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CONSOLE: PC DEVELOPER: Teyon PUBLISHER: Viva Media
RELEASE DATE (NA): March 2011
// review by Lydia

If I were Linda, I'd be Hyde-ing.

Oh, hidden object games. How I love to hate you! You try to be fascinating. You try to be hip... but usually end up being more akin to a hip replacement. These games are the canker sores of gaming—they're painful, annoying, and just look awful. It's no wonder they've resorted to using popular topics in their titles. Shame on you, game developers, for tricking people into buying games that aren't worth the glue meagerly holding these games together! However, I must admit I was pretty pumped to be able to dig into my "Stupid Games" folder and rip one of these suckers apart! What plenteous joy!

Vampire Mansion is pretty much a run-of-the-mill hidden object game. It's mostly hidden object screens with a few other types of mini puzzles thrown in every once in a while. I hope you like Mastermind games, because the developers were a little too excited to incorporate it into this game. Seriously, there are eight times these cheap-looking puzzles are thrown into your face. Luckily, you don't even have to try! You can skip these and the other puzzles after about .2 seconds. There's no penalty for random clicking either! Usually, other similar games have a timer or some other feature, but NOPE. The puzzles in Vampire Mansion reduce you to a drooling two-year-old level of intelligence. It pretty much hands you the solution to everything! It might be a good thing though, since most of the objects are indistinguishable from the background or don't actually look like what they're supposed to be. As for whether the puzzles make sense—you steal a man's wallet in order to open his briefcase. Enough said.

Silence is the best way to experience this game. The music sounds like it's being played from a tin can. The melody will play for a few seconds, pause, and then loop back again and again. Occasionally, the music will just randomly cut out—which is actually pretty welcoming. The sound is just as amazingly awful as the music. The same "marbles falling onto the floor" sound is used in almost every puzzle screen. I'm not even kidding. It must have been a subliminal message or something (it must have worked, since I kept playing this garbage). At one point, I'm pretty sure there was a hobo whispering in my ear... something about creamed corn. The game decided to introduce a "guest pianist" in the story. For... culture, I think? Whatever it was for, they should have left it out. The "pianist" played a horrid concerto composed of four different notes in an endless loop. A drowsy four-year-old could have composed something better than this. Not only was it awful, it played over top of the game's normal music, creating a mess of something like vomit and mud.

Speaking of gross-looking things, the art in this game is a crime against my eyesight. I guess you could say it's art-trocious. The main character's design was only given two facial expressions: constipated deer in the headlights and slightly happier constipated deer in the headlights. You think I kid? Oh, how I wish I was.

I don't know about you, but a gun is much more threatening when the person holding it actually has their finger on the trigger... or is holding the gun at all. I can see the artist looking at the rest of the art in the game and going, "Meh. It's good enough." No, sir, it is not good enough. It's not even close. They had the audacity to mix this sorry excuse for art with actual stock photographs.

See what I mean? I'm pretty sure the artists just painted over actual images of people. And what's up with purple tie guy's face? He should sue his parents for that mug. Ech.

The story itself drags along like a mule with three broken legs. The obvious tone of the game is suspense. Fail. It even tried to throw in jump scares in every screen. It might have worked had it not been the same spider animation eight different times. Double fail. At least twice, the main character states, "What now?" Even the game is clueless about what the player is supposed to do. Three fails, this game is OUT. And by out, I mean it crashed. Twice. I had to download a patch to be able to play the game to its entirety. No. Just, no.

Vampire Mansion had very little to do with either vampires or mansions. It had very little to offer in the form of interest or entertainment—just the same boring pictures and puzzles over and over again. Even the "Bonus Content" is dull and pointless. The game had no redeeming qualities other than the fact that it ended. I highly recommend not buying this game unless you have the desire for totally wasting your money. I'm not supposed to score games anything beyond 1-10, but I give this game an F/10. NOPE.


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