Mystery Case Files: Prime Suspects is an adventure-puzzle casual game developed by Big Fish Studios, and distributed by Big Fish Games. It is the second installment in the Mystery Case Files series. The game is available exclusively at Big Fish Games website. The Mystery Case Files franchise is the number one brand in casual games and has sold more than 2.5 million units to date.
Following on the heels of MCF: Huntsville, the player is tasked with investigating the disappearance of the Queen’s Hope Diamond in Capital City. The 800 carats (160 g) diamond was stolen from the Capital City Plaza Gallery where it was on display as part of the annual mineral convention, Sparkle Daze. MCF: Prime Suspects adds items that players have to discover to unlock later levels (such as finding a battery to power a flashlight). Characters also became a more prominent part of the series with the investigation revolving around a list of 20 characters with different personality ‘quirks’.
- Susan Williams
- Nickname: Chocolate Sandie
- Occupation: Black-market cookie pusher
- Prior Arrests: Suspect repeatedly apprehended for selling bootleg knockoffs of Brownie Girl cookies. Miss Williams is currently at large following a botched cookie bust where she injured two federal marshals. Suspect should be approached with extreme caution.
- Description: Curly, platinum blonde hair; scrunched up nose and closed eye; always seen with a box of cookies and a chocolate-brown beret
- James Michael
- Nickname: Jimmy Glitter
- Occupation: Lead guitarist of rock band Buttercream
- Prior arrests: Noise pollution and trashing hotel rooms without a permit. Suspect is currently wanted on charges of animal endangerment involving a fog machine and a gerbil. Hobbies include roadie harassment, turning things up to eleven, and vomit snorkeling.
- Description: Long black hair, purple vest, covered with tattoos, double chin, tanned face, neck and shoulders
- Constance Noring
- Nickname: The Snoozy Cruiser
- Occupation: Curiosity shop operator and accidental car thief
- Prior arrests: Suspect convicted on grand theft auto charges. A longtime narcoleptic, Ms. Noring has a history of waking up in jail after a night of carjacking while sleepwalking.
- Description: Short red hair, smudged lipstick, huge pearl earrings, droopy eyes, goofy grin
- Barry Swanson
- Nickname: Spry Guy
- Occupation: Unemployed superhero
- Prior arrests: Check fraud and negligent homicide. Suspect possessed superhuman speed until his hip went out while jogging on the beach with Captain Zip. His super abilities are now relegated to freezing water in the icebox and predicting the milk is bad. Suspect lives with his grandmother.
- Description: Brown hair, purple two-holed blindfold, glasses, green costume with yellow cape
- Ricardo Gherkin
- Nickname: Dick Pickle
- Occupation: Fruit vendor and toenail enthusiast
- Prior arrests: Served time in Huntsville for smuggling Cuban cigars across the border inside hollowed-out cucumbers. Suspect was paroled on good behavior after serving a dilly of a sentence that no one would relish.
- Description: Red balding hair, gray-rimmed glasses, warty nose, blue shirt, yellow suspenders, red bow tie
- Elizabeth Wright
- Nickname: Barbell Betty
- Occupation: Salvage yard worker and professional body builder
- Prior Arrests: Suspect served four years in the slammer on kidnapping and perjury charges. Mrs. Wright entered prison weighing a svelte ninety-eight pounds and was paroled hefting over 350 pounds of testosterone fueled, man-hating muscle.
- Description: Brown hair, pearl earrings, mole on face, red shirt, blue denim jumper, tons of muscles
- Annie Buddyhome
- Nickname: Mommy
- Occupation: Housewife and suspected master thief.
- Prior arrests: None. Mother by day and nefarious interloper by night? Many diligent crime inspectors have tried to gather enough clues to arraign this shady lady but so far she remains a free bird.
- Description: Blue beady eyes, brown braided hair, chocolate-brown lips, blue turtleneck
- Matilda Fitzgerald
- Nickname: Tone-deaf Tilly
- Occupation: Dental assistant and aspiring jazz singer
- Prior arrests: Breaking and entering and petty thievery. This boogie-woogie wannabe couldn't carry a note in a bucket if she tried. And she does try. The only way this discordant caterwauler can get onstage is by breaking when the clubs are CLOSED. Earplugs highly recommended.
- Description: Dark brown hair, red lotus flower (on hair), dangly earrings, dark skin, glittery red dress
- Kara Donnan
- Nickname: La Couturiere Criminelle
- Occupation: Seamstress and fashion mogul
- Prior arrests: Suspect was convicted on larceny and breaking and entering charges after hijacking sheep from a cattle ranch last September. Ms. Donnan fleeced the flock to prototype her spring line of raw wool underwear. The matter incited protest from livestock activist group Sheep are People Too.
- Description: Black hair pulled up in a bun, hat made from a whole sheep, pearl necklace, red dress
- Ronny Tidwell
- Nickname: Big Iron Ronny
- Occupation: Street performer and ex-wrestler
- Prior arrests: Assault and battery charges. After biting an opponent's thumb off during a match, this former professional wrestler was forced to complete a court-ordered anger management course. There he discovered inner peace and his fondness for pantomime. Suspect reserves the right to remain silent.
- Description: Thick curly orange hair, white face, beady eyes, brown hat with red daisy, hairy chest, black and white striped shirt, black suspenders
- Vincent Gavone
- Nickname: Vinny the Chin
- Occupation: Token Mafia guy
- Prior arrests: Money laundering, extortion, loan sharking, etc. As long as it's criminal in nature, former S.T.A.I.N. member and Mafioso, Gavone has probably been involved. Suspect was last seen purchasing a ravioli-flavored pinky ring. All his favorite stories end with, "so then I whacked the stinkin' bum."
- Description: Big chin, gray hat, white shirt, pink necktie, blue jacket
- Nickname: Walter Gomez Jr.
- Occupation: Jobless welding robot
- Prior arrests: Grand larceny and computer crime convictions. Suspect became a drifter after mass layoffs in the automation industry following the discovery that human workers require less electricity than robots. 1011001 knocks off convenience stores to support his 10w40 addiction.
- Description: Metal body, yellow ears and nose, red cap, blue shirt
- Abe Stinkin
- Nickname: Abe the Babe
- Occupation: Hot dog vendor and amateur meat collector
- Prior arrests: Attempted robbery of the Capital City Savings & Loan Association on February 31st. The burglary proved unsuccessful when he pulled a garbage bag over his head to cloak his identity. He forgot to cut eyeholes in his make-shift mask and was apprehended after walking into a window and knocking himself out.
- Description: White hat, white shirt, fat body, beard, one eyebrow
- Foley Zipper
- Nickname: The Hollywood Scoop
- Occupation: Ex-paparazzi and gossip columnist
- Prior arrests: Repeated counts of breaking and entering. Suspect has an affinity for gathering tabloid gossip by spying on movie stars while they bathe. In accordance to his plea bargain, Mr. Zipper is forbidden to work for, subscribe to or leaf through a printed publication for the duration of his existence on this or any other planet.
- Description: blonde hair, raised eyebrow, blue shirt, green necktie
- Crystal Ball
- Nickname: Madam Fleiss
- Occupation: Fraudulent medium
- Prior arrests: Ms. Fleiss was sentenced to four years in prison after planting a human tongue in a bowl of chowder at Scrimshaw's fast food restaurant. Even though the fish chain was finally vindicated, the scam caused terrific profit loss as customers were afraid to eat food that could taste itself.
- Description: Curly black hair, gold hoop earrings, blue bandanna, red bead necklace, white shirt, orange skirt
- Pierce Hart
- Nickname: Doctor Defect
- Occupation: Pseudo physician
- Prior arrests: Various malpractice and criminal negligence convictions. Mr. Hart received his medical expertise by watching daytime television, golfing, and playing Mr. Scalpel, the wacky doctor game. Mr. Hart takes great pain in prescribing...great pain.
- Description: brown hair, brown mustache
- Rudy Sinclair
- Nickname: Petro-breath
- Occupation: School teacher
- Prior arrests: Repeated counts of gas siphoning. Ever since gasoline topped the two-dollar gallon mark, suspect has been a fixture in the jailhouse as well as the emergency room. He insists stealing fuel is the only way he can afford to get to work. Suspect should consider a breath mint.
- Description: Brown hair, ever-stretching lips, dark skin, white shirt, green tie
- John Thomas
- Nickname: Johnny Vicious
- Occupation: Soccer hooligan
- Prior arrests: Did porridge for filching and flogging. Blimey! This dodgy bloke likes to get bloody well sozzled and toss a keen wobbly he does. Why you'd be off your trolley to slag this cheeky old sod, what?
- Description: Black eye, blue shirt, red, black and white jacket
- Holly Day Inn
- Nickname: Her Heinous Highness
- Occupation: Photo op fiend and collector of shiny objects
- Prior arrests: This self-marketing media maven was arraigned on charges of serial dog swapping and wasting people's valuable time. Most recently, suspect attempted to trademark the phrase, "Ouch, that's hot" after repeatedly grabbing a sparkly, open flame. Hobbies include tying her own shoes and amateur film-making.
- Description: Blonde hair, pink earrings, short pink dress
- Arthur Lugen
- Nickname: Art the Carny
- Occupation: Crooked carnival worker
- Prior arrests: Sentenced to two years in the big house on eighty counts of reckless endangerment. Mr. Lugen has a penchant for loosening the bolts on amusement park rides for that added bit of ghastly terror!
- Description: Brown hair with sideburns, biting a metal nail, green hat, yellow collared shirt with green vest
Usual character locationsEdit
If they are not prime suspects, each criminal is located in a place suitable for them.
- Susan Williams - Carousel
- James Michael - Rooftop
- Constance Noring - Curiosity Shop
- Barry Swanson - Tenement
- Ricardo Gherkin - Produce Stand
- Elizabeth Wright - Salvage Yard
- Annie Buddyhome - Savings & Loan
- Matilda Fitzgerald - Mingo's Playhouse
- Kara Donnan - Rialto Theater
- Ronny Tidwell - Millie the Milliner
- Vincent Gavone - Rocco's News
- 1011001 - Sewer
- Abe Stinkin - Abe's Red Hots
- Foley Zipper - Aristocrat Hotel
- Crystall Ball - Madam Ball Palm Reader
- Pierce Hart - Abandoned Hospital
- Rudy Sinclair - Mick's Gas
- John Thomas - Flynn's Pub
- Holly Day Inn - Capital City Station
- Arthur Lugen - Tunnel of Terror
Like all early MCF titles, MCF: Prime Suspects relies heavily on the hidden object puzzle. Each hidden item represents a clue to determine the location of each suspect during the time in which the crime was committed. However, other challenges have been added to increase the overall challenge. Once the player has found the required hidden objects, they will travel to the Crime Computer and tackle a series of mini-games. Each mini-game will help the player to clear the name of one suspect or pinpoint them as a Prime Suspect!
Theme and production valuesEdit
MCF: Prime Suspects features pre-rendered puzzles with many moving parts, as well as high quality orchestral audio. One additional feature is game randomization. Once the player has completed MCF: Prime Suspects, they can play it again and be presented with an entirely new set of Prime Suspects.
According to independent tracking site game-sales-charts.com, following its release on April 5, 2006, MCF: Prime Suspects held the #1 sales spot on its home distribution channel, Big Fish Games, and has remained in the top 20 ever since.
Leading casual games industry outlets such as Gamezebo.com have featured several articles featuring extremely positive reviews of MCF: Prime Suspects.
- The Nintendo DS port of the game requires you to find four Prime Suspects instead of five.
- In the Tenement location, a poster can be seen on the bricks you scan through. It reads, "A key to the box for you is imparted: Always slide toward the last place you started." This is hint for the final puzzle.
- Official Mystery Case Files Website
- MCF: Prime Suspects on Big Fish Games
- MCF: Prime Suspects Sales Data
Reviews and interviewsEdit
- Review of MCF: Prime Suspects at Gamezebo.com