice system and the realism of the game. What's realistic and unrealistic about the cases?
Talk about being observant. How good were you at finding objects? What could you do to be more observant?
- Devices: iPhone, iPod Touch, iPad, Android, Fire phone, Kindle Fire, Windows app
- Price: Free with in-app purchases
- Pricing structure: Free
- Release date: June 25, 2015
- Category: Puzzle Games
- Size: 84.10 MB
- Publisher: Pretty Simple
- Version: 1.5.2
- Minimum software requirements: iOS 6.0 or later; Android 4.0 and up
For kids who love puzzles and mysteries
Our editors recommend
Common Sense Media's unbiased ratings are created by expert reviewers and aren't influenced by the product's creators or by any of our funders, affiliates, or partners.