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
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
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
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
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
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
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
Don't be put off by the fact that this is an older game. You soon get used to the screen layout if you haven't played one of these older ones before, and although the navigation can take a little getting used to, I soon forgot I had even thought about it.
I played on senior level, and found the level of challenge just right for me. You still have access to hints through phone calls to your friends. There are plenty of puzzles, riddles to solve, and clues to find.
I really felt like I was poking around an old house, looking for clues and answers, with the sort of hidden areas I always wanted to find in real life as a child. The eerie sound effects and 'did I see that?' visuals in a couple of places add to the atmosphere. The characters are well done and the story rolls along nicely. You do have a basic journal in the bedroom, but note taking is imperative for solving the riddles, and helps if you get to a point where you need a reminder of what possible actions you could be taking.
All in all, a very enjoyable game, one I'd definitely recommend.
March 16, 2013
Love the Nancy Drew games!
I usually read the reviews on the Nancy Drew games before purchasing them since you cannot play a trial game first.
I really love this game. It is not as frustrating as some ND games can be with memorizing a floorplan to get around. It is a more relaxing game. I have played so many of these games that I am looking forward to new ones coming out.
The only thing I wish in the ND games is for the option of skipping some puzzles if you can't get them.
September 6, 2012