Darkness engulfs Stan Riddle, and his soul is sucked into a mirror. Shattered pieces of the mirror scatter all over the manor, and Stan has to find them all to save himself and escape. The Lord of Mirrors is up to no good, and as Stan finds more pieces of himself the evil evolves. Can Stan flee the manor, or is he as damned as the souls he releases on his path?
Haunted Manor – The Lord of Mirrors is a horror hidden object game. And by horror I do not mean grisly Freddy Kruger slasher flicks or weird Japanese suicide sagas. I talk about horror in the sense of Edgar Allan Poe where the fear is of what we can’t see clearly. Darkness, presences that can be felt but not seen or touched. The atmosphere is creepy, eerie but never overtly scary.
Big Fish games is a veteran developer and publisher of hidden object games. I have tried a few over the years, but none have been close to the quality of Haunted Manor. The images, the puzzles and the story is leaps and bounds better than most competitors in the genre. Mushroom Age from G5 Entertainment is the only true competitor, and that is due to having comedy aspects to it.
As hidden object games go the gameplay is what you would expect. Find objects from a list by tapping them. You can zoom in and out using pinch gestures. If you tap too much the game will crack the screen, and your taps will not register for a couple of seconds. This is just to avoid the game turning into a tap gallery shooter. Once all objects are found you get to assemble them, and solve some puzzles depending on the task. Haunted Manor also come with loads of mini games, and puzzles. These range from classic puzzles to Hanoi. A timer shows up at the top, and when it is full you get to skip the puzzle completely. The level of challenge is hence not that high.
Haunted Manor is divided into 18 rooms, and for each room you unlock a piece of the mirror. Each room has more or less the same structure. You get a list of items, find them, and a ghostly figure appear with a request. You solve the task, and get the next piece of the mirror. All rooms let you play at least two hidden object scenes using the same background. Overall the level of detail is amazing in these images.
There is quite a lot to do in the game, and I have spent more than six hours travelling through the manor. As I mentioned the level of challenge is quite low, and to me it is more about relaxation. Focusing on finding an item in a picture lets me empty my brain from thoughts. One issue I do have however is that I don’t always get what item the game wants me to find based on the title of the item. Some items are kind of niche, and some are old with old names. This can at times be frustrating, and I have had to resort to using the hint function. It is not really a hint function at all, but rather it gives you an answer to where to look by circling it. This function recharges slowly, and can be used how many times you want if you care to wait.
The presentation is excellent, and all images look superb. Among the hidden object games this is at the top when it comes to graphical presentation. The only thing lacking are voiceovers to the story being told. The sound sets a great mood with dark brooding ambience.
I have had a great relaxing time playing Haunted Manor – Lord of Mirrors. It is polished, has great puzzles and a nice pace to the narrative. The model using a free version that can be unlocked is brilliant, and I think most people will be more than a little tempted to continue once the free portion is over. No matter if you are a fan of hidden object games or not I recommend you to try the free version. It gives quite a few rooms, and a great sample of the adventure within.
Haunted Manor – Lord of Mirrors Full $3.99
Seller: Big Fish games, Inc.