Dire Grove is the second in the Mystery Case File series from Big Fish to experiment with live action sequences and like the hallmark theme of the series....you're the Master Detective investigating a case ripe with ghosts. In this serial you're still the detective just driving back from the Raven Hurst Manor (the detective is only seen as a silhouette behind the wheel of a car) case but you get caught in a snow storm and have to stop in the hamlet of Dire Grove and find another broken down car.
In terms of atmosphere I would say the its the Blair Witch Project set in snow because the story is a group of students investigating an alleged Celtic legend of a banshee and at the same time they carry along a film camera to record the journey. In traditional horror style....the ghost is real and drives all the students mad and now you the detective have to gather all the video tapes and find all the students. Right at the beginning you are being followed by the banshee which makes her ever "silent" presence however she just taunts and scares you every so often instead of directly attacking you like she did to the students as if she is playing a game of hide and go seek with you....which only makes sense until the final battle.
Gameplay is the same as with all Mystery Case files gameplay, we got HOG (Hidden Objects) scenes mixed with head scratching puzzles and point click adventure elements. Flow all felt very smooth and puzzles mechanics did cause any migraines.
Artistic and Musical wise, Dire Grove seem like a picturesque, sleepy snow covered hamlet however the fact you are the only living and thinking person in town makes the snowy landscape all very unsettling, especially when you explore once human inhabited places dusted with snow and ice and when the banshee takes a moment to scare you. Because of the nature of the ghost following you, Celtic elements are also present in score and art which gets stronger as you get closer to unlocking the mystery of the banshee. I can say the final battle score is epic and gets the "its time to end this!!!" rush going.
This was the first digital download game I have ever gotten in my life and I would like to say along with Madame Fate this is my favorite in the mystery case files series for its snowy yet unsettling setting, puzzles and for its ancient yet frightening beautiful, celtic "enemy".
Just how creepy is this game?