It started on a dark evening.... As Delaware St. John explores the dark remains of a long abandoned manor visions of a dark past appear and vanish before his eyes. Voices call from the dark, begging for someone to hear him. It's clear to Delaware that … see full wiki
What I expected with "Delaware St. John: The Curse of Midnight Manor" was a little bit different from what I got. I expected to be terrified the entire game and have an OK story with some OK puzzles. However, the story turned out to be fantastic, the game not that scary, and the puzzles almost nonexistent.
STORY - Delaware St. John is a psychic; a psychic that often encounters nightmares or visions which require him to go release ghost's tormented spirits. When he goes alone to Midnight Manor one night he expects it to be just like any other ghost experience, but it turns out to be much, much more. Armed with only a device that allows him to communicate with his partner, ghost hunter Kelly Bradford, Delaware sets out to end the Curse of Midnight Manor one last time. The story really takes off from there and is really fascinating while not being overly complex.
Let me note that there are technically two stories to choose from, the second one only being playable after the first one is completed. Basically, it's just like one game since the second story takes place at the same location, continuing right where the first story left off. However, there are two different story lines which makes the game seem a little bit longer than it actually is.
GAMEPLAY - "The Curse of Midnight Manor" is a first person, point and click adventure game that is supposed to have a horror twist. You pretty much walk around the 5 floors of the hotel following the story line by having flashbacks/visions. Occasionally, you will encounter a puzzle, though; the puzzles may be either inventory based, which are always very simple, or logic based, which are usually easy but occasionally difficult. If you ever get stuck, just talk to Kelly for hints. However, it's pretty simplistic to figure out what to do next and how to do it. There are also timed parts of the game where you have to do something within a certain time; and I'm purposely being vague in order to avoid spoilers.
There's no real interaction with other characters (except for Kelly); although, like I said earlier, you can witness flashbacks, which are basically cutscenes with ghosts acting out what happened in the past. They're not really creepy at all; they're more cheesy. The length of the game is another slight downfall; I finished the game in about 2 hours and 30 minutes. Really short.
GRAPHICS/SOUND - The backgrounds aren't that great for a 2005 game, although I do realize that this is an indie game. The objects in the foreground are OK but not outstanding. The ghosts are really strange looking: oddly clear with just a touch of awkwardness since they are shown one still scene at a time.
The music in the background is fantastic! The songs fit each location or mood perfectly and really add to the overall atmosphere. The voice acting seems to be something that everyone loves, but to be honest, I liked it but didn't find it to be particularly spectacular. Finally, the background noises are very well done.
OVERALL - The story and music may be absolutely fantastic in this game, but it's far too short a game with a a few too many flaws to receive a higher score. Also, this game probably won't terrify you since you're given a warning before anything scary happens, but it does have a fun, supernatural element to it that adds to the overall feel of the game. It's a very easy game to play, perfect for beginning adventure gamers; and although I can't give it the highest score ever, still do highly recommend it to all who like a good, entertaining ghost story.
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