Fancy yourself as a bit of a detective? Want to solve the most ludicrous cases in a world where candy is strictly forbidden? Publisher Chillingo’s latest game takes the simple aspects and ideas of a puzzle game and give it a whole new meaning to the word “depth.” Taking hold of the reigns and steering players in a completely new direction, Another Case Solved [Free] is a humorous light-hearted take on the whodunit genre, with a distinctively interesting variety of puzzles all incorporated and combined into one fine game.

You are placed in the shoes of a private investigator, who is just starting out their career in a town completely devoid of candy due to the recent abolishment of any sugary products. From this point on, you’re tasked with building up your reputation by taking on a series of interesting cases that include anything from retrieving lost items to finding missing cats, all whilst working up the ladder to bigger and better cases. The greater your reputation, the higher the pay, dependent on the case involved. The storyline itself is a bit of a mixed bag; instead of focusing on the whole sugar ban plot, it seems instead to just revolve around a series of small menial jobs whilst working towards the fancier more rewarding full-blown cases. In other words, the plot is irrelevant to the actual gameplay mechanics itself, and you can take it or leave it as it is.

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In typical puzzle game fashion, it’s up to the user to match a series of identical tile icons by swiping in a variety of directions. Players can select a whole matching row of tiles in any fashion they like, so long as they are sat adjacent to each other. In turn, accumulating tiles will reveal a whole variety of clues and evidence to support the case further, and a specific number of clues must be collected in order to clear the case or acquire a full three star rating.

Matching various tiles results in different types of evidence; for example, footprints will retrieve clues in the form of maps, speech bubbles will help gather photo clues, and magnifiers will accumulate fingerprints. Furthermore, the mini objective guide at the top of the screen allows you to see how many of each must be collected in order to advance, but the drawback is you only have a certain number of moves in order to collect them all.

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Luckily, help is at hand with a series of available tools to use at your own discretion. As the game progresses, it’s possible to unlock more, but initially you’ll be given the option to use items that will not only shuffle the clues on the board, but the option to change them or collect the tiles between 3 pins. However, there’s a three usage limit in your inventory for each, meaning it’s advisable to keep an eye on how many you have left just in case you need to “purchase” more before embarking on a case.

As you advance, you have the ability to unlock more interesting major cases that incorporate a range of enjoyable mini-games. These include puzzles that involve searching for a specific location through a series of clues, upon which its thereafter possible to explore the building to locate whatever it is that is missing. During this section you’ll have an allotted time of “55 minutes” in total to search the building, and each room or object searched discounts a specific number of minutes. From this point on, in identity parade fashion, players are given a selection of interesting looking characters, and in a style similar to “Guess Who?” have to eliminate various features and aspects from a series of questions to figure out the correct person responsible for the crime.

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Partaking in the larger cases will mean solving the minor ones found in the papers, but this has its own benefits, namely the ability to collect more cash in order to buy more equipment, tools and furniture, which all have their own perks. Furthermore, by decking out your office, it opens the opportunity for further challenges and unlocks new abilities, which you can use to map out intuition and foresight, amongst other things.

Along the way, it’s possible to accumulate candy as you go by keeping an eye on the objective guide at the top of the screen whilst in puzzle mode, but there’s also the option to partake in a candy hunt roughly every 12 hours in order to retrieve free candy to add to the stash for future usage. Furthermore, if you invest your in-game currency into buying a “telephone,” you can use this to watch unobtrusive adverts in the form of videos in order to collect a candy for each one watched successfully.

Another Case Solved starts off fairly easy, but gradually gets more tough as you advance. Though I wasn’t initially utilizing many of the tools, I did find that it became much harder to progress without them further down the line. Not only do you only get a certain amount to hoard in your inventory (up to 3 of each), it also means that it becomes increasingly necessary to delve into the world of in-app purchases in order to continue with the game at a reasonable pace. Playing sporadically will also give you more time for your energy to replenish, as only so many cases can be solved dependent on the number of newspapers you acquire.

Progressing casually aided towards the overall satisfaction in playing, but would definitely have scored higher on the fun-factor scale had it been designed with the players enjoyment in mind. Sadly Another Case Solved latches a little too hard on the freemium model, which in turn holds it back from being the marvellous game it has aspired to be.

TouchArcade Rating

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  • Wicked8146

    Agreed! I started off liking this game but towards the end of level 1, it is very apparent that you will need to use the clues to progress, which means using money or candy. You can either wait every 12 hours to accumulate little bits candy, although not enough to help you progress, or pay to get more newspapers, which will help but at a slow pace. Or pay cash at a terrible $ to candy ratio. I have no problem with the free to play model but in this game it leans more towards punishing the players than helping enjoy the game more.

    • kamuikurou

      I think exactly the same thing as you when I started chapter 2: the quests are frigging hard to get 3 stars. I keep running out of turns and the extra puzzles have too much variables to manage and are impossible to solve without candies. I almost quitted the game when I found out that I need to change my playstyle, don't be picky with the tools. They (and the skills) are your best friend.

      Some tips:
      - Avoid making chains of 3 or 4 clues, use the Sleight of Hand or clue removal tools if possible. If the board has 7+ of the clues you want but scattered, use the post it note to randomize. Don't afraid to use the sponge (change all clues) if the board is too crowded with scattered clues.

      - Also avoid making 8 or 9 chain of clues (unless you've finished with that particular clue/evidence). Collect 5 then make another 5 later to get the evidence. As for the evidence, never collect them in singleton (unless you got a candy requesting a single evidence). Why? Because of multipliers! (More on that below)

      - The skill "Sleight of Hand" is a godsend, look for possible long chain of clues of at least five, and if possible, swap it so you got 2 chains of clues. You can also use this to swap evidence in threes, coins in tens, and bonus multipliers.

      - Another thing that I underestimate at first is the bonus multiplier, it's impossible to play well without utilizing it. You can get it dropped by collecting 3 evidence together. Chain with 1 bonus for x2, 2 for x3, 3 for x4 and so on. This helps a lot with those extra evidence needed for 3 stars and helps finishing the minigames easily. Utilize Sleight of Hand, Got a Hunch!, and the hats (the tools that gets you one type of particular clue next) to get the clues and evidence you need.

      - Farm coins on the newspaper quests, all the evidence on board are turning into coins if you complete the requests with some turns left. Make sure you make at least two bonus multipliers before finishing the last request. Collect the coins together with the multiplier for easy money (do this before you run out of turns), better yet, chain 10 coins to get 1 candy!

      TL;DR use tools, get multipliers, chain big.

    • thiagovscoelho

      Rule #69105 of adventure games: the hintbook shouldn't be required. Man, gotta wait for GameFAQs coverage for this!

  • defunct32

    Did you just said the C word? D:

    • thiagovscoelho

      funny how outside of iOS this is usually a four-letter word

      • defunct32

        Candy and conspiracy, darling, 4 letter word? C-a-n-t is not a word.

      • thiagovscoelho

        just google "c word"

      • defunct32

        OMG STOP!!!

  • bhavukjain1

    Currently, I'm at level 9 and I didn't get the feeling of purchasing in-apps.

  • Menel

    Level 9 now. A decent looking office, lots of upgrades. All 3 star perfect Chapter 1.

    Chapter 2 is tougher, out of 8 major cases solved, only 2 have been 3 stars., strategically using tools. Only playing 3-4 times a day. Always come back to iPad with plenty of minor missions to restock money.

    I've got a lot of time invested in and haven't hit any sort of major wall. In-app purchases are there, obvious, but they've not felt necessary.

    Necessary to progress rapidly with perfect stars? sure.
    Necessary to progress with some challenge? no.

    Hugely enjoy, I rate it it 4-4.5 stars.

  • Weress1057

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    • defunct32

      What were you doing with your buddy's ex-wife, though? Does your buddy know?

      I'm gonna tell on you, lol.

  • RichT

    I'm playing chapter two at the moment and don't feel forced to buy candies at all. I've done a lot of minor cases to build up cash and upgrade my office. I'm working through the major cases and not expecting to get three stars on them first time around. Some of the cases are tough but can be solved with skills and tools that don't require candies to use. Even if I did feel the candies were needed, I could just repeatedly watch videos to get them as some of them are only 30 seconds long.

    All of that aside, I think this can get a bit repetitive and a lot of minor cases need to be taken so you have the cash for tools and contacts to get through the major ones. However it's a good game and it's free so worth downloading.

  • Anova

    Ami the only one who can't access the whole review? Page just terminates by cutting halfway through an image...

    • Anova

      Nam, needed a reboot. Very sad, this game looks like a lot of love went into it. Hopefully they'll balance the IAP a bit, gonna give it a chance anyways.

  • http://www.appfreakblog.com appfreak

    Since I loved PuzzleCraft I thought this would be something using the same mechanics, but I couldn’t get through the tutorial out of boredom. I tend to play match-3 games listening to TV or podcasts, so the addition of a storyline is a bit distracting for me.

    Happy to see there’s more to it and that the icons are used as clues after the matching stage. Despite the predatory IAP strategy, there’s always hope there’s a change sometime down the road

  • laniparis

    I actually like it. It's more of a few minute time waster than a huge playtime distraction. I come back every hour or so, complete the paper cases, disappear till I have some time to do a case with the clues I've saved (or bought with money from the paper cases). I wouldn't say it's five star material but it's entertaining.

    Also, I'd love a port or iOS adaption of the Internet flash game Sleuth. This will do until then.

  • Derprozess

    Another Timer Solved : Erase The Game in 2 Seconds Part II :-/

  • colbertj

    It is apparent that by something being freemium, it automatically gets downgraded at least a star. While I 100% agree that the IAP model is absurd, the goal of your reviews is to be as objective as possible with the user experience in mind. I passed on this first because of the review, but later tried. Really fun game! Don't wear the 'freemium blinders' when writing reviews!!

  • OrangeJews

    What a terrible review. It's a wonderful game, and it doesn't shove IAPs down your throat. The candy is extremely easy to gain by playing and collecting daily bonuses.

Another Case Solved Reviewed by Lucy Ingram on . Rating: 3