|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.
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.
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.
CCC Freelance Writer