Mystery of the Ancients: Lockwood Manor Collector's Edition
Outstanding Hidden Object Game
Mystery of the Ancients: Lockwood Manor is definitely one for the "dark and eerie" side. As a warning, those who are offended by demons, possession, dark arts, etc., will want to avoid this one (don't even demo).
The story is one of a friend disappearing. She turns up in a run-down mansion with a history of the owner family practicing the "dark arts". It is soon learned from exploration and diary pages that she is being held captive by her boyfriend, who seems quite intent on using her in his next dark ritual and as more than just an on-looker, if you get my drift.
The graphics are excellent, crisp, dark and brooding, as befitting the atmosphere. I loved the musical score and found it mesmerizing (if not hypnotic) and very befitting the mood and atmosphere. The game play itself is very smooth with no delay between scenes. The cut scenes play seamlessly, without delay or jerkiness. The HOS scenes are junk pile style, without an over abundance of junk. At first the puzzles are on the easy side, but they are done with freshness and there are some unique ones in the mix. As you get further into the game, many of the puzzles are more difficult, but still doable. Plus, I didn't feel bored at all, probably because of some very well placed "jump outta 'da chair moments".
The sound track is so amazing - for the first time I think I'm gonna download a soundtrack from a game. If Edgar Allan Poe composed music, this is probably what it would sound like - not funeral dirge depressing, but at times suspenseful, sometimes mournful, then maybe threatening, now racing...you get the idea. I listened to it all the way through the game and I still wanna hear some more.
The bonus chapter is an extended ending, sort of a "just how strong is this demon" kind of thing, so it's not necessary to enjoy the game on its own, but it is really good. It takes place mostly in the upstairs of the house and it is not something that the developer just slapped together to get a bonus chapter done. It was given as much thought as the rest of the game and has good puzzles and objectives - so it is a very solid piece of work. (Kudos to the developer for that!)
All in all, I found this game most enjoyable. It's a dark and eerie iHOG, which isn't something I clamor for, but it's extremely well done. I think the storyline is well-developed (what a treat!), it's technically superior to many games coming to market and I didn't get the feeling I was doing a lot of running around just to stretch the game. Total play time for me, in Advanced mode, using no hints, no skips and no strategy guide (and getting all the achievements) was 5.5 hours, PLUS 1.75 hours of bonus time for a total of 7.25 hours.
November 14, 2011
Lockwood Manor: A Must Try
I Loved this game. I even got a few unexpected jumps while moving from one room to the other. It was like watching a scary movie or more so, like participating in the movie. I was so into this game, I got through it in less than 8 hours. The sound effects, the graphics and the finishing on the manor were excellent, oh and that Demon, cool. What I like most about games like this one is, not only hidden objects to find, but pieces that need to be found through out the game to put some tool together that you need to move forward, not to forget to mention some of the challenging puzzles. Also something new, to me anyways, was the rewards or merits you achieve during the game and are able to see your trophies(Nice statues) describing your achievements, one for example, getting through the game in less than 8 hours adds another trophy, pretty cool and kind of flattering. If a child plays this game without getting a jump at least once, he/she has a heart of steel. In my opinion, this is more an adult game.
Well thanks again for the great game Big Fish.
November 18, 2011
Just OK for me!
Let me start off with the positives of this game! The graphics and music are excellent! I normally turn the music off, because it ends up getting rather annoying, but I kept it on in this game. The graphics are excellent with no blurriness or fuzziness! There are a lot of HOS in this game and none of them were grainy or blurry. The items were fairly easy to find as well. Don't get me wrong, the HOS weren't super easy, I just mean the items weren't grainy and you can tell what they are when you see them. There are 2 modes of game play, casual and expert. The casual game mode offers sparkles for all the areas of interest and the hint button fills up quickly. Expert mode has no sparkles for areas of interest and the hint button fills up more slowly. The strategy guide is easy to follow as well. There are several achievements that you can earn for this game, such as an achievement for having no mis-clicks in a HOS and not using the hint button during HOS. I think there's a total of 12 achievements, but I'm not totally sure, but it's close to that number. A little window comes up each time you receive an achievement and tells you which one you received. The story is great and there is a diary that you can refer to, there is no map however! Please note that the storyline involves demons, dark magic and warlocks, so if you are one that does not enjoy that type of story, you will probably want to avoid this game. The cut scenes were seamless and well done! There is also a bonus chapter in the CE, which is the only reason I buy any of the CEs! Now for the things I consider negatives in this game. These few negatives were enough to make me give a 3 star rating, because they just took the fun out of the game, for me anyway! There was SO MUCH running around, back and forth, scene to scene, that I would forget what I was doing, what object should go where and several times I had to re-read the diary to remember what the story is actually about! This took the fun factor out of this game for me! The story just didn't flow well, because of all the running amuck, and in turn, had me wishing I hadn't bought this game. Also, as I do enjoy the occasional HOS in games, this game had more than I care to have in a game. I realize this is a hidden object adventure game, but there are some of these types of games that have fewer HOS, and those are the ones that I enjoy the most! :-) If you really like a lot of HOS in an adventure game, this is a game you will certainly enjoy! I do hope that those of you who do choose to purchase this game have a great time playing it and enjoy it very much! HAPPY GAMING!
December 25, 2011
I usually steer clear of this type of game... and in all honesty my initial impression based on the description and cover art, I perceived it would be another hokey and probably run of the mill thriller.
Man, was I wrong! This is A FANTASTIC GAME... I would say on the very top of the spooky game list. H0G with a strong adventure feel to it.
A MUST PLAY!!!!
The graphics, sound track, challenge, originality, length, EVERYTHING was TOP NOTCH in this game.... I strongly recommend anyone that wants a little chill and thrill some dark stormy night, turn off the lights and check this one out.
It's the only game where I actually jumped... not just once but twice while playing.
December 26, 2011
I would loved to have had a 4.5 Rating
This is one of the better games inspite of being tilted toward the darker side. But most of the good games tend that direction.
The HOGs are plentiful. A bit much for me as I like the puzzles more. My wife likes the HOGs and this game makes her fun list. The scenes are crisp. The graphics are superb.
The music compliments the overall feel for the game. But I have to agree with some, the storyline gets lost as you retrace your steps to find what you need to continue. Setting aside the story aspect, I didn't mind the long trips back and forth as much as I have in other games. This may be in part to the storyline or it may be due to the background sounds.
I like the achievemnt aspect of the CE. It allows others to compete later for trophies. I would have liked a best times feature. That sometimes is my real measure of the game--how fast can I complete it and get everything.
January 2, 2012
What a great game!!
I normally don't buy the collectors editions because they usually aren't worth the extra price, but this one was WELL worth the extra money! Great graphics and a gripping story line. I didn't have to use the hint button until the extra game. For the first time I actually left the music on, I normally turn it down. The bonus trophies you get for the HOS (not using hint button, speed in finding items, etc) made the game MUCH more interesting and challenging. Not too hard yet not and easy game.
March 11, 2012
The game had a good storyline, but felt ending was incomplete. The mini games were good, easy to start got harder as game progressed. A lot of running around in circles during last chapter. Enjoyable playing.
December 4, 2011
One of My Favorites!
I've played this twice I love it so much! You'll even earn trophies for not cheating or completing multiple puzzles without using the hint button. Everything about this game is wonderful i.e. graphics, puzzles, storyline. One of my favorites!
March 30, 2012
gorgeous art, but technical issues present an unexpected challenge
in this hidden object thriller, my best friends -- jennifer, her boyfriend, john, and his twin brother, matthew -- have all mysteriously disappeared. so i follow jennifer's trail and find her chained up and surrounded by burning candles in the dark basement of the creepy old Lockwood Manor mansion -- held prisoner by john, of all people!
graphics: the artwork in this game is simply stunning. from what i saw in the demo, the art is lush, high quality and wonderfully detailed in every scene. even though i am not a ghost/demon/dark magic fan, i loved the graphics so much, i almost purchased this game based on the quality of the graphics alone (but more about this later). the hidden object scenes were rather junky and cluttered, but the objects were well drawn and recognisable, and the objects you needed to find were mostly consistent with the theme of the game (candles, spiders and whatnot). the puzzles weren't too difficult, mostly brain-teasers, and could be solved within a reasonable length of time. rewards were given for game achievements, such as not skipping puzzles, not using the hint button and for quickly finding hidden objects.
music: truly beautifully done. the soundtrack for this game is the best i've ever heard for a video game.
storyline: as i already mentioned, i think supernatural stuff is just plain silly, but the plot for this game is so well thought out that the game is really quite enjoyable.
my complaints: switching between scenes took 10 seconds or longer to load and the cursor would often freeze for 5-10 seconds at a time, especially in the hidden object scenes. it was annoying and frustrating to wait for the game to catch up with where i was trying to go. also, there was no map, which meant i got lost sometimes trying to remember where i was supposed to use certain items that i'd just added to my inventory.
my interaction: one hour demo, casual mode (there's two modes).
in short: this is a gorgeous game. i was ready to purchase it, but the slow load and cursor freeze issues made me pass it over.
June 5, 2012
Loved it. 4.5 Stars
I bought the S/E version of this game several months ago, and didn't play it until today.
The story line is built around a series of diary pages spread around the mansion, and at first I though 'Oh No!", not another flimsy story unsuported by the game play, and to a certain extent this turned out to be true. but this did not detract from the game at all.
It's a long and a very entertaining game which did at the end leave an entre into the Bonus Chapter for the C/E version, which has now tempted me to buy the C/E version.
A great game that maybe should not be judged on the 1 hour demo, as the does'nt even begin to indicate how good this game becomes.
June 5, 2012