Crime Scene Review
Crime Scene box art
System: DS Review Rating Legend
Dev: White Birds Productions 1.0 - 1.9 = Avoid 4.0 - 4.4 = Great
Pub: SouthPeak Games 2.0 - 2.4 = Poor 4.5 - 4.9 = Must Buy
Release: Feb. 16, 2010 2.5 - 2.9 = Average 5.0 = The Best
Players: 1 3.0 - 3.4 = Fair
ESRB Rating: Mature 3.5 - 3.9 = Good

Further complicating the process, bullet trajectories must be analyzed and checked against police reports for accuracy, as well as other particulars of the crime scene itself. Later on you also get access to specialty tools like a black light and reagent spray. Needless to say, it's a very involved process, and the examples given here aren't even everything.

Crime Scene screenshot

As a result, Crime Scene is absolutely not for gamers with short attention spans. The sim element to the game's design makes the procedural forensics methodical, and its pacing very deliberate. There will be many times in the game where you'll have to thoroughly investigate a scene, talk to witnesses or other police personnel, report to your superior and then go back with newfound knowledge, and then do it again.

Solving a case can be a process of trial and error (as far as knowing which tools to use, as well as when to use them), and you have to pay attention to the details of each case, as your superior will grill you for information, as well as evidence to support your theories, before she'll grant you permission to get a search or arrest warrant and close the case. However, rather than being an irritant, the educational element of the game (while probably streamlined compared to real police work), makes Crime Scene very fascinating for fans of cerebral, adventure-style game design.

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It should also be noted that despite being on the DS, this game has a Mature rating for a reason. Although kids would likely be turned off by its methodical pacing anyway, the crime scenes you must investigate are particularly gruesome compared to more 'typical' DS fare-there's a lot of graphic murders and shootings here. The only downside to Crime Scene, if you're old enough to appreciate the game, is that it has occasionally very finicky controls-in particular, using the stylus to cut out a piece of evidence with a scalpel can be aggravating, given the obtuse way the game will occasionally only give you the most vague instructions. But, once you learn the ins and outs of a procedural police work, there's a surprisingly deep and detailed adventure to discover.

By Steve Haske
CCC Freelance Writer

RATING OUT OF 5
RATING DESCRIPTION
3.8
Graphics
Crime Scene's visuals aren't super, but they're functional enough.
3.5
Control
Investigating a crime scene and analyzing evidence is mostly easy, aside from the occasional vague instruction.
3.0
Music / Sound FX / Voice Acting
The music is fine, if generic. Sound effects sound like Star Trek.
4.2

Play Value
The deliberate pacing and educational value of simulating forensic investigations makes for a great adventure-style gameplay.

4.0
Overall Rating - Great
Not an average. See Rating legend above for a final score breakdown.

Game Features:

  • Five multi-stage cases to solve.
  • Comb through crime scenes with a host of forensic tools.
  • Simulates all the detail of an actual police investigation.


  • Screenshots / Images
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