Hauntings of Mystery Manor (PC)

By Chris Dahlberg

Published on Tuesday, September 20, 2005

Graphics: 8.50
Sound: 8.00
Gameplay: 8.50
Replays: 7.00

Adventure Game Studio is a popular program that has been used to make numerous amounts of commercial and freeware adventure games in recent years. Now Cindy Pondillo has made Hauntings of Mystery Manor, a very atmospheric adventure game. And for the work of just one person and a development program, the game is very impressive.

AGS has been used to make a lot of 2D almost nostalgic adventure games. However, Cindy has really shown the graphical power that can really be used with the program, as Hauntings of Mystery Manor is absolutely gorgeous. Everything is pre-rendered and has been given attention to detail, so no one room in the manor feels similar to the last. This graphical style fits the atmosphere perfectly, and makes the game that much more memorable. And while sometimes it can be a little hard to find the hotspots for getting the items you need, this isn’t that big of an issue (and after all, what’s an adventure game without hotspots?)

The music is extremely well done also. Every room has a different tune to fit that particular scene: for example, if you go into the billiards/bar the music will sound how you would expect it too. There are some melodic tunes as well as a very interesting singing piece played when you first enter the manor. And while there is no voice acting (every bit of the story is told via text boxes that are easy to read), the game is made by only one person so I am willing to forgive this. If it is ever possible to work voice acting into a future game though, I could see it working out very well.

Hauntings of Mystery Manor has you traveling back to your family’s manor after 15 years. Players will discover that each room has a spirit trapped in it, each with their own grisly story. It is up to players to find the right items to set their spirits to rest and further unravel the mystery of the manor. The story is very well written and very engaging; adventure fans will be sure to love it.

Gameplay is your standard point and click. Items can also be combined in your inventory as needed, though sometimes it is a little tricky to scroll up through the inventory while holding an item. There are also two minigames throughout the game (a tile matching game and a game of poker).

Although the game is a little short compared to big budget adventure games (you can easily get through this one in about 5-6 hours or so), the experience is completely worth it. Don’t overlook it just because it doesn’t have the production values of big titles, because that would be a shame. Go out and support this excellent gothic style adventure game, and show Cindy Pondillo that you do support individual efforts.

http://www.mysterymanor.net/HauntingsOfMysteryManor.htm

Overall Rating: 8.50

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