CSI: Crime City. Since I’m trying to avoid Zynga games (after this), I thought I would try the pretty popular Crime Scene Investigation foray into Facebook gaming. I’ve seen the first 10 (I think) seasons of CSI so I was curious how it would translate to a game.
Well, there’s good news. It’s pretty fun.
How does it work?
You get to create a character (as per most Facebook games) and you then visit crime scenes and use energy to explore. The scene is split up into a grid and then you click on each square to explore it. Some squares will give you nothing, while others might give you some useful evidence.
Some people may have a problem leaving squares unexplored, but you’re allowed to move to a new crime scene once you’ve discovered all of the evidence. Each “case” may contain 2-3 different crime scenes, which are connected by funny little animated cutscenes (which provide a frame/storyline to follow). If you don’t watch CSI, you may not understand who these people are. I even had a hard time figuring out some of the animated characters.
Once you find evidence, you take back to your lab. It then takes some time to analyze. You can then spend in-game money to zest up your lab. See that sweet gumball machine down there? Yeah I bought that.
So it’s pretty simple.
The game is quick and easy to play, so it can become pretty addictive. The animation style is fun and colorful. It’s easy to jump in and just play for a few minutes and then check in later.
The “cases” are pretty common fare for what the TV show is known for. There are a lot of puns, which is pretty standard.
I also applaud this game for letting players engage in the game without forcing the need to 1.) get your friends to play or 2.) spamming friends walls with “I need a rake! Will you help me?” requests. There are only two instances that I’ve even interacted with others. You can get some additional energy by visiting your friends’ labs and you have a mysterious box in your lab that you can ask friends to help with. Both are purely and completely optional.
It may seem like it’d be boring just clicking on squares. Well, every once in a while, you’re treated to a fun little minigame called a “Focus Challenge.” It’s basically a game where you select the two same images. In a set amount of time, you’ll get an energy bonus which correlates to how many correct pairs you found.
What doesn’t work?
Although the game is easy to jump in and out of, the storylines aren’t that compelling to keep me coming back. I often forgot the cases and each time a cutscene would happen, I’d be confused about who was who and what was happening. Also for people that aren’t familiar with CSI, the main cast would be confusing. There isn’t any sort of introduction.
Other than losing interest after awhile just because of the somewhat repetitive nature of the game, I’m happy with most of its mechanics.
Overall… A fun game, especially for people who aren’t really into Facebook games. For non-fans of CSI, it might a little less accessible. If you can get past that, though, there is a lot of fun to be had here.