Nancy Drew: Message in a Haunted Mansion
One of Nancy's first hits.
The title may lead players to think the Mansion is loaded with ghosts lurking in creepy corners and sinister basements. Not at all. The spookiness is limited to such things as a faint sound or something moving briefly somewhere. There is nothing frightening here and the game is perfectly suitable for younger players..... as well as adults.
Message in a Haunted Mansion is an older game, Nancy's third investigation actually. It has this lovely old fashioned atmosphere that emanates from those cozy Victorian style houses built early in the century, and the scent of leather and persian carpets.
The graphics convey this old fashioned ambiance quite successfully with a chinese bedroom full of red, tapestries, and antiques, a library with its collection of old books that have sustained the assaults of time, a nicely decorated kitchen, corridors and stairwells.
The action takes place in this closed-up surrounding, from room to room until the conclusion.
Rose, the tenant of this house, wants to convert it into a B & B. Much to her worry, a series of unfortunate events and accidents puts a stop to her plans. Up to Nancy to elucidate the enigma.
Which she actually does with brio, as always.
One thing I like in the Nancy Drew series, and this one is no exception, is how you intereact with the various characters, dialoguing with them, thereby obtaining important clues and some direction and learning a little about the background story of the house and its inhabitants. But in all her conversations, Nancy has to be careful and diplomatic lest Rose might take umbrage and dismiss her. But if something goes awry there is always a "Try Again" in the form of a Second Chance Button.
Inevitably, Nancy has to solve intriguing puzzles; they all are nicely integrated in the storyline, require only common sense, but no puzzle is triggered unless she has gathered all the clues pertaining to it.
These puzzles are classics and based on logic. Nothing far-fetched, nothing out of this world, nothing left to the trial and error method, no place for random. Some are trickier than most, although perfectly solvable, and make you think deeply, others a lot easier.
Details have been pushed quite far to contribute to the rendering of an oldish and semi-eerie atmosphere: floors crack, stairs creak, doors squeak on their hinges; you hear muffled voices, footsteps and rain.
Like in another of her investigations, Nancy can set the time on her clock as certain tasks can only be performed at specific times. Nice feature.
Saying the game is easy would be wrong. It's very challenging, non-linear, and extremely immersive. The story is solid, engrossing with a fair degree of complexity, and a good ending.
Finally, the professionalism of the developers also transpires in the quality of the voice-overs, the well-worded dialogs, and the right sounds at the right moments.
A superb adventure, not overly difficult, ideal as an introduction to the world of Nancy Drew for those who do not know her yet
January 3, 2012
An early attempt, but not bad at all.
I'm not going to wax lyrical about the sound and music, however brilliant it may be, because others have done that. I see quite a few positive reviews, so I wanted to list some of the things that put me off a little.
The camera - in this early ND game, you play with a small screen, almost half taken up by your dialogue and item boxes. Also, the 'move' and 'look closer' actions have the same mouse icon. Which takes getting used to.
Not a lot of puzzles throughout, really just a couple at the end. It feels like you're not solving anything for long periods, just gathering a heck of a lot of clues towards your final puzzles, which does make the game feel less meaty. You also don't get help or instructions on these puzzles, but that's not too bad as long as you paid attention to the clues.
You have to re-unlock and re-unstick the doors and panels every time. You do get into the swing of this, though, and have your key or crowbar at the ready as you approach. It's just irksome.
Now that I've said that, however, check out the star-rating. 4. It could have been a 5 but for those niggles. This game played very enjoyably. Granted, not a lot of thinking required puzzle-wise, but a decent plot and something interesting to do to while away a little time. A pleasant way to spend an evening. While not as invigorating as others in the series, I'm still going to say that if you're a fan of the series, or just want a more relaxed, point-and-click, talk-and-explore type mystery solver, this one will fit the bill quite nicely.
February 21, 2012
Message in a Haunted Mansion
This is a beautiful and fascinating game for a person who likes a relaxing pastime to tune out the rest of the world. The music and visuals are excellent. I can't go into details without giving away too much information. In one of the bedrooms, the song playing is so hauntingly beautiful that I've replayed the game many times to reminisce. This game is spellbinding.
February 18, 2012
Now This Is "True Drew!"
Unlike "Shadow at the Water's Edge" which I finished very laboriously, "Message in a Haunted Mansion" was a masterpiece! Instead of big, cumbersome puzzles to solve that have NOTHING to do with the story plot, this gem of a game featured riddles and puzzles that were integral to the game. They were tied directly to the plot. I just wish that the new crew of "Nancy techs" could model their future games after this one and not such games as "Shadow," which, to me was a time waster. This was DREW AT ITS BEST!
May 7, 2012
2.5 rounding up. I'm comparing it with other ND games.
I?m rating this in comparison to the other ND games I've played and playing this game today!
Plot ? You are asked to come to a B&B in San Francisco that is about to open and investigate why strange accidents keeps happening. It is fun poking around an old home and see what secrets it has.
This is not a bad game by any means and I enjoyed it, but compared to the other ND games it?s short, slightly easier than some others, and got only one location. Even the first ND game had 3 locations and seemed a bit longer. I?m playing through the later ones in order and now playing through the earliest ones in order as well.
The early games have this HUGE interface taking up half the screen and to advance the game you have to set your alarm clock. In this game everyone has a schedule and is in a certain place at a certain time so you use the alarm clock to either be able to talk to them or snoop when they are not there.
There is a ?I? button on the right of the interface which gives you basic tips. On the left is a ?ND? logo and when you click on it, it gives you the current in game time.
Like all ND game this isn?t a 360 game and you can?t skip puzzles. There are no achievements like in the later games. You can play junior or senior level, and the only difference is some of the puzzles are harder in senior mode.
There is a second chance in ND games but if you make a mistake you automatically go back to just before the wrong choice so you can have a do over.
In early ND games the load and save is in the same page and it?s very tricky. Highlight the save button, hit it then hit the line to write about the save and then save again. To load, highlight load screen at the left.
If you have never played a ND game before, talk to everyone, here it?s four people. If you are stuck you can phone your friends and even in senior mode this option is open to you but phone them anyway as they have information. You also need to have a paper and pencil with ND games to record things you come across, any poems, or symbols etc as you need that information to decipher other puzzles in the game.
While I enjoyed it, if you are only going to be playing one or two ND games this is not the one I would recommend and would only recommend it to true lovers of ND games or those that can get easily lost and want a very ?contained? game and don?t mind that it?s quite short. I played the big fish version on windows 7 and had no glitches (once I figured out the save button!)
Spoiler as to a hint for one puzzle ?
There is a maze in this game and I am useless at them, if you hit the ?M? key on your keyboard it brings up an interactive map in the interface to show you where you are.
September 19, 2012
LOVE NANCY DREW: MESSAGE IN A HAUNTED MANSION
I find this game to be very enjoyable, and not as hard as some of Nancy Drew's other games. I will be buying another game from her very soon.....
November 27, 2011
My first Nancy Drew game
Oh, wow! This was the first Nancy Drew game I ever played, way back at the end of 2001/beginning of 2002, when I got it as a Christmas present. It's definitely in my top 5 games of the series. Definitely a classic.
March 28, 2012
Although there are many ND games out there, nothing beats this one in creepiness (well, other than Shadow at Water;s Edge, which has one of the scariest atmosphere in ND games). This one is truly original. I like it that there's seance (and that ND is potrayed dark in that scene), the characters move robotic, and you can't make many conversations with them, but you're basically on your own snooping around the house and 'ghosts' pop out from the corner of your eye in many parts of the game. Exciting, and original.
May 10, 2012
MHM - earliest game on BigFish
MHM is the third game in the Nancy Drew series and the first on BigFish. You, as Nancy Drew, have to investigate accidents and bad luck in an old San Francisco mansion. Is it haunted or is someone from the team trying to scare the owners away?
MHM was the second ND game I played, and I found it slightly less challenging than my first, which was CUR (but that is a hard one!) and a bit similar. It is, obviously, slightly simpler game, however, it does have its moments and the characters and mystery are as good as in any other ND game. If you like Nancy Drew, you will like this one, too.
December 21, 2011
The graphics and sound were advanced for such an early game of the series. Will remain one of my favorite ND games.
December 31, 2011