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Silent Valley: Mystery Mansion

Score: 68%
ESRB: 4+
Publisher: G5 Entertainment
Developer: Vogat
Media: Download/1
Players: 1
Genre: Adventure/ Puzzle

Graphics & Sound:

The menu screen for Silent Valley: Mansion Mystery HD where you select your player or Achievements, etc. has a picture of the main antagonist in the game, a not-so-nice older lady who runs the bed and breakfast where you'll be staying with your new husband, Peter. If you don't select to play the game immediately, she will revert into her evil form, turning rather ugly and hissing at you. Let's just say it was a bit off-putting to be taking my initial notes on the game, only to abruptly look up when the game hissed at me.

You'll begin the game with a cut scene of Peter and Victoria Logan's wedding day where they receive a mysterious and anonymous honeymoon trip to an island somewhere in Northern America. Huge clue – don't accept a free trip to an unknown place from an unnamed gift-giver. Just sayin'.

When you arrive by boat to the island, the landlady greets you, but then things quickly turn south. She takes Peter inside, leaving you with the bags and then all of a sudden, Peter is mysteriously gone. As you explore the house searching for him, things will turn from normal to strange, with gruesome apparitions occurring from time to time. There is clearly a Native American tie-in going on, as lots of the décor is Native American and lots of Native American iconography can be found in many of the objects you find. You will hear weird Native American sounding music in the background, but no voiceovers in the game. Unfortunately, the localization could use some work, so be prepared to read some bad translations as you work your way through the story.


Silent Valley: Mansion Mystery HD is pretty much pure adventure. You'll experience environmental puzzles throughout the game and you'll need to pick up lots of objects in the environment to get through the game, but I don't recall any actual hidden object scenes. The puzzles I came across were often odd. In one, I came across a child's toy that depicted a farm scene. Your goal here is to make cheese, but nothing about your situation really told you that or how to go about doing it other than the question mark that simply said you must make cheese, or something like that. Another puzzle had you line up objects on a wheel according to their color. Still another one had you trying to light up totems by outlining them correctly. One of the more obscure puzzles aside from the child's farm was one where you open a cabinet to discover a grouping of flags from various countries and the foods that might come from these countries. You must match the foods to the flags and if you don't know your flags, you are pretty much screwed because some of the food items weren't that obvious. Another puzzle had you going through a pile of door knocker halves and matching them all up. The remaining one was the one you needed. Another puzzle had you connecting circuits to deactivate an alarm, and another had you encounter a soldered shut door. The question mark here wouldn't activate to tell me what I needed to do next and I had forgotten that I had picked up a soldering gun much earlier. The Hint button simply directed me to the door panel. Only through trial and error did I get to the soldering gun and then even while using it, you had to hit the exact spot to get it to work. There's also a puzzle involving dates and names and unless you were paying a lot of attention and writing info down while you were looking at tombstones in the cemetery, you'll have to simply try all of the date combinations listed in your diary. To me, this just isn't fun.

All throughout Silent Valley: Mansion Mystery HD, I just felt like the game gave me no true direction. Sure, I could keep hitting the Hint button to see where to go, but I wasn't compelled to see the story through to the bitter end or even what happened to the characters. The Strategy Guide didn't give me much help either. Sure, there were notations, but it wasn't super useful. I must also mention that there are 20 grey bird feathers located in and around the areas of the game. Typically, these would be optional pickups that earn you some Achievement, but the game insists that you pick them up. Basically, if you look inside of a basket and there is a needed object and a feather, if you pick up the object, the game will stay focused on the basket until you snag the feather. I liked having the running total of how many feathers I had and still needed on the HUD though, as it told me how much longer I had left in the game. When I neared the requisite 20 feathers, I was glad the game was almost over; however you actually have to use those feathers to complete the game by creating an Indian headdress to save your husband's life. Huh? Again, it didn't really make sense to me.


There are three levels of difficulty in Silent Valley: Mansion Mystery HD: Casual Mode, Advanced Mode and Extreme Mode. Casual Mode provides you with a fairly quick recharge on your Hint and Skip buttons (which you will need), while also making active zones sparkles. In Advanced Mode, your Hint and Skip recharge will be a bit slower and the game does not indicate any active zones. Finally, in Extreme Mode, the Hint and Skip button are disabled altogether and your active zones won't be indicated, either. Since I found Silent Valley: Mansion Mystery HD to be directionless and confusing enough on the Casual Mode, Advanced and Extreme Modes are only for those who are really looking for a challenge… or simply want to torture themselves.

Game Mechanics:

Silent Valley: Mansion Mystery HD requires lots of gestures aside from the standard tapping gesture in games of this type. You'll use a sawing gesture to cut or a swiping gesture to use the wrench. You'll slide a razor blade back and forth to cut rope or slide your finger up and down to fill a raft with an air pump. This one was particularly frustrating, since you have to hit the exact spot and it took a few annoying tries before I got the thing filled. This happened other times, but the raft stood out in my mind more than the others.

Overall, I just wasn't invested in Silent Valley: Mansion Mystery HD. I didn't enjoy the gameplay or the story, so I didn't enjoy the game. Vogat puts out a lot of games, and some hit it out of the park, like Temptation, but this one just didn't do anything for me. If you can play a demo, I recommend doing that before fully investing yourself in the game because you should know pretty quickly whether you like it or not. I just wasn't one of the folks who liked it.

-Psibabe, GameVortex Communications
AKA Ashley Perkins

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