PC/Mac/Linux
enfrdeitptrues

system requirements: · 800 MHz CPU · 128 MB RAM · 16 MB OpenGL-compatible video card · 24x CD-ROM drive · Sound card The Blackwood manor has been abandoned for sometime. You are Michael Arthate an up and coming author trying to finish your next book, hoping that the scenery and feel of an old mansion will inspire you. Your friend Jerry Carter sold you the Victorian mansion of your dreams, complete with a chapel, a greenhouse and a crypt. As with many old mansions there is a story behind this one. There was a murder that took place in it. As you look around you will uncover the motives and much more lurking around within the walls of this house. You are not alone!

How do I play?

This is an adventure/mystery game where you can look around and interact with objects if the mouse cursor lets you. Unlike many adventure games this one is not a slide show (though you can make it into one in the game options), you can rotate and look around everywhere you go. There are many puzzles to solve and some are more challenging than others. You can enable subtle hints in the game options if you prefer guidance. If you’re like me, you’ll be hitting up the walkthroughs for some of the tougher puzzles anyway. Michael is a curious person and wants to search this house and find out its history. Make sure you look at everything, there are many objects you can take and interact with. The house is pretty big and even has some hidden rooms to discover! The game play is pretty linear, time only passes as you complete puzzles, thus unlocking further puzzles. Certain things can only be done at a particular time of the day; I discovered this the hard way. If you feel like you are getting nowhere take a peek at a walkthrough or Nucleosys’ forum. Just don’t read ahead or you’ll spoil the storyline.

What kind of puzzles are there?

There are some easy puzzles to solve like using a knife to cut a wire or mailing a letter. Some of the tougher puzzles are figuring out the combination to the safe by finding out a character’s name then get the numbers from blocks representing the letters. Figuring out the name was not an easy task, it required disassembling a mirror and reflecting the sun rays to it after throwing a rock at a window to get more light.

Graphics

The graphics in this game are really good. The rendering and 3D surroundings are very realistic. Like many old buildings the power and water don’t work initially and the surroundings can be dark, though you can adjust the gamma in the game options. When there is lighting it looks realistic as well.

Sound

The voice acting is well done in this game. Like many horror games and movies, the background music is key to setting the stage this game will not disappoint! You can enable/disable surround music but I had it on and enjoyed it. The sound effects are good too.

Controls/Interface

This game is completely mouse driven. There are hot spots to move around and grab/interact with object in the game. Some of these hotspots are a little off and the whole process of unlocking puzzles at certain times of the day can be frustrating.

Stability

This game ran pretty good but I did get some errors and game hangs. (Though a ctrl alt del took me back into Windows and I was able to restart the game fine)

Appropriateness

As you explore the mansion there are numerous painting and drawings throughout. Some of this “art” has naked people drawn or painted. There is some cussing and blaspheming. The original owner of the mansion was dabbling in some African rituals and you have to clean the house of these evil spirits.

Final Thoughts

Adventure gamers will enjoy the story and suspense in this game. The graphics are great and you really feel like you’re inside this mansion. There are some supernatural and occult themes and some swearing so I would not recommend this game for kids (It’s rated Teen). Overall it’s a great game for $20.

Game Play 18/20 Graphics 9/10 Sound 10/10 Controls 3/5 Stability 3/5 Appropriateness 31/50

Final Score 74%

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Christ Centered Gamer looks at video games from two view points. We analyze games on a secular level which will break down a game based on its graphics, sound, stability and overall gaming experience. If you’re concerned about the family friendliness of a game, we have a separate moral score which looks at violence, language, sexual content, occult references and other ethical issues.

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