Haunted Hotel: Ancient Bane
O.K., I'm Hooked
I like haunted hotel/house games so thought I would try this with no intention of buying since I have so many "haunted" games, well guess what, I am hooked and must have this game. There are voice overs but no mouth movements, which is fine, the voices are well done. There are quite a few puzzles, not too hard, and the h.o. scenes are interactive. No morphing objects or collectables. There are 4 sound selections for; music,effects, environment, and voice. 3 play modes; casual, advanced, and hard. There is a wonderful jump map, which you will need as there is plenty of back and forth and has colored pins that show you where you are and where there is a task to be done and where there is no current task, also a task button to tell you what the current goal is. Sounds and colors are good, not too dark and you can change the gamma before or during play. There is a journal/diary to record your achievements. A couple of misleading items in h.o.'s; on the second floor h.o. the pen is actually a pin and in the hotel room h.o. the comb is actually a brush and the interactive is finding an angel, (you put the wings on) looks more like a bird of some kind. Music is good, of the mysterious type, goes well with the story which is you are there to find missing people and prove or disprove if the hotel is really haunted or not. There are some great spooky sound effects, moans and eerie thumps and such. This is a ghost story, I did not come across any demonic things, if you are very sensitive to sudden noises or things moving when you're not looking, it could be scary. For example, no matter what, a jack in the box always scares me when the thing jumps up! If you like ghost stories, you will like this one. Enjoy!
June 27, 2014
I Stayed There One Night
This is posted after playing the entire game. I just wish I had written this yesterday after I finished playing, because there is so much to tell you and I know I'm going to forget most of it.
I really enjoyed this game. I wasn't sure I would, but all in all it was entertaining and I can't wait to play it again. It's a long game and there are a few discrepancies, but not enough to worry about.
The sound quality is excellent and the graphics are worthy of the this designer. I have most all of these games and I found this one right up to par.
I liked it, because it was one I could do without racking my brain. I even did the mini games. The hidden object scenes weren't a push over by any means, but they were clear and fun to do. Mini games weren't new. We've seen them before, but they chose the ones that didn't take a lot of time to do and were simple enough that I enjoyed them.
You have an interactive map which is quite a necessity, because you will accumulate quite a bit of things in your inventory and this will help you get back and forth to where you need to be to use them. You have a helper who will assist you in quite a few tight spots.
The story is one we have heard before, but I enjoy it. It kept me entertained and in the game. It had a beginning and an end so that makes it good. So many just leave you hanging.
There is a lot more to tell you, but you can be the judge. Play the demo, which honestly doesn't do the game justice, and make up your own mind.
I highly recommend this game if you want something to entertain you and not have to work the grey matter to the bone.
July 18, 2014
A Little Disappointed
i really enjoyed this game, the puzzles were challenging...but at the end of the day, there were 2 tasks I never actually did, and yet the game is complete. Woulda got 5 stars otherwise. :(
July 18, 2014
nice game. plenty of game time. give it a shot and I suggest playing in expert mode. 2014
July 25, 2014
They're just cranking these out like parts on a assembly line.
Nothing new to see here, just another generic HOG with a few mediocre puzzles, nice drawings, decent atmosphere and music, and a storyline we've seen dozens of times before.
You can tell very little care went into this one, so many incorrectly identified items in the HOS - a brush is not a comb. A handkerchief is not a shawl.
Makes it hard to care enough to buy this stuff when the developers just seem to be phoning it in at this point.
June 27, 2014
The Elephant is Missing in Haunted Hotel
Our detective friend James from the last Haunted Hotel is back and this time we are off to help a hotel owner solve the mystery of his vanishing guests. The game starts in the same way as almost every other Elephant game with the proverbial suitcase that is missing a key, which when opened leads to a hidden object scene. Once we are in the hotel we meet Mr. Shadowy (an ominous sounding name) who is acting rather strange and we are left on our own to investigate. Hmmm, what strange and mysterious things are going on and what will we find within the hidden rooms of Haunted Hotel?
The graphics are excellent and I would expect nothing less from this developer. It is interesting that the beginning cutscene had lip-synced voiceovers but then they disappeared as we got into the game itself. The thing is (and this is the bad news) that good graphics are just about the only thing this game has going for it.
The gameplay in Haunted Hotel Ancient Bane is very much the same as it is in all games by this developer, so much so that it is quite predictable. The HOS are the same old, same old slightly interactive list type that we find in virtually EVERY game this development team presents and there is nothing new to be found here. I am beginning to think that the well of creative thought has truly dried up at Elephant games. In Haunted Hotel Ancient Bane, we come across HOS scene after scene that I won?t necessarily call junkpiles only because the items are quite nice to look at, but nevertheless the scenes are stuffed with far too many items. Not only are the HOS cluttered, many of them are quite dark as well making it much more difficult to distinguish some items. Then we come to the puzzles or mini games, and again there is nothing new to be found with puzzles that seem very simplistic and easy. There was nothing to challenge my brain and I found the puzzles to be quite ho-hum if not downright boring. Not only were the puzzles quite ho-hum, the developer missed some great opportunities early in the game to integrate puzzles into several areas. Lately, it seems that there must be some simple formula that the Elephant team uses when developing its games, which includes nothing new or creative - only the basics. I might sound a bit harsh but when I see a game from Elephant, who is one of the top developers in casual gaming, I expect more and lately it has been missing. There is no wow factor present in more recent games from a team who in the past brought us a stunning game like The Nutcracker.
I purchased the CE version of the game and it had very little in the way of collectibles or anything else that I thought made it CE worthy ? only the inclusion of the strategy guide.
As I made my way through the game I found it tedious and slow, in fact the game was so forgettable, I am not sure I finished the original story. The gameplay was just rather mundane and with no challenge in the puzzles, it turned out to be a big disappointment. When one plays as many HOPA games as I do, I like to find something in the way of a storyline or some unique factor that stands out to ?ring my bell? but it was not to be found among the crowded rooms of topsy-turvy chairs and floating knives. This Haunted Hotel was lacking in the things that could have made it a great game. The game is not horrible and for many it will be what they are looking for, and if you happen to have a free game credit hanging around, it might be worth using it on this game. Overall I will give the game three stars and those only because of the graphics which are superb. As always, I recommend that you at least try the demo because the game might just be right for you.
June 27, 2014
"By the way, I found this!"
I was underwhelmed by the CE when it came out, but kept it lurking on my GM to remind me to look at the SE when it came out. I only managed 48 minutes of the demo before exiting.
It is so dull and tries hard to be scary but falls well short.
The SE has retained the jump map and transporting hint and thank goodness as you are going backwards and forwards all the time.
For more detail, see the CE reviews. I was in the minority and many people really enjoyed it. Definitely one to try before you buy.
For me, no. It is just too frustrating!
June 27, 2014
Not a bad game, just so so.
This is based on completion of the SE in casual mode. The story is of a haunted hotel where guests have disappeared. You have been invited by a fellow detective to investigate. The owner of the hotel, Mr. Shadowy isn't happy you've been invited along, as the invitation was for your friend.
Nothing new about this game -- the HOS and puzzles are the same as we've played in other games by this developer, Elephant. Just the characters have different names and the story is a little different, but nothing fascinating. I really became bored and used the hint button to take me from scene to scene.
I didn't use the map because the hint button also transports you to where you need to be.
I turned down the music but it wasn't too bad on low.
Other than being a bit boring, nothing wrong with this game. The subject manner maybe too mature for the very young, but this game is suitable for every one else. Its's an easy game in the casual mode so beginners should enjoy it very much.
Always play the demo and read some reviews to make up your mind.
June 28, 2014
Puzzels were messed up
Almost all of the puzzles were extremely difficult. I had to skip through most of them.
July 2, 2014
Ready to Scream, and Not Because I'm Scared!
There are so many things wrong with this game. Items you're looking for in the HOS's aren't what the description says. For instance, a brooch is called a "pen", a brush is called a "comb", etc. In one scene there's a barrel with a cork. We're told "I need to remove the cork so I can slide the lid off". Really? Removing a cork enables the entire lid to come off? One puzzle's instructions say to position items so none of the lines cross. I worked & worked on this and finally gave up after getting extremely frustrated. When I hit the skip button it showed the solution with some of the lines CROSSING!
I play on the hardest mode for a reason, yet I still continued to get hints like "if I find a hammer I can use it here". Honestly, expert players can figure this out for ourselves. We don't want OR need all that help.
The graphics were excellent, as usual. The music was barely noticeable except where it was very dramatic and intense. That didn't happen very often.
One thing I find exasperating with these games is the lack of imagination by the developers. There were several instances where an item in my inventory would have worked just fine to retrieve something. But no, you had to have a different item that really wasn't needed. For example, why do you need a valve for a water pump if you have a wrench that can be used instead to turn the water on? A lot of developers don't improvise enough. EIPIX is an exception to this. I really enjoy their games.
Just an okay game, in my opinion. I've played much better. I'm still recommending it for those who aren't as picky as I am.
July 11, 2014