Mystery Manor: Hidden Adventure, Even Without Waldo

Price: Free

Mystery Manor: iPhone App Written Review

Myster Manor for iPad

Reviewed by Luke Patrick

If you’re a fan of mystery-style hidden-object games for the iPad, there’s no better recommendation we can give than Game Insight’s Mystery Manor. The game comes with all the trappings and fillings you’d expect of a title in the genre, including a creepy mansion, suspicious characters, and a never-ending retinue of items to find. Combining genre-topping gameplay, gorgeously hand-drawn art, and a classically-themed soundtrack, Mystery Manor: Hidden Adventures is a must-have for the dedicated fan. For our full thoughts on this item hunting title for the iPad, check below beyond the break!

Concept and Gameplay

As mentioned, Mystery Manor fits very squarely into the category of hidden-object hunger on the iPad. The title has players looking for a menagerie of collectibles in an iSpy style room. Some of these puzzles are harder than others, but on the whole, we found Mystery Manor particularly easier than some of the other mystery object titles we’ve reviewed in recent memory. However, this is hardly a bad thing, as we greatly appreciated the emphasis on story and exploration, rather than tedious mapping. On the subject of story, we don’t know what it is about these games, but they all seem to feature the same creepy mansion with a dark past. Such is the case in Mystery Manor, though the exact nature of the house (and its misdeeds) can only be ascertained by hunting for items, and conversing with the abode’s employees. All in all, the game offers a completely engaging and wholly entertaining experience, if perhaps one we haven’t already seen elsewhere. We did, however, appreciate the plentiful power-ups, which fixed us out of a tight jam when an item proved impossible to locate. We also appreciated the wealth of levels, especially considering each stage can be played multiple times to earn bonuses and experience.

Design and Artwork

Myster Manor for iPad

Myster Manor for iPad

Mystery Manor does add a few innovations in terms of design, integrating elements of popular RPGS and Farmville into the mix. The player’s character levels-up with each subsequent find, allowing for more energy and higher level stages. We thought this addition particularly enthralling, though we weren’t such big fans of the near constant “Add to Facebook?” pop-ups. That being said, the artwork is fantastic, supporting an hand-drawn aesthetic that’s unbelievably gorgeous. Likewise, the quests and characters are all very well scripted, and add a great deal of liveliness to the total package.

Overall Value

Mystery Manor is, of course, completely free in the App Store, though we wish we could say the game itself is. The action relies on the player’s “energy” which is quickly depleted. More energy, points, and currency can be bought for in-app money, if you’re looking to avoid a wait: A pricing scheme we found ourselves rather annoyed with. Still, considering—if you’re at all patient—the app’s gameplay is free in the App Store, we can hardly call the extras a deal breaker. All in all, Mystery Manor is a must-have for genre fans, as well as casual iPad gamers.

Myster ManorMystery Manor requires iOS 4.2 or later and is compatible with iPhone, iPad, and iPod Touch. A small expedite fee was paid by the developer to speed up the publication of this review.

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