Family Mysteries: Criminal Mindset is a Hidden Object video game in which you will have to solve the case of your parents' deaths with the help of your wit and a moderate amount of science.
The game leans more on the realistic side of game design, and this shows on the themes and art style. While the science being used is made up, many of the concepts are not, and the way you solve most puzzles is by actual ingenuity rather than using mystical pieces.
This makes the color palette more subdued, while still using plenty of variety. The different settings look like places one might actually go and visit, if one were a scientist of course.
Gameplay wise, the game is divided into different maps, and each one has plenty of objects to collect, and plenty more that need to be unlocked. You do this by getting the right object for the job, or solving a puzzle to get it. Sometimes you have to do both.
You keep trying to match the object with the interactable area until you unlock a new section. Some objects can be combined with others, while other objects need a set amount before they can be used.
The puzzles you need to solve are very varied and challenging, and if you get too stuck you can wait for the “skip” button to charge so you can move on with the story. How fast said button takes to charge depends on the difficulty setting chosen at the beginning of the game, which is also the case for the “hint” button that tells you where to go next in general gameplay.
The only recurring puzzle is the list game, where you are given a list of items to find in a very cluttered scene. You just need to click the item listed on the list, yet some of them might require more interactions, like opening a drawer. If you get stuck here, you can choose to use the previously mentioned “hint” button, or opt out from the “list” gameplay altogether and play an image matching minigame instead. Whatever you choose, your reward is a single item to use elsewhere.
Please use PC to Get the Game Free
The game begins with you, a young scientist, reminiscing about your earlier years. How your parents died researching animal mind control, how you studied the same fields as them to continue their legacy, and how you are about to get a major breakthrough.
Good timing too, since you were about to run out of funding for the project. As you make your final tests and prove that the theory is sound and highly possible, you are contacted by a famous organization in the studies of behavioural conduct. They offer to pay you more than in your wildest dreams for you to simply continue your research, and you could not be happier.
This good news does not last long however, since you are soon approached by an agent of the CIA. They confide with you that the man behind the organization that wants to hire you is not only conducting illegal human experimentation, but also might be behind the murder of your parents. Your new goal is not to join the organization looking for fame and profit, but to do it looking for justice with a side of revenge.
The character design is really well made. All characters are fully voice acted, and they even have lip sync to go with each line. While the rest of the character is not really animated, there is enough suggestion to suspend one’s disbelief and get immersed in the story.
A small but clever detail is how characters do not simply slide things into your inventory, they actually hand them to you and you have to click on them to get it. And the visual presentation is incredible, each character being very detailed in their clothing and personality, making it easy to understand the role each plays in the story.
Family Mysteries: Criminal Mindset is a fun and intriguing thriller that will hook you with its story and innovative puzzles. The very well realized character designs and voice acting will have you unable to drop the game until the very end, just like any good tale should.
Please use PC to Get the Game Free
If you enjoy these free games, you will love this list of our 10 Best Hidden Object Detective Games!