February 12, 2012

The Anticlimax of Grisly Manor

I played and beat a video game! Are you surprised? Well, to be fair, this game took me all of like an hour at most to beat, so that’s probably why.

Awhile back, I found out that The Secret of Grisly Manor was free for a day. It was a little point and click puzzle thing, so that sounded like something worth trying, anyway, so I grabbed it. Then I played through it.

It was okay? I dunno.

The game is basically like a super-polished and not completely stupid version of a lot of those horrible Adventure games Retsupurae has let’s played. You’re in a world of static pictures, and you move around and solve puzzles. The little house you’re in is completely ridiculous in a lot of ways, but for the most part, the puzzles make way more sense than some in this genre, so I didn’t have much of a problem with them. There were some ridiculous, nonsensical parts. For example, at one point, you stick a rod in a whole, and then lightning just happens to strike it for some reason, and that, for some reason, makes what the rod is stuck in disintegrate, revealing a door. This isn’t like… a magic house or something. That makes little sense. Also, your character is extremely concerned with not killing a goldfish? But you’ll put the goldfish in a tub full of dirty, soapy water which would almost surely kill it. I don’t think you’re supposed to put a fish in soapy water! But what do I know, I guess.

The game did have one clever and hard puzzle that was fair, but stumped me for awhile. The clues were all out there, but it did take some thinking to put them together, mostly because there were multiple clues scattered about the world in non-obvious ways, and not like, a single clue that once you pick it up, you solve it. I appreciated that. On the whole, though, it was mostly uninspired “unlock this to get the clue/key to unlock the next puzzle” stuff. Inoffensive, fun while it lasts, but again, if you have half a brain for these sorts of games, you’ll breeze through the whole thing in minutes.

Uh, sorry for ruining the plot of this game, I guess, but it is kind of laughable. Like, you get to the end, where a door in the basement leads outside for some reason (?) and your grandpa, who you were trying to find, is just there. Like, he’s just in the back yard. You could have just walked around the house. You even go around the house to a shed at one point to solve some puzzles. And he’s like “Sorry it seemed like I was dead, but I invented time travel, let’s go!” And that’s it. Just “good job solving my puzzles, I invented time travel” and then it kicks you to the menu. You’d think with a title like “Grisly Manor” you’d have something like… scary or something happen. There’s nothing vaguely scary about the game. They didn’t even try for scary. It’s weird.

Anyway, free was the right price for this. I enjoyed it for that. If you really like this kind of game and are okay with it lasting about an hour, a dollar might be fair. I’m pretty sure they’re charging more for it, though, which is pretty crazy. There are better point and click flash games out there than this. But eh, again, it entertained me for awhile. I can’t complain. And I think this was their first game. Maybe the other ones they made are better? Who knows. I’m probably not going to go out of my way to find out, though.

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