A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this app.
Players meet up with a generally diverse cast of characters of different nationalities, genders, etc. Some seem shoved into stereotypical representations.
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Ease of Play
The story's broken up into pieces separated by various puzzles. Most of these are hidden item games. These are relatively straightforward, though the combination of basic descriptions and the small screen can make it difficult to recognize some of the items for what they are.
Violence & Scariness
The core of the story is a murder mystery. While there's no graphic violence or gore, there are scenes showing the murder victims and blood.
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Products & Purchases
Various actions use up a set amount of energy. This can slowly recharge over time, though players can (and are encouraged to) buy bundles of extra energy in-game to continue the story. The game also periodically interrupts play to prompt players to rate the game.
Drinking, Drugs & Smoking
Some characters are occasionally shown drinking or smoking.
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Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that Murder by Choice: Clue Mystery is a free-to-play interactive mystery/puzzle game, available for download on Android and iOS mobile devices. Players take on the role of a reporter that finds herself central to a murder investigation at an island mansion. The story is broken up by a series of puzzles that give the player clues to what's going on at the mansion. While the violence isn't graphically portrayed onscreen, the aftermath of the crimes, such as the body, blood, etc., are shown. Some characters are also occasionally shown smoking or drinking. While not required to progress in the game, players are encouraged to promote in the digital market by in-game prompts. Finally, players can quickly run out of the energy required to continue actions, forcing them to either wait for it to recharge, or to spend money to buy energy bundles.
Is It Any Good?
It's not always easy to cram the "interactive" part into an interactive story. Murder by Choice: Clue Mystery is a perfect example of this. The game has a cheesy but interesting story, as well as a collection of decent if not particularly challenging puzzles. But the two parts don't necessarily fit together in a way that makes any sense. You're often directed to find a key item to move the story forward. This usually leads to one of the game's many hidden picture puzzles, in which you have to find a list of items amongst piles of random bits and baubles. The key item is always somewhere on this list, which makes sense, but there's never any rationale behind why you also need to dig out the other junk. It makes you feel like you're pointlessly wasting time because nothing else you find makes any difference, yet you can't move forward until you find everything.
Those hidden item puzzles are also frustrating for another reason. Each one has very basic descriptions of the items you need to find, and it's difficult to make out exactly what many of the items are supposed to mb. For example, the game might ask for a pencil, only you to discover that it's not asking for a writing pencil, but for an eyeliner pencil buried in a makeup kit. On smaller phone screens, it can be hard to even make out what certain items are, much less if they're what you're looking for. Another frustration is that nearly everything you do in the game costs energy. When you run out of energy, you're stuck from progressing any further until you either wait for it to recharge at a snail's pace or you break down and spend money to buy energy just to keep the plot moving. Considering the story is already constantly interrupted by unrelated busy work, not being able to move past it because of you're low on some arbitrary action points does a better job of killing the motivation than the in-game murderer does to any of its victims.
Did we miss something on diversity?
Research shows a connection between kids' healthy self-esteem and positive portrayals in media. That's why we've added a new "Diverse Representations" section to our reviews that will be rolling out on an ongoing basis. You can help us help kids by suggesting a diversity update.