Spot 23 goes to one of the classics: mystery number 3, “Message in a Haunted Mansion.”
It’s a pretty good game overall, it’s just not one of my favorites.
Nancy goes to San Fransisco to help Hannah’s friend Rose during the renovations of her soon-to-be bed & breakfast. Rose and her friend Abby pooled together to buy the mansion, and strange “accidents” have been occurring since renovations began.
So, of course, Nancy has some investigating to do. However, she did sign up to help, so she’ll be doing some chores along the way.
Once we arrive at the pretty cool mansion, we discover that it’s “haunted,” so could a spirit be trying to scare everyone away from the property?
Well, by about halfway through the game (well, probably sooner) it’s clear that the point is to a) figure out the history behind the house and b) figure out who wants to drive everyone away from the house and why because every suspect has a motive.
Rose is pretty bland and annoying; there’s nothing special about her. Abby is kind of cool; she has some interesting lines, and her seance is one of the best scenes in the games’ history. Charlie, a recently hired handyman, is secretive and he seems to be responsible for some of the accidents. Louis, the antique dealer/historian is annoying too, and he definitely seems like the sneaky type.
In their first “scary game,” I think Her Interactive handled it well. There was a spooky atmosphere, and some of the special effects were kind of cool. It didn’t turn tacky, which was good.
Overall, this is a very short and straightforward game, and nothing about it screams excitement to me. There’s a ton of hints, so it’s kind of difficult to get stuck, which is a good thing.
The rest of the game involves Chinese symbols and snooping. It’s moderately simple, but some puzzles can be challenging.
I mentioned chores, but this game doesn’t dish them out like others do. These chores are vital to finding clues and completing the game.
As one of the first games, this one did very well. It’s just not a favorite of mine. It’s definitely a staple for anyone who likes the games, but I get bored with it quickly.
So, “Message in a Haunted Mansion?” Not bad at all, just not my cup of tea. It gets boring, the characters are bland for the most part, and it’s very obvious who ends up being the culprit.
Check back tomorrow to see which game takes the next spot on my ranking list!