There’s another mystery for James and his player-controlled sidekick to solve – this time it concerns missing intellectuals at a haunted hotel! The twist? This time the hotel is supposed to be haunted! That’s right, in one of the series’ more audacious premises, a man with the warning-bells name of ‘Abraham Shadowy’ has built a hotel designed to terrify its thrill-seeking guests.
Tag: haunted hotel
After the strange way Haunted Hotel: Eternity wrapped up, with its Mystery Trackers crossover ending and history-altering bonus episode, I had no idea what to expect from Phoenix. Would it follow the same character from the previous game, as the previous trilogy of games had? Or would it depart from the detective millieu entirely and go off in a new direction?
One of my favourite subgenres in HOGS I review are the stealth adaptations. Whether it’s a popular video game franchise like Bioshock or a minor literary classic like The Shadow Over Innsmouth, I enjoy seeing how game developers who profoundly don’t have the rights to a certain piece of media transform it into a hidden object game. How subtle will they be in their use of locations, character designs, entire plots?
I’m now six games – halfway through, as of the release of Silent Waters – into the Haunted Hotel franchise, and I still don’t have a sense of exactly what the franchise is yet. Obviously the first trilogy tells a relatively coherent story, while Charles Dexter Ward is just the brand name being slapped on a Lovecraft adaptation for marketing purposes.
No one can say that this isn’t a huge improvement over the first Haunted Hotel. Likewise, it would be difficult to give it any compliments beyond ‘it cleared an extremely low bar’. If I’m being honest, that bar was buried ten feet underground, so as long as HH2 could manage a crawl – mission accomplished.
With this game, I delve back into the history of HOGs, to a time when players were expected to just be happy that they were faced with a screen full of random garbage and a list of specific things to click on. A time before narrative coherence, integrated puzzles, or any conception of fairness in HOS design.