It'll drive you mad.
Anyone remember the LucasArts games of old? We're talking some of the better classics from the 80's and 90's here, like Maniac Mansion and Day of the Tentacle. Those were some point-and-click games to be proud of, ones worth experiencing, and sad reminders of a company that's now nothing more than a memory.
Cezure Production clearly remembers that company as well, and pays it loving tribute with its own haunting point-and-click adventure, Maniac Manors. It definitely has its moments, especially with its creepy ambiance, but a lack of any sort of assistance may well leave some players frustrated.
In Maniac Manors, your character, who doesn't exactly have the tightest grasp on reality, has just picked up a house for dirt cheap. He's convinced that he has the deal of a lifetime, but then things go horribly wrong, and you're soon fighting to keep your sanity in one piece as you explore this mysterious mansion.
And if this game has one thing going for it, it's style. Based on the Cthulhu myth, Maniac Manors has a terrific presentation. The visuals are creepy, it offers up strange, screen-shifting effects whenever you experience dizziness, and its spooky music is truly haunting. As an overall experience, the game really draw you in, especially if you're playing at night.
It also has an outstanding "mental health" system, one you'll have to carefully manage in order to avoid going completely insane. As your situation deteriorates, your brain count will go down. As it continues to plummet, you'll need to find a solution quickly so as to avoid succumbing to complete madness.
If only the game gave you a fair opportunity to win. While Maniac Manor has that great ambient design going for it, it doesn't provide you with any help to get through certain sections. For example, the game drops you slap-bang into this haunted house without any sort of tutorial system, and no hints. The puzzles are great, but solving certain challenges can be a real pain - especially if you're well and truly stuck. We're well into the game, and we still can't find all the answers we need.
The notes your character carries don't really help either. While they do provide a little bit of back-story from his perspective, they're mostly in second-rate English. It's a pity, as this would have been a perfect system for providing you with cryptic - but useful - hints, instead of what is mostly psychobabble.
For those seeking a good scare on their mobile devices, Maniac Manors isn't bad at all. Just be aware that you might go nuts trying to figure some things out. Could this have been the developer's intention? Nah, too generous.
Download Maniac Manors - iOS
What's Hot:Beautiful 3D graphics and haunting audio, some great puzzles, the whole "sanity" angle plays out very well.
What's Not:Frustratingly hard at times, no tutorial or hint system to help you out, text translation is lazy at times, it's too easy to get trapped in dark spots.