Rovio Entertainment’s Small Town Murders made its way onto the Play Store this week. Intent on being the perfect blend of murder mystery and puzzle, Small Town Murders is a narrative-driven match-3 puzzler that transports you to the tranquil village of Thornton Grave far from the hustle of the city life.
Thornton Grave seems pretty idyllic until you start learning about the occurrence of some bizarre crime just about every other day. You play as Nora Mistry, a writer-to-be, who finds herself exploring the mystery of this strange settlement. Every crime takes the form of a puzzle which has to be solved in order to gather evidence, suspects and leads. There is a killer in each crime scene that you reveal upon solving the case. Players are assisted in their missions by various quirky characters such as Shanahan, who is passionate to help but rather hapless, or Mrs. Musgrove, who likes gossip a bit too much.
All you need is a keen eye for detail, some match-3 puzzle skills, and a little bit of intuition to discover veiled objects in crime scenes. When you reveal three or more of these objects, you clear the level. The storyline offers up tons of twists. These twists are intensified by an adaptive music system which reacts to the game’s shifting plot.
Small Town Murders isn’t just about puzzle-solving. Behind the gameplay, there’s an interesting narrative too. You meet very friendly townspeople and make a lot of friends along your way. You chat with people and collect all the dirt you can get on other townspeople. This tittle-tattle goes a long way and provides clues for your investigations. At the end of the day, it’s a compelling premise and we look forward to giving it a spin.