I’ve mentioned in previous reviews that I am a fan of puzzle games. While that’s a genre of game that is not in short supply on the iPad, it’s hard to find one with puzzles that are challenging enough, but doesn’t become Excedrine headache #379. Vampireville HD from Nevosoft attempts to walk that fine line and delivers a challenging, yet accessible game for puzzle fans.
The storyline goes as follows: “After the previous house appraisers went insane while evaluating the creepy and ominous Malgrey Castle estate, Rockwell and Rockwell decided to send a young and ambitious real estate agent named Michael to appraise the property and put it up for sale. Hopefully Michael will have stronger nerves and better luck than his predecessors while navigating around the eerie castle’s weird and sinister secrets. And if he doesn’t go mad hopefully his boss, Mr. Rockwell, won’t drive him crazy. Mr. Rockwell may be frail, but the perpetually discontent old man is planning to visit the premises personally because he believes the estate may hold a secret cure for his rare disease.”
The game is a hidden object puzzle adventure game. Cinematic cut scenes set the stage for the next level of puzzle solving and object searching. You solve puzzles and play mini-games from Michael’s point of view, although during the cut scenes, you see everything from a movie goers point of view. The cut scenes are three dimensionally rendered, while the puzzles are usually of the “Here’s a room, find the pieces, or solve the puzzle” type of view. Although in both cases, the scenes are nicely rendered.
In the first puzzle, I had to assemble a floor plan of the castle that had been torn into pieces by my predecessor. which involved finding the pieces in a room, and then finding tape in order to tape the pieces of the plan back together. This involves mostly clicking about on the screen until you get a reaction from something. This could be anything from a cabinet opening, to a piece of the puzzle being found and placed on the table. If you get stumped, there are hints available, but only a certain amount, so use them wisely. (Although you can purchase extra hints via an in-game purchase system.) The graphics are clean enough to be able to find the needed objects, but it takes a good set of eyes to be able to find everything in this manner.
After assembling the floor plan, I was taken to my room, where I had the pleasure of meeting the headphone wearing maid of the manor, Mary. She set up the next puzzle with a bit of conversation, and I was on my way to another puzzle.
While I haven’t had the opportunity to work my way completely through the game, I am looking forward to exploring the rest of the puzzles, and meeting the rest of the characters.
The puzzles and mini-games I have encountered have been logical and well thought out. So far there haven’t been any “Well how the heck was I supposed to know that!” moments that you come across in games of this ilk.
This is an excellent puzzle game that shows a lot of thought and effort that was put into the creation of the game. Excellent puzzles, beautiful graphics, and mood music add to the game’s enjoyment. The voice acting is wooden at times, but in games of this type that is a normal occurrence. Maybe next time, they shouldn’t get Sergei in accounting to do one of the main character voices.
This game would be an excellent addition to the library of any iPad owning puzzle aficionado. It’s well worth the asking price, and will give you hours of enjoyment.
This one will be staying on my iPad for awhile!
Price: $4.99 (App Store Link)
- Excellent graphics and music do an excellent job of setting the mood.
- The puzzles are challenging, yet not headache inducing.
- The characters are interesting and well developed.
- The voice acting could be better. This is sadly common in games such as this.
- Sometimes the pieces of a puzzle are lost in the crowded settings.