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Publisher: Aisle 5 Games    Genre: Puzzle & Trivia
Min OS X: Any Version    Graphics: 1024x768

GHOST Hunters: Haunting of Majesty Manor
November 8, 2007 | Andrew Wasilow

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G.H.O.S.T. Hunters: The Mystery of Majesty Manor, is the first game out of the Aisle 5 Games studio and makes a stately appearance with this title, cautiously targeted at the casual gamer and perhaps even to the younger generation of up and coming gamers. Combining a fun and challenging genre with the mystery of the supernatural… or is it supernatural? This puzzle to be solved, and the addictive nature of hidden object games, keeps the player involved for hours at a time, or hours spread out over many days.

This being said, there are some minor bugs that could be worked out as well as slightly annoying graphics problems. Performance of this game on my main machine (a dual 2.0 GHz G5 tower) was quite admirable with slight pauses every now and then for what could have been loading time. On my aging iBook (a firewire clamshell 366 MHz G3) it was not playable at all, due to the minimum screen resolution of 1024x768. Both systems are running 10.4.10.

Gameplay is very straightforward. To determine whether or not the house is really haunted or if the strange goings on are a hoax, find the items in the house that contain residual ghostly energy. Sound easy? Sure! And then you get to your first room where you find all of items on your list are lost among a couple of hundred other items in the room. Behind items, under items, part of an object is the item you are actually searching for, and sometimes these items are not what you thought they’d be. One example would be a “Bat”. Which bat are we looking for? This type of word trickery happens numerous times throughout the game, but always adding another small challenge.

Once you select a room to search for objects you can leave the room to try another one, or stay in that one until you have found everything there is to find. When you leave a room, it takes you back to a main screen with your notes on one side and room selection on the other. There are no cut-scenes, video clips, or movable characters. The players’ view never changes in each room. Even an original “Myst” style, 360º still frame moving between rooms and through hallways, would have been a gigantic improvement towards enjoyable game play. Maybe in G.H.O.S.T. Hunters 2?

Clicking on objects is easy and accurate enough. Only a few times did I notice that I tried clicking on an object and found that the game had selected a completely different item as my intended target. The loud sound associated with a correct selection of an object, and the object popping out from the rest of the room, makes it obvious that you selected an object on the list.

Overall game play is just about on par for this genre of game, with the previously mentioned drawbacks of fixed frames and the scenery limited to the rooms that you are given, however I found my fiancé and I playing for hours.


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