Case Files: The Death of Paulette Williams – Review
Follow Genre: Adventure game, FMV
Developer: Think Ten Media Group
Publisher: Think Ten Media Group
Platform: PC, PS4, PS5
Tested on: PS5

Case Files: The Death of Paulette Williams – Review

Site Score
Good: Interesting concept
Bad: Choices have little impact, Replaying feels like a chore
User Score
(1 votes)
Click to vote
VN:R_U [1.9.22_1171]
Rating: 1.0/10 (1 vote cast)

FMV games have always been a pretty logical blend between movies and video games. Using live-action scenes to tell a story and giving players the option to influence the narrative sounds great on paper, so it’s odd it hasn’t been a mainstream genre for a long time now. People who know their videogame history have probably heard of classics like Night Trap, but the modern mainstream developers have only produced a handful of big-budget FMVs, like the cutscenes from Quantum Break or Netflix’s Bandersnatch. That is a big reason why the indie scene has adopted the genre as more of a staple, with hits featuring Her Story and Erica. Now developers Think Ten Media Group wants to kick off their own FMV series with the first entry, Case Files: The Death of Paulette Williams.


Since Case Files: The Death of Paulette Williams is a narrative-driven game, the story has a big focus. You are an investigator tasked with assisting Officer Martin Ruiz in solving the death of Paulette Williams, a 62-year-old woman who recently died of a medication overdose that doesn’t seem all that natural. The two suspects are her daughter Samantha and Samantha’s husband Elliot who are now in for interrogations. You will follow these interrogations from a security station where you can rewatch them, looking for clues to determine what happened.

This is how the entire story plays out, you sit in front of a screen, watch a few interviews, and try to figure out what transpired. The problem with this story is that it isn’t that long (less than an hour), and doesn’t leave a big impact. It feels like watching an episode of a crime series, only the entire thing takes place in a single room and features just three characters. And if this was everything the game had to offer, it would be fine. It would then be a mediocre detective story you would forget after a few days. But the game features choices between interviews that alter the story and it’s clear that the developers want you to replay it over and over again to experience all the routes. The thing about these other story routes is that there isn’t that big of a difference. There are a handful of different scenes you can see, all of them delivering pretty much the same information but in one version the officer is mad, while in the other he is nice. These different choices also have no impact on the actual ending, since no matter what you do, you get the same four options to choose how the story ends.


It’s odd to judge the graphics of an FMV game since you’re looking at actual actors. These deliver good performances, fitting the roles they play and the cast clearly shows some talent. They won’t be winning an Oscar, but they make it easy to sit through the 15-minute interviews.

Everything else is pretty bland. The room where the interviews take place is a typical interrogation room, so we can’t blame the realism, but the room you’re in to watch the videos has nothing remarkable to it. There are just two screens, a telephone, and your typical office decorations like a mug and a whiteboard.


As mentioned before, the performances in Case Files: The Death of Paulette Williams are pretty good and put a bit of enjoyment into watching two people talk over and over again. Aside from this, there aren’t really any other effects like music, just some rustles when you flip through papers and a ringtone for the phone.


Case Files: The Death of Paulette Williams is a story-driven adventure game that features FMV scenes and narrative-altering choices. Since the focus in this type of game is on the story, the gameplay is often reduced to a few button presses, which is definitely the case here.

The gameplay is pretty simple: you watch interrogations on a monitor, you can rewatch them on another monitor, and then you make a choice on how to progress to the next one. When watching the first interrogation, there isn’t really anything to do besides changing the camera angle or looking through a few documents, making putting the controller down to sit more comfortably a great strategy. During the deduction phase, you have the option to rewatch the videos you already watched to look for clues. When this is all done, you can make a choice on how to treat the next interview, according to your findings.

All of these mechanics feel pretty useless, however, since the choices don’t alter the story that much and there aren’t that many clues to find. All the information on the documents will be mentioned at some point in the interrogations and we never really felt the need to rewatch a video since there were no clues that have an effect on the choices you need to make. There are also some features omitted from the PlayStation release, like VR support and a booklet to make notes, but these aren’t missed since they don’t seem that useful.

As we mentioned before, the dull gameplay wouldn’t be that big of a problem since the game is an hour long and feels like a forgettable episode of a crime series, which can be some dumb fun on a boring day. But the fact the game promotes multiple playthroughs makes it feel like a chore. Luckily all the interrogations are skippable, but for some reason, the dialogue around choice moments isn’t. These are just a handful of minutes long but become pretty annoying after a few times.


Case Files: The Death of Paulette Williams is not worth your time, especially if you want to experience all the dialogue options. The game feels like a mediocre crime series episode at best but ruins any fun with boring choices and alternate routes that don’t impact the ending at all. There is some promise in the concept of an FMV choice-driven crime franchise, so we hope the developers learn from their mistakes if they want to continue this series.

VN:R_U [1.9.22_1171]
Rating: 1.0/10 (1 vote cast)
VN:R_U [1.9.22_1171]
Rating: 0 (from 0 votes)
Case Files: The Death of Paulette Williams - Review, 1.0 out of 10 based on 1 rating

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