Castle: Never Judge A Book By Its Cover
When a New York City book critic is murdered, dressed up to look like Frankenstein's monster, and hooked up to an electrical current, it's time to call the one detective who actually prefers the really weird cases: Kate Beckett. If she brings her "consultant," a mystery writer named Richard Castle, along with her, so much the better. Such is the premise of Castle: Never Judge A Book By Its Cover, a tie-in hidden object game that was written as a companion to the television show Castle. The case turns out to be more complicated than they had anticipated, and as the team works to keep the body count from increasing, the case begins to hit closer and closer to home for everyone.
Never Judge A Book By Its Cover is an exceptionally well made and quite polished. Gunnar Games worked with Castle's writers while creating the game, so the references to the show aren't simply pasted on after the fact. Most of the hidden object scenes contain at least one item from the show, from Castle's bulletproof "WRITER" vest to a certain red bottle of scotch.
This doesn't mean you have to be a fan of the show in order to enjoy the game, though: they've taken pains to make sure the game stands on its own merits and doesn't divulge plot or character spoilers. The game blends hidden object scenes and minigames seamlessly, allowing you to view the silhouette of any item you're searching for and skip any puzzle that's just too frustrating. One unique element of the game is the puzzle that lets you question suspects: while many games would let you choose from a list of questions, or just make the dialogue into a cutscene, here you have to match each piece of evidence to the place where it was found.
The end result is a game that plays like an actual episode of Castle and has something for just about everyone. Fans of the show — and of murder mysteries in general — will enjoy trying to figure out the Hardcover Killer's identity. Fans of hidden object games will lose themselves in the detailed, interactive scenes. Fans of puzzles will be baffled in the best of ways as they try to unlock the next door or uncover the next clue. And fans of Nathan Fillion can always just spend a while staring at Castle.