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Secret Case: Paranormal Investigation Giveaway

Game Giveaway of the day — Secret Case: Paranormal Investigation

Investigate the greatest mysteries!
User rating: 13 28 comments

Secret Case: Paranormal Investigation was available as a giveaway on October 9, 2022!

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After foiling an international plot, James, a former FBI agent from the Cold Cases section, is asking for your help! Play the part of Clarice, who is looking for a mystical artifact with huge powers! Show what you are capable of in your first TOP SECRET mission so as not to disappoint your new mentor! Accompanied by James, your mission will take you around the world! But, you are not the first to investigate the greatest mysteries of all time...

System Requirements:

Windows XP/ Vista/ 7/ 8/10; Processor 2 Ghz or better; 2048 Mb RAM; DirectX 9.0





File Size:

752 MB



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Secret Case: Paranormal Investigation


In Brief
Secret Case: Paranormal Investigation is a relatively easy and relaxing Hidden Object Game liberally interspersed with simple mini games and several different parts of the world to visit.

It was originally released on the 12th of March 2015 and first given away here on the game giveaway site on the 16th of May 2020 where it received a positive 92% from 36 votes with 45 comments which you can see HERE.

The only difference between the game giveaway and MPC version (which does not show up on the site when I search for it) is that the giveaway version has had most of the adware removed or deactivated.


You can see some in game videos (SPOILER ALERT) via the following links:
(part 1)
(part 2)
(part 3)
(part 4)
After foiling an international plot, James, a former FBI agent from the Cold Cases section, is asking for your help! Play the part of Clarice (no, not Silence of the Lambs Clarice :)), who is looking for a mystical artefact with huge powers! Show what you are capable of in your first TOP SECRET mission so as not to disappoint your new mentor! Accompanied by James, your mission will take you around the world to several locations! But you are not the first to investigate the greatest mysteries of all time.

Reference was originally posted by Dream Games and accessed HERE on the 16th of May 2020, then reposted by Whiterabbit-uk with editing on the 9th of October 2022


The Game
Secret Case: Paranormal Investigation has a plethora of Hidden Object scenes, interspersed with cut scenes and mini games that are relatively simple to solve. The HOG scenes are rechargeable (i.e. the objects are different each time you play the same scene), giving the game some measure of re-playability. That said, I did find the scenes and mini games rather easy to solve.

Each stage is scored, the quicker you complete the level, the higher your score. There's a bar timer located in the top right of each mini game and HOG scene. You get no additional points if the bar reaches zero. Complete the puzzle before the bar timer reaches the first line and you score 200 points, if it passes this, you'll receive 100 points until it reaches the second line. After this you get 50 points until it reaches the end point. To the left of the bar timer are two buttons, the first is a question mark and tells you what the aim of the mini game is, the second one restarts the puzzle. This gives you another incentive to replay levels with the aim of beating your previous score. There are more than 50 anecdotes about paranormal phenomena scattered throughout the game. For those of you who find this pseudo-science interesting, it may add a further reason for playing the game. The investigations carried out by Clarice take you around the world to various mysterious and often enigmatic sites such a Stonehenge.

If you enjoy simple and easy to solve HOG's with relatively decent graphics this is definitely one to download. Personally, I found the game a little too easy, and the regular cut scenes tended to break up the game play too much for me to keep my attention rivetted on the game for more than a few short sessions at a time, but it was still a worthwhile download that I preferred playing more as a coffee break game than one I'd play for extended periods.

Originally posted by Whiterabbit-uk on the 16th of May 2020l then reposted on the 9th of October 2022 with some minor editing and additional feedback.

You can see Big Fish community members feedback about today's giveaway HERE, (near the bottom of the page).

The game is also available on Steam as part of a 12 in one Hidden Object Game bundle HERE for only £4.79. That's £0.40 per game. (Last month it was on sale with 90% off, costing a mere £0.47 for all 12 games).









Notes on Security
The installed game was over the 650MB limit imposed on the free version of Virus total, so I wasn't able to complete a scan using that tool; however, I did scan the file (both the downloaded file from the game giveaway and once the game had been installed and both scans gave a clean bill of health, with no malware. Unfortunately, there's no way to show this like you can with Virus Total. You can find the scanner called Internxt HERE. I did a test with a game we will be getting tomorrow to see if both virus scanners would give similar results. Internxt cleared both the installed game and the giveaway download, but the Virus total scanner, did throw up a couple of hits when scanning the giveaway download. Those result were not significant, but it does show some dissimilar results from both scanners. It may be that Internxt uses some different antimalware suites to Virus Total. If you aren't sure about the efficacy of the results, I would advise using a sandbox program to check that the game is safe to install before installing it to your C drive or other drives on your computer.

There are free sandbox programs such as Sanboxie, GeSWall, BitBox, Windows Sandbox, Bufferzone (a six month commercial license was given away via the applications side of the project back in December 2009 HERE), Shadowzone, as well as others. (You'll find them all on the same page from Techwhoop.

Reply   |   Comment by Whiterabbit-uk  –  Last year  –  Did you find this comment useful? yes | no (+21)



Don't forget to make a note of the code required to unlock the digital code. Though there is a scribbled note next to the digital lock, but two of the numbers look like they could be letters but are what they are i.e., a 4 and a 9. One of the story board images at the start of the game also tells you what the code is.

If you follow the link to the previous giveaway, I did post an image showing the code (it's the tenth image from the top)..

Reply   |   Comment by Whiterabbit-uk  –  Last year  –  Did you find this comment useful? yes | no (+12)

I got v3.177 (null) error while loading & The application will now exit" the first time I tried to run the program on Win 7 system so I installed the Direct X file talked about but it did not help. After installing and rebooting same error. Any other ideas, sounds like a good game. I then tried to put it on a Win 10 system. When I run it the MyPlayCity window comes up then nothing at all. It just closes.

Reply   |   Comment by Jerry  –  Last year  –  Did you find this comment useful? yes | no (+2)

Unfortunately, can't review this one. The RAM requirement, plus my ancient graphics, pushes my machine to the edge of what it can do, so the game plays too slowly for me to enjoy it. Especially since they decided to use the old typing the message method, rather than posting the whole message, for their cutscenes. At the speed this is playing for me, a cutscene with more than 1 sentence can be excrutiating to wait for. And I'm not that impatient that I can't wait a bit.

Part of this problem is that this does not have an option to use the Windows cursor, rather than the custom cursor. I'm sure some of our more sophisticated people like mike, or TK, or some of the others have posted a reason why custom cursors often slow down games on old machines, but I either didn't see it or have forgotten it. And it likely wouldn't help me even if I did know. :P It did help a little to run it windowed, vice full screen. And it almost covered my old 1:6 ratio monitor, which is set to 1280 x 800, probably close to the game's native resolution anyway. It does seem that options are 1 thing in this game that are old fashioned, since it also doesn't include volume for music and sounds, just on/off. BTW, as a general comment on games, not sure if you put sound (also sometimes ambient sounds) and music to 0 that that saves the CPU from dealing with it all, but, if it doesn't, I think most games should have both volume sliders and on/off switches. But volume sliders I think are a modern must, since the ratio of sounds to music almost always needs to be tinkered with.

Good thing I can't play it though, since I've already covered this page with my long windedness, and a review would only make it worse. :P ;) Enjoy folks, and thanks GGOTD, Falco, and the original developer. And Whiterabbit and the rest of the community.

Reply   |   Comment by watcher13  –  Last year  –  Did you find this comment useful? yes | no (+2)

This works well with Win11, but you have to install the d3dx9_39.dll... see the link what Whiterabbit posted.
I have to turn off the virus checker to be able to download the game at all.
Great graphic .... haven't played much yet, so can't tell opinion about the game.

Reply   |   Comment by Agno  –  Last year  –  Did you find this comment useful? yes | no (+5)

Unfortunately, I was unable to install for the same reason Luise O'Reilly gave. I also tried twice. I'm not willing to go chasing off to MS to try to find the .dll I need. Too bad.

Reply   |   Comment by Kelltic  –  Last year  –  Did you find this comment useful? yes | no (+2)

Kelltic, the download and install of Direct X 9 is pretty straight forward and takes less than average about 5 minutes to install. If you were to buy similar games on Steam, by default developers have these installers included in the download to help try and mitigate technical tickets or refunds from being raised to Steam Support.

Reply   |   Comment by sailorbear510 aka Jason  –  Last year  –  Did you find this comment useful? yes | no (+2)

No download is received after requesting an e-mail link. This method has worked for many games in the past. Disappointing as White Rabbit's review is promising.

Reply   |   Comment by Jack  –  Last year  –  Did you find this comment useful? yes | no (+2)

Posting to mention that the Big Fish link in the blue specifications box above is no longer valid. Goes to a page which says product not found. I'm sure Mods, reasonably, just used the same link from the original giveaway. Likely either the Windows version of the game was dropped by Big Fish or their system lost the page. Though a perfunctory internet search seems to point to them dropping it. Tried the Wayback Machine at the Internet Archive, but, though you can find the page, the Big Fish review system is hosted by a 3rd party called Bazaar Voice, and the Wayback Machine's bot seems to only capture, understandably, 1st party page content. I did double check on Big Fish and they still have the Mac version of the game, since Mac games are harder to come by. Feel I should point out, however, that the 4 Mac reviewers absolutely SLAMMED the game. Four 1 star reviews. Since on Big Fish the reviewers often either pay for the game or use a free coupon that they've earned, they tend to be hard on older games, and a couple of them mentioned the older look and mechanics, whereas we often don't have that bias against older games here. But none of those 4 reviewers had anything good to say about the game. Since Mods may decide to link to that page instead, thought I should get that out in the open right away.

Reply   |   Comment by watcher13  –  Last year  –  Did you find this comment useful? yes | no (+4)

Didn't realize that Whiterabbit was, as usual, ahead of the game. HIS link is to that Mac page on Big Fish. Also, his link to the earlier giveaway has some useful comments on this one. More mixed, with some positive points brought out too.

Reply   |   Comment by watcher13  –  Last year  –  Did you find this comment useful? yes | no (+1)

watcher13, Back in the day of casual games, Real Networks had launched their Real Arcade service which greatly helped expose a lot of these games and companies on a worldwide level. Eventually, Gamehouse was acquired by Real Networks and was merged with Gamehouse and the Real Arcade service was eventually discontinued. Also Big Fish was founded by a former employee who worked with the Real Arcade project, I don't know if they still are working there today. It was once thought that these casual games were targeted at a specific audience of gamers of a certain age. Later data uncovered that more people younger than the certain age targeted are playing these games.

Reply   |   Comment by sailorbear510 aka Jason  –  Last year  –  Did you find this comment useful? yes | no (+2)

First off, thanks for the information on how to get rid of the error code as I was getting it, too. Secondly, I am enjoying the game thus far except for the timed mode with the mini games. If there was a way to get rid of that, the game would be more enjoyable for me. Otherwise, no complaints.

Reply   |   Comment by Bethany  –  Last year  –  Did you find this comment useful? yes | no (+4)

I get the same error code, dx3dx9_39.dll not found

Reply   |   Comment by Peter  –  Last year  –  Did you find this comment useful? yes | no (+5)


Hi Peter, please read my reply to Luise above. Thank you

Reply   |   Comment by Whiterabbit-uk  –  Last year  –  Did you find this comment useful? yes | no (+2)

I get error. 'the code execution cannot proceed because d3dx9_39.dll was not found. Reinstalling the program may fix this problem.' Have done this, with the same result.

Reply   |   Comment by Luise O'Reilly  –  Last year  –  Did you find this comment useful? yes | no (+3)

Luise O'Reilly,
it sounds like from your error that directx is not installed or broken

Reply   |   Comment by john Heffernan  –  Last year  –  Did you find this comment useful? yes | no (+4)

Luise O'Reilly,

Hi Luise, the game uses an earlier version of Direct X called DX9.0. All versions of windows will have the latest version installed , however, if you get the error you posted, you may need to reinstall the direct X you require.

You can read about the issue via Microsoft answers HERE and download it from Microsoft's official download centre HERE.

Reply   |   Comment by Whiterabbit-uk  –  Last year  –  Did you find this comment useful? yes | no (+9)

john Heffernan,


Reply   |   Comment by Whiterabbit-uk  –  Last year  –  Did you find this comment useful? yes | no (+3)

Luise O'Reilly, also Peter, if you can figure out what the version of that original module is, you can obtain a copy online and try putting that into the game's folder. Many of these games are programmed to be self contained enough so that they will look in their own folders 1st for modules and then look into Windows if they can't find them. 50/50 chance, maybe, but might be worth a try if you want to the game bad enough. And it can't do any harm - the rest of the programs on your machine will just ignore anything in that folder - and this way you won't have to install older software into Windows which might actually interfere with other software you have installed, and cause those programs to become un-useable. In fact, modern versions of Windows will actually warn you if you try and rollback the modules on Windows to earlier versions. Maybe some of the folks who have the the game installed can tell you what version of that module it could be that game is looking for.

IMPORTANTLY though, it's playing for Whiterabbit and Sailorbear, who systems I'm sure have up to date DirectX, so maybe you 2 good folks may be even behind what the game requires. In other words, it may be you, not the game, that's out of date. Most of the current software built into Windows is what's known as "backward compatible", so that it plays well with older software, though this game may be an exception. Maybe you should check your Direct X. I'm not sure if the toll I'm going to mention is found slightly differently in newer versions of Windows, like Win 10/11, but it's easy to check in the older versions. Go to your Start menu, select Accessories when the program menu comes up, then the System Tools folder, then click on "System Information". Then along the top menus - Files, edit, etc. - select Tools, and then click on the DirectX Diagnostic Tool. Or, even easier, when your on your desktop, click the F1 button and your Windows help system comes up. Just type DirectX Diagnostic Tool into the search box and an article about it - which has a direct link to it - will come up. In fact, finding the DirectX tool through help probably works in ALL current versions of Windows. This tool not only tells you what version you have - on this Win XP machine it's 9.0c (4.09.0000.0904), for example - but also has a nice set of tools so you can see if everything is working correctly. Those tools should all be explained in the help article, if there's any confusion. It will even tell you which version you have of d3dx9_39.dll - under a tab marked DirectX Files - and, if you can't find it in that list, that's telling you that it's missing and that's your real problem - and you need to reinstall your DirectX, or maybe even better, install the latest version, if you don't have it already.

One more point of clarification. That module is a Direct Link Library, hence the dll at the end. Windows is ALL modular - there really is no giant Windows program - and dlls are tiny modules of commonly used code that can do basic functions that usually more than 1 program needs. This saves a lot of space. If the program wants to do some common function, like copy and paste in a word processor, it's just calls on the appropriate module of common code already built into Windows. In the case of d3dx9_39.dll, it's a module of 3D rendering code, to at least make things look like they're not flat and have some depth.

Reply   |   Comment by watcher13  –  Last year  –  Did you find this comment useful? yes | no (+4)

Oops, forgot. If you do get a copy of that module online to put into the game folder, it's probably a good idea to run a virus scan on it 1st. You can use your built in anti-virus, but probably even better to use 1 of the online virus scan sites - as Whiterabbit does just as a double check for that game giveaways. VirusTotal is the clear winner, with 75 anti-virus scanners. Although, with 75, you often get a handful of hits that say there's a virus. You often have to go by the majority. If it's only a handful of 75, they are probably false positives. Some scanners are overly aggressive looking for suspicious things that aren't really all that suspicious. But, it's your safety that's important, so your choice. There's also Jotti's malware scan, with 15, including, like VirusTotal, some well known scanners, but it's reputation isn't as strong as VirusTotal's. Some of these download sites carrying these modules aren't well curated, so it pays to be cautious.

Reply   |   Comment by watcher13  –  Last year  –  Did you find this comment useful? yes | no (+3)

Keep thinking of things. Also, if you use "VT" or Jotti, they'll sometimes use previous scans of common files. There will be a notice and a link if they do that. In the case of these module download sites, always force VT and Jotti to do a new scan. The bad people are always active. Whereas something you download from Microsoft, for example, is likely clean and a recent, but not current, scan should do fine.

Reply   |   Comment by watcher13  –  Last year  –  Did you find this comment useful? yes | no (+3)

An update. Actually my DirectX Diagnostic tool DOESN'T show that file. But a search shows it's in my system - in the WINDOWS\system32 folder, where these are almost always found. The game works for me and the version I have is: 9.24.949.2307, so that should work for anyone having this problem. It's listed in my search as 3,762 Kilobytes (in other words, 3.762 Megabytes). Also, something I didn't take into account, DirectX left version 9 with Vista, and is up to the version 12 package in Windows 10. Though older individual modules can cause problems in the package for which they were written - version 9 for the file we're talking about - these new packages aren't usually hurt by installing older packages on your new Windows computer. The modules in the newer package are protected. If you install DirectX 9 in your newer computer it's unlikely to cause problems, and you'll get some old modules that you may need for an old piece of software to 2 that aren't commonly used anymore. Those are the rare cases went backward compatibility doesn't work, because the old modules capabilities aren't needed anymore, so no need to make the new packages backward compatible for those functions. And you can use Windows Restore if it does cause problems. Just note today's date so you get the right restore point if you have to use it. Although, just installing that missing module into the game folder may work also. So that gives folks 2 potential fixes.

Reply   |   Comment by watcher13  –  Last year  –  Did you find this comment useful? yes | no (+1)

watcher13, thank you.
updated directX and fixed.

Reply   |   Comment by Luise O'Reilly  –  Last year  –  Did you find this comment useful? yes | no (+1)

I am really enjoying this game. If you think you've played all the hidden object games out there, then you are wrong. However, today's game seems to have an arcade style feel to it where in a sense you may be pressured to find the objects quick before the timer runs out or face a game over screen.

Well that's not the case here. You simply just get more points if you get all the items quickly. Story progresses as normal. So don't let the timer intimidate you.

The puzzles so far are challenging. I got up to the part where I was given a code to unlock something but you have to use your number counting skills to unlock as some of the numbers on the lock dials are covered with blood.

And the scene where you have to decrypt the computer and have this weird line graph chart to line up correct and so forth.

Puzzles and Hidden object scenes are equally as challenging so this is a Hidden Object game you will get plenty of time on completing it eventually.

I really liked the opening of the game as Microids has interesting ways of telling stories in its games.

The only issue I had today with this game, and it may just be an observation is that if you have the cursor all the way to the left of the screen and move up and town or have the cursor all the way up to the top of the screen and move your mouse left and right, the cursor movement seems to skip. I'm unsure why the game is doing that given the fact I've played lots of hidden object games on the laptop I got in July and they did not exhibit this behavior.

Overall today you will be pleased with downloading this game and have many hours of entertainment.

Reply   |   Comment by sailorbear510 aka Jason  –  Last year  –  Did you find this comment useful? yes | no (+15)

sailorbear510 aka Jason,

This is one of the reasons I'm so happy to see another community member posting their thoughts on these games. Although it's rare, on this particular occasion we do disagree on the difficulty of the game play. Thank you for your feedback, J. much appreciated.

Regular contributions that gave solid positive or negative feedback and opposing viewpoints from the community is something I'd hoped for ever since I started posting feedback and short reviews back in December 2006, when the game giveaway went live as an offshoot from the applications side of the project. Prior to the 8th of December 2006, we'd been getting games a couple of times a week from the main site from the beginning of that side going live in October 2006. I didn't join the community until early November and still have some of those early games that turned out to be free standing once installed.

As I've mentioned before; I'd hoped to see this comments section become a nexus for developers, who would take note of the positive and negative feedback as well as suggestions; and happily give away their latest creations (probably in αlpha or βeta stages of development) to this community because of the work we put into basically testing their product.

With a good reputation, we could have been getting far more high-profile indie and even AAA games. Sadly, that was never to be, because, even when there were tens of thousands of community members downloading games each day, (on average we were getting over 50 000 community members regularly downloading games from the giveaway servers, usually depending on what game was being given away).

Sadly, only a very tiny and insignificant percentage of the community ever bothered to post any useful feedback, either negative or positive or suggestions for improvements related to the game being given. At one point several years ago, I used to calculate the percentage of appropriate feedback against the number of downloads, which was usually, as low as 0.005% (1:20 000) and never above 0.01% (1:10 000 comments) of the community posting useful feedback, apart from in the early days when there were a couple of other community members who used to post reviews between 2006 to 2008, at the same time as I did.


Reply   |   Comment by Whiterabbit-uk  –  Last year  –  Did you find this comment useful? yes | no (+12)

Whiterabbit-uk, yes, but that's true of anything. Massive feedback is always hard to obtain. An adequate amount of representative feedback, if it appears to be so, is the best you can hope for. You often very usefully link to previous giveaways of the same games which have dozens of comments, so it wasn't always so bad, and those comments, as you've wisely realized, are still useful today. Though, I realize not all of those are, as you correctly term it, useful feedback. But, after all, if you had 10,000 comments, nobody would have time to read them all. :P No perfect solutions out there, of course.

Reply   |   Comment by watcher13  –  Last year  –  Did you find this comment useful? yes | no (+2)


Thanks as always for your usual in-depth comments; really appreciated. :)

Those stats I quoted are based on the number of downloads to appropriate feedback on regular occasions when the community was vastly larger than it is now and not just on the number of comments posted. :)

Back then, there wasn't as many free game sites, nor game discounts as well as big name developers giving away big-name games regularly (e.g. this month you can ger Bethesda/Microsoft's Fallout 76 (usually £34.99) and Total War: Warhammer II (usually £39.99) via Prime Gaming and not forgetting Epic Games weekly giveaways. in fact, all of the large developer/distributors regularly give away decent games. We even get Steam games here on a limited basis occasionally. Back when this site was much popular, access to decent free games was nowhere near as regular.

Reply   |   Comment by Whiterabbit-uk  –  Last year  –  Did you find this comment useful? yes | no (+3)

Whiterabbit-uk, I understand. Just saying, having worked in American media, I know getting good feedback is difficult. It's a constant problem in many industries, including media. Also, people are more inclined to post when they have complaints, than when they're happy. The old "no news is good news" cliche. It's an exaggeration, but there's some truth to it. Also, I think it's the free nature of the site contributes. People are more likely to comment when they're purchasing - having more of a stake in it - than when they're getting a freebie. Which, I think is why the pay game sites get more feedback. Some, as you know, even think that complaining about a freebie is "biting the hand that feeds them" (or "beggars can't be choosers"), even though you have often correctly pointed out that feedback can help the developers.

Reply   |   Comment by watcher13  –  Last year  –  Did you find this comment useful? yes | no (+1)
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