The player will investigate different crime scenes for each new case they receive. At the crime scene, the player will be given a list of collectible objects they have to find scattered throughout the area. After finding the object, the player must collect it by simple clicking it. The quicker you complete the scene will result in a greater score. However, multiple and quick miss-clicking (clicking on the items not being asked to find in the scene) will cause the Calm Down Effect to show up, which is a three second penalty during which you're frozen and cannot do anything until those three seconds are up.
Important pieces of evidence are also obtained during crime scenes, which leads players further in the investigation of each case. The player also gets rewarded with both experience and coins after each time a crime scene is played. Certain police pets can also find extra rewards for the player at the end of the crime scene investigation at a random time with a random pick between two perks (such as a 50/50 chance of getting experience or coins).
Also at the end of the crime scene investigation, the players acquire a star should they successfully accumulate a certain amount of points. Stars are used as a type of currency when it's time to perform necessary tasks, such as examining evidence or interrogating suspects. A maximum of five stars can be earned in a single crime scene. Earning five stars in each crime scene of a particular case (45 stars total; with the exception of the first two cases) will get the player a gold medal.
Playing crime scenes require 20 energy points each time, with the exception of if you have five stars, which it'll then only require 5 energy points each time.
There are also bonus scenes in each case. Bonus scenes allows the player to earn more stars in a case, and are unlocked individually after a certain amount of stars are acquired. There are three different types of bonus scenes, which are:
- Puzzle: A puzzle-style hidden object scene that must be unscrambled.
- Time Attack: A hidden object scene in which the player must find and collect as many objects as they can in a given period of time.
- Differences: The player must find a set number of differences from two otherwise similar scenes.
All cases have six original crime scenes (excluding the first two cases and the bonus scenes). The Death of Rosa Wolf (Case #1) has only two crime scenes and a bonus scene and Corpse in a Garden (Case #2) has only four crime scenes and two bonus scenes.
As far as social features are concerned, each crime scene has a leaderboard, and the player must choose a partner from their list of teammates (friends who player Criminal Case that are on their Facebook friend's list and accepted a teammate request in game) to join the investigation of each scene and provide hint bonuses. This also includes Officer Jones, Grace, Nathan, Alex, Officer Ramirez, and Judge Hall in Grimsborough, Chief Marquez, Amy, Frank, Yann, Hannah, Russell, and Honorable Dante in Pacific Bay, and Chief Ripley, Ingrid Bjorn, Carmen Martinez, Elliot Clayton, and Marina Romanova in World Edition.