Criminal Case

App review by
Paul Semel, Common Sense Media
Criminal Case App Poster Image
Good but grisly murder puzzles require cash or patience.

Parents say

age 18+
Based on 5 reviews

Kids say

age 14+
Based on 4 reviews

Did this review miss something on diversity?

Research shows a connection between kids' healthy self-esteem and positive, diverse representations in books, TV shows, and movies. Want to help us help them? Suggest a diversity update

A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this app.

Ease of Play

Simple controls only require you to tap or slide on the screen to locate objects or move puzzle pieces.


The game has you investigating murders, which requires you to examine dead bodies and bloody murder weapons and to watch autopsies.


Infrequent references to sex as well as crude jokes.


Along with the occasional crude joke, the police occasionally use words such as "crap," though it's sometimes shown as "cr*p."


Though the game is free, it's clearly made with microtransactions in mind, as you can't finish a case unless you're willing to wait or pay so you don't have to wait.

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

Occasional references to illegal drugs, such as when a bag of cocaine is found during the first murder case.

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.

User Reviews

  • Parents say
  • Kids say
Adult Written byNinaniniko June 2, 2020
Adult Written byLinda P. September 14, 2017


Takes a whole lot of patience which most kids don't have. I don't myself. I am thinking of uninstalling this app. They are all about the money. You pa... Continue reading
Teen, 15 years old Written byHoamary June 11, 2020

This game is simultaneously violent and exploitative

This game is legitimately good, it's story, characters and detective gameplay are suprisingly great for a mobile game, but it's also a massive disappo... Continue reading
Kid, 11 years old April 2, 2017

A Little Mature in Future Cases

I would have given this game, 4 stars because I didn't mind the wait. I finished the first 2 cases and was about to move on to the third, but I needed frie... Continue reading

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?

App details

Our editors recommend

For kids who love puzzles and mysteries

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.

See how we rate

About these links

Common Sense Media, a nonprofit organization, earns a small affiliate fee from Amazon or iTunes when you use our links to make a purchase. Thank you for your support.

Read more

Our ratings are based on child development best practices. We display the minimum age for which content is developmentally appropriate. The star rating reflects overall quality and learning potential.

Learn how we rate