Play It By Ear
Season 1
City New Cresthill
District Gamble Summit
Case Number 24
Date of Release 28th April 2019
Partner(s) Selena Galdwey (All Chapters)

Mona Romanazzi (Finances on the Other Side 6/6)

Rachel Howe (Finances on the Other Side 6/6)

Preceded by Succeeded by
Bad News Falls Fast Jolts Before Books

(in Sacred Heart University)

Play It By Ear is a case featured in Criminal Case as the twenty-fourth of the game. It is the final case set in the Gamble Summit district of New Cresthill.


After the team learned of the explosion and fire in the catacombs of Gamble Summit just after Nicholas was threatened with death by his father, Chief Galdwey and the player rushed to the circuit's nearest entrance to help their partner. There, the fire department gave the duo fireproof suits to investigate the place of the explosion, sending a firefighter with them for safety, because the catacombs had been severely damaged. Surrounded by flames and some falling debris, they found half of a body visibly burned and without the only ear it should have.

Confectioner, Ethel Hildebrand, police officer, Abaddon Dusk and, Butler Silk model, Rachel Howe were considered suspects. Things got worse when Priscilla revealed that the victim was wearing the fur coat that Nicholas used while he was undercover as Sage Black. Mid-investigation, firefighter Lee Blevins informed the team that thanks to a puppy barking, the fire department could rescue a certain Mr. Brandwein from the catacombs.

Sitting in an ambulance, Chief Galdwey and the player found Nicholas, who was happy to see the team that even shed some tears, hugging the duo tightly. He revealed that after Arthur destroyed his phone, he tried to slash his throat, however, out of nowhere, Nicholas lost consciousness and only remembered waking up in a narrow room with a puppy next to him. When Selena mentioned the fur coat, he revealed that his dad was wearing it during their last encounter, which meant that they were investigating his murder. Just like Nicholas, economist Frederic Spades was added to the suspects' list. Soon, they found out that Ethel couldn't open a pastry shop because Arthur denied her a loan because she was old and did not have a direct family. Likewise, Abaddon was making plans to resign from the NCPD in order to study architecture, nonetheless, his student loan application was denied by the victim so, instead of keeping an eye on Golliat as Chief Galdwey ordered, Dusk started stalking Mr. Brandwein looking for the slightest to accuse him of complicity. At the end of the chapter, Mayor Brooks, Deputy Mayor Nelson and Ian Butler stormed to the station claiming that the money had disappeared from the warehouse.

Upon arriving at the warehouse, the duo saw that what was said by the politicians and the fashion designer was true, which meant that in addition to investigating the murder of Arthur, the team had to find the stolen money before the city went into crisis. Later on, they discovered that Rachel was actually Arthur's daughter but, despite this, he threatened to destroy her reputation and disinherit her if she did not reconsider her sexuality and started dating a man. At the same time, Arthur advised Sage that he should never be a father since all the children do is obstruct the dreams of the parents and the only purpose of a woman is to keep a man's legacy alive. Finally, Frederic was mad with the victim because he betrayed his trust only to lick Golliat's boots, despite he warned him that getting involved in Sept's business would assure his death. After getting enough evidence, the team arrested Frederic Spades for Arthur Brandwein's murder.

Throughout the confrontation, Frederic remained silent and only gestured for Chief Galdwey to continue talking. When she presented all the clues, Spades laughed because Selena thought that he had killed Arthur for betraying his trust to follow Golliat, revealing that he was the real responsible for the operation of Gamble Summit while Sept, Bondye and their close circles were working for him. Also, he revealed that there was no counterfeit money operation, actually Gamble Summit's investigation was planned as a distraction for the player while the main mission was developing without inconveniences. Finally, he revealed the location of the 70% of the stolen money, however, he mentioned that the missing part would be waiting for the player in their "smrtna postelja". Judge Fraire sentenced him to life imprisonment in solitary confinement.

Post-trial, Simon came with Allen's decoded notes, which showed that the main mission Spades was talking about was the production of Vis. According to them, some seeds of Satureja visianii were sown in Sacred Heart University by and recently, a group of visionaries had discovered their true potential synthesizing a drug that can stimulate the consumer's senses "reaching a state beyond death", but having some side effects, such as the deterioration of their nervous system or uncontrollable dependence. Now with the product ready, Frederic was targeting social media influencers to sell it as a new protein substance. After checking a Vis' sample and finding the list of potential candidates, Mona and the player went to talk with Maxwell's boyfriend, Mitchell Hereward since his name was marked as a priority. He refused to promote it because he never heard of it and now, knowing that Vis almost killed Max, he would contact the police if someone asks him to promote it again.

Meanwhile, Rachel wanted to connect with Nicholas and his brother since none of the three was responsible for his father's mistakes and she thought that even if they didn't like her, at least she would like to be on good terms with them. With the help of the player and Chief Galdwey, Rachel decided to give the lab chief a personalized teddy bear because in the story that he "published", he mentioned that one of them is the best remedy for a troubled soul. After sharing their first hug, Nicholas decided to call his brother, the director of Louvre Museum Matteo, and tell him all about their father and introduce him to Rachel. Finally, with Gamble Summit's distraction out of the equation, the team decided to investigate Sacred Heart University to prevent the spread of Vis taking advantage of the elections of the student government.



  • Arthur Brandwein (killed by an explosion in Gamble Summit's catacombs)

Murder Weapon

  • Hand Grenade


  • Frederic Spades


Ethel Hildebrand
Height 5'6
Age 87
Weight 123 lbs
Eyes Brown
Blood O+


  • The killer uses pink salt
  • The killer has military training


  • The killer wears silver
Abaddon Dusk
Police Officer
Height 6'1
Age 23
Weight 165 lbs
Eyes Blue
Blood O+


  • The killer uses pink salt
  • The killer has military training
  • The killer has a fish allergy
Rachel Howe
Butler Silk Model
Height 5'8
Age 25
Weight 134 lbs
Eyes Hazel
Blood A-


  • The killer uses pink salt
  • The killer has military training
  • The killer has a fish allergy


  • The killer wears silver
Nicholas Brandwein
Lab Chief
Height 6'0
Age 40
Weight 128 lbs
Eyes Green
Blood B-


  • The killer uses pink salt
  • The killer has military training
  • The killer has a fish allergy
Frederic Spades
Height 5'6
Age 59
Weight 186 lbs
Eyes Green
Blood B-


  • The killer uses pink salt
  • The killer has military training
  • The killer has a fish allergy


  • The killer wears silver


Simon Uhas
Height 6'4
Age 34
Weight 201 lbs
Eyes Blue
Blood O-
Mitchell Hereward
Social Media Influencer
Height 6'0
Age 18
Weight 145 lbs
Eyes Black
Blood A-
Matteo Brandwein
Louvre Museum Director
Height 6'0
Age 31
Weight 137 lbs
Eyes Green
Blood B+

Killer's Profile

  • The killer uses pink salt
  • The killer has military training
  • The killer has a fish allergy
  • The killer wears silver
  • The killer's blood type is B-

Crime Scenes

Damaged Tunnel Niche Remains Damaged Tunnel Bonus
Underground Warehouse Forklift Underground Warehouse Bonus
Recreation Center Billiard Table Recreation Center Bonus


Chapter 1

  • Investigate Damaged Tunnel. (Clues: Victim's Body, Metal Fragments, Steel Canister)
  • Examine Steel Canister. (Result: Black Crumbs)
  • Examine Black Crumbs. (Result: Blueberry and Pear Scones; New Suspect: Ethel Hildebrand)
  • Ask Ethel Hildebrand what she was doing in the catacombs. (Prerequisite: Blueberry and Pear Scones identified under microscope)
  • Investigate Underground Warehouse. (Prerequisite: Ethel interrogated; Clues: Wireless Headphones, Wad of Cash)
  • Examine Wireless Headphones. (Result: Fingerprints)
  • Examine Fingerprints. (Result: Abaddon Dusk's Fingerprints; New Suspect: Abaddon Dusk)
  • Question Abaddon Dusk about investigating the crime scene without being authorized. (Prerequisite: Abaddon's Fingerprints identified)
  • Examine Wad of Cash. (Result: Rose Substance)
  • Examine Rose Substance. (Result: Amaranth Frenzy Lipstick; New Suspect: Rachel Howe)
  • Confront Rachel Howe about her makeup in the money of the banks. (Prerequisite: Amaranth Frenzy Lipstick identified under microscope)
  • Examine Metal Fragments. (Result: Hand Grenade)
  • Analyze Hand Grenade. (03:00:00; Attribute: The killer has military training)
  • Autopsy Victim's Body. (18:00:00; Attribute: The killer uses pink salt)
  • Move on to Chapter 2! (1 star)

Chapter 2

  • Ask Nicholas Brandwein what happened after the team lost communication with him. (Available after unlocking Chapter 2; Victim Identified: Arthur Brandwein; Profile updated: Nicholas uses pink salt)
  • Investigate Recreation Center. (Prerequisite: Nicholas interrogated; Clues: Dart Set, Sushi Tray)
  • Examine Dart Set. (Result: Gold Dart [Serial Number])
  • Analyze Serial Number. (12:00:00; New Suspect: Frederic Spades)
  • Interrogate Frederic Spades about his "dart and martinis nights" with the victim. (Prerequisite: Serial Number analyzed; Profiles updated: Frederic uses pink salt, Rachel uses pink salt)
  • Examine Sushi Tray. (Result: Victim's Ear)
  • Autopsy Victim's Ear. (06:00:00; Attribute: The killer has a fish allergy; Profile updated: Nicholas has a fish allergy)
  • Investigate Niche Remains. (Prerequisite: All tasks must be done first; Clues: Metal Baton, Burned Folder)
  • Examine Metal Baton. (Result: Sword)
  • Confront Ethel Hildebrand about the inscription of her sword directed towards the victim. (Prerequisite: Sword unlocked; Profile updated: Ethel uses pink salt and has military training)
  • Examine Burned Folder. (Result: Student Loan Application)
  • Question Abaddon Dusk about his sudden plans to resign from the NCPD. (Prerequisite: Student Loan Application found; Profile updated: Abaddon uses pink salt, has military training and has a fish allergy)
  • Move on to Chapter 3! (No stars)

Chapter 3

  • Investigate Forklift. (Available after unlocking Chapter 3; Clues: Wooden Crate, Security Camera, Buddha Statue)
  • Examine Wooden Crate. (Result: Bible)
  • Ask Rachel Howe about the disagreements she had with her father over her homosexuality. (Prerequisite: Bible found; Profile updated: Rachel has military training and has a fish allergy)
  • Examine Security Camera. (Result: Unlocked Camera)
  • Analyze Unlocked Camera. (06:00:00)
  • Talk to Nicholas Brandwein about his father's true feelings about fatherhood. (Prerequisite: Unlocked Camera analyzed; Profile updated: Nicholas has military training)
  • Examine Buddha Statue. (Result: Angry Message)
  • Question Frederic Spades about the victim's betrayal of his trust. (Prerequisite: Angry Message unraveled; Profile updated: Frederic has military training and has a fish allergy)
  • Investigate Billiard Table. (Prerequisite: All tasks must be done first; Clues: Hand Grenade Pin, Cue Sticks)
  • Examine Hand Grenade Pin. (Result: Purple Substance)
  • Analyze Purple Substance. (09:00:00; Attribute: The killer wears silver)
  • Examine Cue Sticks. (Result: Bloody Dagger)
  • Analyze Bloody Dagger. (15:00:00; Attribute: The killer's blood type is B-)
  • Take care of the killer!
  • Move on to Finances on the Other Side (6/6)! (No stars)

Finances on the Other Side (6/6)

  • Speak with Simon Uhas about the discoveries about Frederic's plan. (Available after unlocking Finances on the Other Side; Reward: Burger)
  • Investigate Recreation Center. (Prerequisite: Simon interrogated; Result: Gym Bag)
  • Examine Gym Bag. (Result: Glass Dropper)
  • Analyze Glass Dropper. (06:00:00)
  • Investigate Niche Remains. (Prerequisite: Glass Dropper analyzed; Clue: Scroll)
  • Examine Scroll. (Result: List of Social Media Influencers)
  • Question Mitchell Hereward about being contacted to know about Vis. (Prerequisite: List of Social Media Influencers unraveled; Reward: 20,000 Coins)
  • Assist Rachel Howe to connect with her half brothers. (Available after unlocking Finances on the Other Side)
  • Investigate Billiard Table. (Clue: Rachel's Purse)
  • Examine Rachel's Purse. (Result: Teddy Bear)
  • Analyze Teddy Bear. (06:00:00)
  • Try to get Nicholas on good terms with Rachel. (Prerequisite: Teddy Bear analyzed)
  • Accompany Rachel and Nicholas to tell their brother all about Arthur. (Prerequisite: Nicholas interrogated; Reward: Fedora)
  • Move on to the next case! (1 star)
Community content is available under CC-BY-SA unless otherwise noted.