Tong Zhang
(Senior Editor)
07/16/10 08:16 PM
iPhone Game Review: The Jim and Frank Mysteries - The Blood River Files

iPhone Game Review: The Jim and Frank Mysteries - The Blood River Files
Reviewed by SpaZtrigger

Have you ever wished that there would be an app very similar to the famous DS franchise, Professor Layton? Well with The Jim and Frank Mysteries - The Blood River Files all your prayers are answered. The Jim and Frank Mysteries is an adventure game that heavily features puzzles as well as the interactive gameplay.


The story begins with Jim anxiously waiting for his friend Frank to celebrate his birthday. After Frank arrives, Jim opens up the letter that his grandfather gave him and the adventure of Jim and Frank begins. You have to find clues and solve mind bending puzzles in order to find out the whereabouts of Jim's grandfather. In the beginning the puzzles are fairly simple, but as the levels progress, the puzzles get increasingly difficult. For every puzzle you solve, the game rewards you with some gold nuggets. The amount of gold nuggets will increase depending on how hard the puzzle is. You will also obtain a piece of a photograph sometimes after you solve a puzzle, and after you?ve collected all the pieces and put them all together, you will unlock bonus content. But be aware, there is penalty also: each time you make a wrong move at solving the puzzles you can also lose some gold nuggets. So think before your action.

The puzzles in The Jim and Frank Mysteries ? The Blood River Files are extremely similar to the ones in Professor Layton except for the design. Much like in Professor Layton, The Jim and Frank Mysteries has some very difficult puzzles, and if you ever get stumped, the game offers help that moves you along to the next adventure instead of having you stuck in one spot in the game. You can buy yourself a hint using "eurekas" or you can skip the entire puzzle by using 15-30 "eurekas". You will find Eurekas scattered throughout the game in each level, but save them up as much as you can for the real tough puzzles. While some of the puzzles are challenge, they are fun to play. It will give your brain a strong workout without having to deal with math like in Brain Age.

In addition to the main story, The Jim and Frank Mysteries ? The Blood River Files also offers extras with loads of content. The main story mode is already pretty long, the extra content adds even more playtime that will make Professor Layton look like extremely over priced. The touch controls in The Jim and Frank Mysteries work very well, you tap to interact and drag items to solve puzzles.

Graphics & Sound

People who have played Professor Layton will agree with me when I say that The Jim and Frank Mysteries ? The Blood River Files is almost exact clone of Professor Layton in gameplay, and that?s a compliment considering Professor Layton was an exceptional game. From graphics standpoint, The Jim and Frank Mysteries ? The Blood River Files takes a different approach however. While Professor Layton looked like something out of an anime, The Jim and Frank Mysteries looks like a cartoon. A very good looking cartoon, that is. The drawings are top notch; colors are bright and eye catching.

While gameplay is similar, you can tell these two games apart easily by background music. The music in Professor Layton sounds mysterious, and the music in The Jim and Frank mysteries sounds medieval and joyful. The tracks are well arranged and looped, and it?s a joy to listen to while trying to solve puzzles. Sound FX also compliments the gameplay well.


If you are a puzzle fan, this game is hard to pass up. If you like Professor Layton type of game, this is definitely a title to play. Though there are many puzzles are very similar to the ones in Professor Layton, the game has enough new content to keep you interested. Currently the game carries an introductory price. So if this is your cup of tea, get it now before the price goes up.

Ratings (scale of 1 to 5):

Graphics: - 5 - Original and well made.
Sound: - 5 - Great music, option to play your own iPod music.
Controls: - 5 - Super easy to use, intuitive and no glitches.
Gameplay: - 4.5 - A long story with ton of gameplay. Too similar to Professor Layton?s gameplay for players who have beat that game.

Playing Hints and Tips:

- Look carefully at your surroundings since you can find 2 eurekas in an area.

- Save your eurekas for really hard puzzles later in the game.

App Facts:
Developer: Chillingo
Release Date: Jul 8, 2010
Price: $0.99 (introductory price)
Buy App: The Jim and Frank Mysteries ? The Blood River Files

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