Scare factor: 5
Fun factor: 8
Replay value: 8
I have wanted to get my hands on this game for years. Finally, I got an opportunity to play it and here is what I thought:
The game starts out on a happy tone. You and your husband have just moved into a huge mansion, not knowing much about its history. Eager to explore the property, Adrienne starts looking through old letters and pictures that she finds in the mansion. She reads newspapers documenting the events of the Carno estate and discovers what really happened to the old magician. He was most well-known for his famous stage show was called Phantasmagoria and his many wives. His show, which intrigued many audiences and captured their imagination, featured amazing lights combined with disturbing displays. Day by day the house changes, the characters change, and you can really become a part of the events that take place in the creepy mansion.
I really like this game because it's point-and-click. I really think that makes it fun and adds a little something to it. You have an inventory screen on the bottom and click items in it to use them. The game will also give you tips if you are stuck on what to do. Also, I love the fact that it's more of a mystery game, than anything. I think the storyline is well thought-out and that the characters are interesting and developed. There is much to see and do in the game that is all extra. Small details about the story are scattered around and you have to look really closely to notice some of them. There really is so much to see and do!
The game plays out day by day as you explore the Carno estate. Each day, things change, so you have to check back to places that you may have already been the day before. The events of the story unfold in a way that keeps you interested and wanting to know more. For example, each day a fortune-telling machine gives you a new fortune, and oddly enough, each fortune relates to the story of the game. The game is almost like a novel- the story is very unique and is easily the best part of the game. You'll want to play to see what happens next. You'll find lots of items and meet developed characters throughout the game.
The graphics are really well-done. I think that it is interesting how they have real actors in the game. It adds a certain realism to everything that is happening. The environments are beautiful as well. Everything has very rich colors and nice details. Rarely will you see any plain space in the game. Also, the actors are very convincing, and the makeup effects used for gorier parts of the game are well-done. There are small cut scenes for all actions done in the game.
The voice quality in the game is a bit off sometimes. The music in the game is very creepy and atmospheric, it will make you wonder what you're going to find around the next corner. There is a noticeable piano in the main hall that plays music as well. If you turn it on, it will play a strikingly-creepy tune for you all by itself.
Anyone who loves mystery and in-depth story will love this game! I'm so happy that I finally got my hands on it. The only thing that I didn't like about the game is that if you miss some things earlier on, you'll be stuck in an endless loop of dying near the end. So you have to make sure to thoroughly investigate everything and pay attention to the details in the story. This game is definitely worth buying! It's loads of fun, though if you play it straight, you can beat it in one day.