Are you a fan of the TV show Criminal Minds? Blue Giraffe, CBS Interactive and FTX Games LTD came up with an interesting concept of fitting the show’s rewarding watching experience with a puzzle game genre and it is currently offered with limited content. This game is promised to become premium soon, while it is currently free to play up to 16 levels.
About the makers
CBS Interactive Inc. is a media company based in San Francisco, CA. They’ve been having success delving into games, music, sports, news, and general entertainment, and exist for 26 years now.
Blue Giraffe Games is signed under the ‘made by’ in this game. They are a software company from the Netherlands, known to back up a lot of high-quality projects, especially in indie games.
FTX Games LTD is also an independent team of developers, who often collaborate on projects that are heavily underrated but turn out to be praised by the audience. They also made Narcos: Cartel Wars mobile game.
This American police procedure crime TV show drama is highly praised and is currently in its 14th season. It was created by Jeff Davis and premiered back in 2005 on CBS. Criminal Minds follows an elite FBI squad who are on the hunt for the country’s most dangerous, disturbed criminal minds. To put it simply, they hunt the most wanted criminals and twisted serial killers. The audience has a unique insight into the analytics and the methodology of the FBI ‘mind hunter’ team, and together with their favorite characters anticipate and solve complex and brutal cases.
Each member of the Mind Hunter team has its own set of skills they each specialize in, and they work as a well-organized team. The show also features many high-profile Hollywood actors, both in recurring and guest roles, such as A.J. Cook, Joe Montegna, Thomas Gibson, Shemar Moore, Paget Brewster, and many more.
It is these characters, i.e. their likenesses, that are included in the Criminal Minds mobile game, with their respective skills and specialties to match.
This puzzle game is very story driven. In fact, you are actually involved in the cinematic part as much as you are in the gameplay. The game begins like many of the TV shows episodes, with a brutal mass murder. IT is quite graphic and not for the faint of heart. The player even controls the killer briefly as he perpetrates a mass murder of a family. Not to give too much away, but the killer ties them all down and makes a family dinner, serves food to them, and then continues to explain his viewpoint of the whole ceremony and hint at some of the things that motivated this heinous act in the first place.
The player is then redirected at the heroes of the game – the Mind Hunter team. They are being flown in as the news of the gruesome family murder is being served to them by their oracle, Quantico. The murderer is being dubbed the ‘UnSub’ killer, and the team immediately begins their profiling.
The player is being introduced with important gameplay and story plot devices, like the murderer’s M.O. and how the team proceeds with establishing the facts.
After the team arrives at the crime scene in chapter 1.3, the fatal family dinner the player witnessed at the beginning, we are being introduced with the basics of the gameplay. The characters are still acting and behaving similarly to how they do in the cinematic story part, with the player taping the screen to move the story along. As the characters talk in chat bubbles, providing valuable info to the player, the team begins their analysis and the player finally gets the first taste of crime scene examination.
controlling characters in this puzzle crime game is done exclusively with clicking, a well established point-and-click tradition. You select a team member standing on either side of the murder table, and you assign him to a certain task at hand, i.e. inspecting the first victim. As the detective goes about his business, you can hold down the icon of the task to speed it up, which provides extra gold coins. Gold coins are the main currency.
Some other tasks do not only require you to select the desired character, which you will, later on, do according to that character’s specialization, but they require you to pick up a tool needed for the job at hand. Such as the tweezers you need to pass to your forensic specialist.
After the examination is done, the player then has a final task of putting his agents together so they can again establish the facts and review what they just saw in an exercise of deduction and fact assessment.
Characters used in the task will get experience, while the player gets gold currency upon the task completion.
Gold is being used to purchase gear and various character upgrades, while there are other resources in the game used to upgrade your Oracle. Criminal Minds Mobile Game also features a real-money currency and shop.
Criminal Minds mobile game is quite an interesting concept and a refreshing step back from everything seen so far in mobile gaming and movie adaptations. The game is engaging and rewarding and features quite the R rated content, which is definitely different from most titles today. The graphics are basic and the characters animations are pretty steep, but it seems it was not in the developer’s focus, who prioritized the seamless connection of storytelling and game playing.