Murder, She Wrote 2: Return to Cabot Cove (2012 video game)

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Last week I wrote about the 2009 Murder, She Wrote-inspired hidden object game published by Legacy Games. This week, I wanted to continue in the same vein and write a post about the game’s sequel, which was published in 2012 under the title “Murder, She Wrote 2: Return to Cabot Cove“.

The sequel was overall shorter than the original game since it only included 3 cases (as opposed to the 5 cases in the original). However, the game play was significantly updated. Just like the original game, it had a traditional hidden-object component, in which you are given a list of objects to find in a busy scene. And just like the original game, it had the extra challenge of omitting the vowels from the words in that list — vowels you could “find” in the scene in the form of typewriter keys that would then help you fill in the blanks. However, unlike the original game, the sequel incorporated more elements typical of adventure games. Specifically, there were many opportunities in which you had to collect various objects and apply them to new situations in order to unlock new clues or interrogate suspects.

As a result of this adventure-style game mechanic, I found the sequel to be much more immersive than the original game. Instead of simply jumping from one hidden-object scene to another, it feels more like you’re actually walking through Cabot Cove (in the first two cases) or Ireland (in the final case). Below, I have listed each of the three cases, and clicking on each title will take you to a YouTube video I posted that gives you a better idea of the gameplay.

  • Masterpiece of Murder (set in Cabot Cove, featuring Mort)
  • Moose Lodge Murder (set in Cabot Cove, mainly featuring Seth but also Mort)
  • Finnegan’s Fake (set in Ireland, featuring Michael Hagarty)

As with the first game, the sequel also incorporates recurring characters from the TV series. In addition to Jessica Fletcher, both of the Cabot Cove cases include Sheriff Mort Metzger, and the second Cabot Cove case includes Dr. Seth Hazlitt. Although all three characters are drawn to resemble Angela Lansbury, William Windom, and Ron Masak, they were voiced by other actors.

The three recurring Cabot Cove characters used in the game. I think the likeness of Sheriff Metzger is particularly well done.

One thing that I was a bit surprised by is the last case, which is set in Ireland and incorporates the character of Michael Haggerty. While I liked that his MI6-agent character was included, it was a bit difficult to get past the fact that he was portrayed to be a 26-year-old that did not resemble Len Cariou’s character on the show at all.

A screenshot of Michael Haggerty’s entry in the in-game “clue” file.

Just as was the case with the original game, the sequel is also quite difficult to find now. You may have some luck finding it as part of a hidden-object game collection. Additionally, trial versions of the game (that let you play for an hour before booting you out) are still possible to find on some gaming websites, but these websites no longer allow you to purchase the full version of the game.

In fact, I reached out to Legacy Interactive last year to ask whether they would sell me an unlocked version of the game directly and received the following response:

“Unfortunately, the TV licensor of Murder She Wrote did not wish to renew our distribution agreements. Therefore, we legally cannot distribute the game anymore. I wish we could help, but are contractually unable to do so.”

After doing some digging, I have figured out that the following work-around may allow you play through the entirety of the game without being booted out:

  • Download a trial version of the game. I found that this download from GameFools worked well for me. (NOTE: You don’t actually have to give them your email address to download; just uncheck the box next to “Send me exclusive coupons…”). The trial version normally only allows you to play for one hour before booting you out of the game.
  • Install the game as usual but DO NOT run it using the desktop shortcut. (This is important because as soon as you do that it will start the trial clock and you won’t be able to finish your game once your 1hr trial period is up.)
  • Instead of running it using the shortcut on your desktop, you should locate the direct game file using File Explorer. For me, this meant navigating to the C-drive on my PC, then going into the “Program Files (x86)” folder. From there I continue navigating through the following folders: “GameFools”>>”Murder She Wrote – Return To Cabot Cove”>>”gamefiles”. (Note: The location of the game file may be different if you downloaded the trial from a different website.) Once you’ve located the game folder, you will need to make sure that “Hidden items” are visible (by going into the “View” menu and checking the “Hidden items” box). This will then make the file “Murder, She Wrote 2 – Return to Cabot Cove.exe” visible so that you can click on it and run the game. (With any luck, doing so will bypass triggering the trial clock so that you can play through the game in its entirety.)
A screenshot of my computer window showing the file location, file name selected, and the “Hidden items” box checked (near the cursor in the image).

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