The Jim and Frank Mysteries: The Blood River Files HD

App review by
Christopher Healy, Common Sense Media
The Jim and Frank Mysteries: The Blood River Files HD App Poster Image
Challenging puzzles set within a lengthy, intriguing story.

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A lot or a little?

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

Ease of Play

There's a range of difficulty in the puzzles, but some can be very challenging. Using the app controls should not pose a problem to anyone.


The title's inclusion of the word "Blood" makes this mystery app sound a lot darker and scarier than it ever is. The worst you get here is some bickering.


If you get stuck and run out of hint tickets, you can purchase more with money from your iTunes account.

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

One puzzle requires you to pour wine into pitchers.

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that The Jim and Frank Mysteries - The Blood River Files HD is a puzzle adventure about two young friends who go on a mystery quest, following clues left by the grandfather of one of the boys. The spooky-sounding title gives the wrong impression, as Jim and Frank are as wholesome as the Hardy Boys. They bicker in humorous ways, and they meet some very strange, eccentric characters, so it may not be appropriate for super-young kids (who wouldn't be able to solve the puzzles, anyway). There is a less expensive version of the app for iPhone and iPod Touch, but it has fewer puzzles.

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Is it any good?

For anyone who's played Nintendo's Professor Layton games on the DS, the style and format of THE JIM AND FRANK MYSTERIES - THE BLOOD RIVER FILES HD will be very familiar: Two friends, off to solve a mystery, keep running into strange characters who challenge them with brainteaser puzzles. This similarity to the highly praised Professor Layton games is not a bad thing, though, as there's nothing else like it on the iDevices. Puzzle lovers should certainly get their fill here, and while the story is tamer and less ominous than those you'll find in Professor Layton's adventures, it's still fun. You can find tickets hidden along the way, which can be used to get hints when needed. Here, you can even use hints to skip a puzzle entirely. But hint tickets are limited and you'll need to buy more with real money if you need them.

App details

  • Device: iPad
  • Price: $2.99
  • Release date: July 17, 2010
  • Category: Puzzle Games
  • Publisher: Chillingo Ltd.
  • Version: 1.0
  • Minimum software requirements: iOS 3.2 or later
  • Last updated: November 11, 2020

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