Ubisoft and CBS Consumer Products have launched a new Facebook game centered around the popular television series CSI. Dubbed CSI: Crime City, the game is developed by an independent developer called Area/Code and takes the player to a social rendition of the modern murder-mystery show.
Most similar to treasure hunting titles of the past, CSI: Crime City fits well within the concept. Even so, its mature themes, despite its cartoony visuals, are hardly as age agnostic. From murderous strippers to snooty actors, players use the same "digging" concepts of games such as Treasure Isle and Treasure Madness in order to solve the mystery. As interesting and well made as it is though, the game does still come with disappointments.
Players enter the big city with an immediate case to resolve. Once the case is opened, they catch a glimpse of the crime before it happens in the form of a small cutscene, then they travel to the site of the crime and begin searching grid spaces for evidence. Each grid searched consumes a set amount of energy. However, some grids will have special attributes to them, such as blood stains or "details" (burns, scratches, etc.). These spaces must be searched using special tools. Rather than machetes and pickaxes, these consist of things such as luminols, tweezers, and cameras.
As players search about the crime scene, they will turn up not only evidence, but extra cash and energy as well. The cash is of particular importance because it is used to not only purchase the tools, but lab equipment as well. As with the show, players must take evidence to the their lab for processing, but each piece has a particular set of tests that must be run. In order to do so, players must purchase equipment such as a ballistics station, DNA sequencers, microscopes, and so on.
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