The cast of CSI Miami makes a strong appearance in the mobile version of the game. Their speech and mannerisms are so prevalent it’s clear the people who wrote the game are avid CSI Miami viewers. The use of a license franchise adds a concrete flair and flavor to this mystery adventure game.
The set up of the game is very much like Gameloft’s previous entrant, Special Crime Unit: Blood on Campus. Your goal in the game is to do pixel hunting at various crime scenes and then use various tools to collect evidence. Once you collect the evidence, you’ll have to take it back to the lab to get some analysis done in order to assess its relevance to the case. With the clues found there, there’ s also an interrogation sequence that you have to conduct in order to narrow down the number of suspects. CSI Miami borrows liberally from this formula.
What CSI Miami adds to the mix is a series of minigames for the lab analysis part. Instead of simply taking hair samples and blood swabs back to the lab to get a dialogue piece saying whether it’s a match for your victim or not, you have to play a minigame to figure it out. The games themselves are fairly pedestrian. Some require you to match two pictures together and you have to say whether they match or do not match. The DNA game is similar like a playing card match game where you have to match all the same colored DNAs. They are not a challenge and help extend the length of the game.
CSI Miami is divided into several chapters which mirror actual days in the storyline. The story has great pace and it’s not a straight bee line from the clues to the arrest. You’ll have to deal with plot twists and re-interrogate suspects based on new findings. It moves at a clip pace that you want to keep playing and keep uncovering clues in order to figure out the real story.
However, like most fixed storylines, it must end at one point or another. And I would say CSI Miami ends much too quickly. Replaying the game doesn’t change the storyline any and I wish there was some random case generator so you can bring the brilliant CSI Miami staff out to do some detective work again.
In terms of visuals, Gameloft is including some top shelf visuals in the game. The audio, while it does not have any sound effects has a good soundtrack that complements the different Miami locales perfectly. This is an impressive game and its only fault is it’s not a very long one. Playing CSI Miami is like watching a CSI episode only you get to get your hands dirty in forensic science.