Sony Online Entertainment (SOE) has been growing a much bigger presence on Facebook with the release of PoxNora, The Agency: Covert Ops, Wildlife Refuge, and now Catch a Killer. This brand new game has just released tonight, and is a murder mystery game inspired (and branded with) the popular James Patterson fiction novels. This new game is part multiplayer virtual world and part hidden object game, and has that familiar SOE polish that their other games have been boasting.
In Catch a Killer, you act the part of a detective and play minigames in order to solve crimes. After arriving at crime scenes, it's up to you to click on various objects within the scene in order to find evidence. After you find this evidence, you play simple minigames to forensically evaluate it and to unlock the next part of the crime. The virtual world elements come in when you customize your avatar, and then walk into the City and chat in a multiplayer space with other detectives. You also have your own home to decorate any way you wish, and you can bring other players in to chat with them. The addition of live chat sets Catch a Killer apart from many other games on Facebook. Catch a Killer also uses a familiar energy mechanic to monetize the game and control session length.
The game literally just launched, so we haven't been able to give it a full review just yet. However, we can tell you that it plays a lot more like a downloadable PC game or a casual game you might see on a hub like Miniclip or Kongregate than a Facebook game. That's not necessarily a bad thing, as many social game developers have been foreseeing that games on Facebook will begin to be more sophisticated and depart from the tried and true. We played for a good 30 minutes and never saw any prompt to share with our friends. Luckily, SOE most likely have a large marketing budget for the game because at the moment we're not sure how to tell our friends to play other than sending them some gifts.
Catch a Killer is sure to appeal to those who read the James Patterson books, which is a very big audience. Everyone loves a good minigame and murder mystery! Could this be SOE's first Facebook game hit? Time will tell, but this game has as good a chance as any.
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