Having really enjoyed playing Night Terrors and absolutely loving playing D’Viles Curio Shoppe I was intrigued to see how Mystery Mansion Regina would conclude the story and what new twists to the remote avatar genre they would bring to the story.
The first twist in the story was that for some reason zoom would not let me into the game, but the team at Mystery Mansion fixed the problem and we were soon all stood at the door with Jesse, our avatar. As with the other games in this trilogy, they ease you into the narrative with a few minutes of seeming normality, while you get acquainted with the narrative and why you’re there to help Jesse on his quest to find his friend, Sam. But in true Mystery Mansion style the mood changes quickly and the mood turns to an ominous and foreboding feeling.
The game is quite linear which works well for the story and makes excellent use of space, particularly with smaller spaces that successfully project through the camera that trapped feeling, and their use of both lighting and actors is excellent throughout. If you’ve played the previous two games then you were already invested in the story, but the Sleepy Man narrative is so good that even players that haven’t played the previous two would be hooked within the first 15 mins.
Gameplay throughout this game was excellent, the puzzles weren’t overly complicated or protracted, and required much more player-avatar interaction than many games as solutions often required actions to be performed in the rooms. Telescape was used for interaction with objects and some puzzles, but these were incorporated into the narrative so that we missed nothing on the screen and could focus on the objects. Then the whole team’s attention could return to watching the camera. This kept us invested in the story and also maintained both immersion and adrenaline levels.
This was a 90-minute room, and the additional time really did allow the story to develop and then conclude in a very satisfying, but macabre way. The additional feature of this game which we were unaware of until we’d finished was there were multiple endings of the story, all dependent on the decisions you made throughout the game, I didn’t notice these points in the story at the time (I was too engrossed) but looking back I can remember the points where the team chose one path and not another… Luckily the team let us see the alternative endings, or I’d have been tempted to go back to find out how it could have all gone wrong…
All in all, this was a wonderfully dark and chilling end to the Sleepy Man Trilogy. Mystery Mansion produced some wonderful avatar rooms over the lockdowns and they definitely ended their run on a high.