Yesterday I finished playing one wonderful game — Mystery Case Files: Huntsville — and decided to quickly outline what interesting on this front happened in my late 2005 life.

Mystery Case Files: Huntsville

Wonderful game with average graphics, but very good idea. You are a detective and you are assigned to several cases. Each case consists of two stages and should be solved in the given time frame. The first stage is finding things you need to get to the other. Things are named in the list on the right of the screen. You should find them in the main area and click to get into your brief-case. Sounds simple? Yes, but in fact it isn’t so much. Things are intelligently hidden all over the playground so that you always need a sharp eye to find them. The next stage is the puzzle where the square pieces of an image are mixed and you have to exchange them with each other to restore the original look.

The game is gripping and for us, English learners, it had another important value — it helped us to learn and remember many words. After I finished playing I started to think where could I get something similar to continue this fun education.

Memory Loops

To describe it quickly, the balls are rolling on the curly path the the hole in the ground. When the time comes, they are given another power-push and roll a little faster for a second. Once they reach the hole, the game is over. Your goal is not to let them reach the hole by removing pairs of the balls from the chain. The most interesting part (and the title gives you a tip) comes here. The balls are all of the same color and with no graphics. You have to turn the ball to see the picture painted on it, then turn the other to see if the picture matches. If it is both balls are removed, otherwise they are turned back to no-picture-state. Of course, there are tip balls with trace of the picture on the upper side, lots of different bonuses, like explode, show all pictures, roll back etc.

There are several stages with several levels within the stage. With each next stage the complexity raises. It all starts with three or four types of pictures to match which is pretty easy, but then every other stage adds new picture plus speed boost and it becomes really hard. I’m still somewhere on the eight stage and continue playing.


The game play is mainly the same. The same balls rolling from one hole in the ground to the other, but this time the balls are colored and in the middle sits the bug throwing similar colored balls in the rolling chain. Your goal is not to allow the balls get to the end of the path by removing groups of three or more. It means that you need to quickly match the colors to be successful. The whole set of various bonuses is present so that you will never get bored.

There’s nothing to describe specifically. But I would like to give it A for its graphics. It’s really well-thought and well-painted. Amazing game play!

Well, that was my little favorites list. I really enjoyed and continue to enjoy playing these games. By the way, not only me. My father, sister and Kate are also big fans of all ball-rolling-games.

Hope it was interesting and helpful. ;)

Comments from the past

adrian woods on 01/17/2006

Thanks for the favorable review of MCF. I think you’ll enjoy the next in the series!


Ree on 02/05/2006

I’m having a problem with Tumblebugs. Online or off (payed for game) the sound is all garbled. Cannot figure out what’s wrong. I have a new Emachine. My audio is fine with all other games. Any clue?

Aleksey Gureiev on 02/05/2006

Hm. Strange. I’ve tried it on several computers and it worked just fine. Do you mean that it sounds, but sounds freaky?

Carrie on 03/08/2006

I have been on level 8 in Tumblebugs for a long time. Any suggestions?

Aleksey Gureiev on 03/08/2006

:) Yeah, sounds familiar. One thing I can suggest is to develop the way you look at the scene. Don’t follow your mouse pointer with eyes, but look at the screen as a whole, like if you were looking at it defocused. For example, look at the center and try to cover the whole screen with your periferial vision, so that you don’t need to move eyes to see everything on it.

Shoot balls instinctively and always try to improve the speed of your reaction. I noticed that I do better when I listen to some podcasts, interviews, or science fiction stories. It helps me drive the attention off the game, thus bringing the firing of the balls closer to completely instinctive way.

Hope that helps!