Romance, Historical, Contemporary, Paranormal, Young Adult, Book reviews, industry news, and commentary from a reader's point of view

Big Fish Games + Harlequin = Guess What?

I wish you could have seen my face when I read the title of this press release "Big Fish Games, romance novel company sign deal " because I thought that perhaps Harlequin was taking specialization a little too far when it comes to . I mean, I know that Linda Howard's husband is a champion bass fisherman and there was a brawny fisherman who starred in Kristan Higgin's Catch of the Day, but co branding with Bassmaster?  I just don't see it.  

Big Fish Games, however, is a video game manufacturer and the agreement is that Harlequin will publish a number of books in a miniseries called "Mystery Case Files" and Big Fish will create interactive games based on those books. I'm not sure whether this is a "choose your own adventure" web 2.0 style or whether it will be like those pens where you tip them and the clothed librarian becomes the sexy librarian or whether . . . I guess your imagination can fill in those other alternative scenarios until the games are released this summer.  I wonder if it will be an iPhone app?

At the bottom of the release was this line:  Last year, Harlequin sold 130 million books and has sold a total of 5.76 billion books.

Jane Litte is the founder of Dear Author, a lawyer, and a lover of pencil skirts. She self publishes NA and contemporaries (and publishes with Berkley and Montlake) and spends her downtime reading romances and writing about them. Her TBR pile is much larger than the one shown in the picture and not as pretty. You can reach Jane by email at jane @ dearauthor dot com


  1. MaryK
    Jan 23, 2009 @ 15:26:06

    My sister loves the Nancy Drew adventure games made by Big Fish Games. (She’s a 20-something book lover.) Some of them at least are based on the actual classic Nancy Drew books which she’s read and that hasn’t prevented her from enjoying the games. It’s probably been a while since she’s read them, though.

    You have to solve puzzles and figure out clues as you solve The Mystery of _____. They’ve got a little bit of a game show aspect in that you can call characters in the game and ask for information which may or may not be useful. I tried the first ND game and gave up because I couldn’t stop burning down the kitchen.

  2. Rebecca
    Jan 23, 2009 @ 15:27:59

    I am so not interested.

  3. Sherry Thomas
    Jan 23, 2009 @ 17:06:42

    I adore the Mystery Case File series.

    The last one, Return to Ravenhearst, is an absolute masterpiece. Absolute masterpiece, that is, if you enjoy a combination of logic and hidden-object puzzles.

    But I’m not sure how the combo will work.

    I do know this though, casual game players are majority women. So the deal makes sense from that POV at least.

  4. (Jān)
    Jan 23, 2009 @ 19:16:11

    Hey maybe we’re finally going to get some ero-games for women. ;D You, the heroine, could choose from your harem of men which you want to have sexy adventures with and maybe even spend the rest of your life, HEA of course. God if they did that it would be a hoot, and I’d buy it just for the laughs.

    Now that would make a great live blog event.

  5. Rosario
    Jan 24, 2009 @ 02:57:38

    Oh, oh, oh!!! I LOVE Mystery Case Files, too! I played the original
    Ravenhearst game and loved it, especially the open-the-lock logic games. Thanks Sherry for the news that the sequel is out; I’m so off to buy it!

    BTW, if you want to see what one of their games based on a book looks like, they’ve got a couple of really good ones based on Agatha Christie mysteries. I haven’t yet played Peril at End House, but Death on the Nile was pretty cool. Although I don’t know how they would do a romance. A mystery seems to me to be a bit better suited to the format.

  6. Dee Tenorio
    Jan 24, 2009 @ 10:05:31

    My sister is an absolute die hard with the Mystery Case Files, particularly the Ravenhurst trio. Those three are apparently the most amazing of the MCF games, well textured and apparently, prone to scaring the crap out of you at random times of the game. I think this could go REALLY well for the Intrigue authors. :)

    Wonder when they’ll start coming out.

  7. Jane
    Jan 24, 2009 @ 10:12:09

    @Dee Tenorio Okay. I love puzzle games. Did you guys ever play Riven or Myst? Is it like that? Is it something I can do on a desktop I assume?

  8. Dee Tenorio
    Jan 24, 2009 @ 10:34:38

    It’s a lot like Myst, in a way. I played a little bit. The puzzles reminded me of that. You find things in the room/area (keys, items, etc) that you’ll either use later or for points I think (I wasn’t totally clear on that part), and then you have the puzzle. Plus, the whole thing is on a timer. The faster you do the puzzle, the better. If you can’t solve, they let you continue on a time penalty.

    Desktop, Laptop. They have one on Nintendo DS now too. They’re really excellent games. :)

  9. Sherry Thomas
    Jan 26, 2009 @ 11:02:40


    The MCF games began as more or less electronic versions of I Spy. But they have evolved with each new game to become much more logically challenging. The latest, Return to Ravenhearst, is very story driven and makes use of objects you pick up along the way, with lots of logic puzzles, and of course, hidden objects to find (the I-Spy thing).

    I found it rapturous. And boy, man, the folks at Big Fish are getting pretty good at spookiness. Some of the stuff made me and my boys scream out loud together, then laugh our heads off at being scared so.

  10. Jane
    Jan 26, 2009 @ 12:31:13

    @Sherry Thomas Maybe this is a bad idea for Harlequin. Video games are addictive time wasters that take me away from reading books!

  11. Sri
    Nov 03, 2009 @ 19:31:15

    Just a note: the Nancy Drew games are actually made by Her Interactive. They’ve been creating them for over 11 years now. Big Fish only distributes them electronically. Love Nancy Drew games!!! Oh, and the Agatha Christie games are made by i-Play.

%d bloggers like this: