Explore the mysterious Malgrey Castle in the Vampireville hidden object adventure game. Meet interesting characters with hidden agendas as you try to figure out what's happening inside the castle that's driving its visitors insane!
You take on the role of a property appraiser who has been assigned to evaluate the ancient Malgrey Castle for the government, since no heir has claimed the property for 100 years. Unfortunately, the previous appraisers sent there by your boss have gone crazy. Now the job falls to you! Hopefully you will be able to perform your job without going mad, and learn more about the mysterious castle and what's driving your teams insane.
When you arrive at Malgrey Castle, you find that things there are slightly peculiar. The heating has not been turned on in 50 years, paintings are hidden behind curtains and cabinets have been boarded up. Time for you to get right into it and figure out what's happening in the castle! Along the way, you will meet a colorful cast of characters including a butler who is obsessed with the internet, a goth maid who listens to music all day via her massive headphones, and a crazy groundskeeper who used to be president of the local blood donor's union …
What gives Vampireville such a strong appeal and unique feel is its amazing storytelling. The story progresses chapter by chapter just as it would in a good mystery novel. And there is full voice-acting for all the dialogues and cutscenes. What's surprising is that they have even included 3D animations of the characters and got them to act out the scenes! Oh, and the lead character looks suspiciously like Keanu Reeves …
The gameplay in Vampireville is more of a point-and-click adventure game than a traditional hidden object game. In each chapter, there are a few story-driven tasks that you have to accomplish. These are achieved by interacting with the environment and trying to find objects that work together to complete the task. For example, if a pipe needs to be repaired, you would need to find some welding equipment, a propane tank, a hose and some matches in order to get the job done.
There are also a few of the traditional hidden object scenes, though they are story-driven as well. When inspecting the guest room last occupied by your insane college, you are tasked to find all his habits in addition to searching for clues as to what drive him insane. There are some unique hidden object puzzles in Vampireville though. When tasked with finding 3 rats, I was trying to search for rats that are cleverly blended into the background. I did not expect the rats to be suddenly appearing from a crack in the wall and scurrying across the floor! It's not so much click a hidden object, but more like catch a moving object before it disappears!
In most other hidden object games, you are penalized for randomly clicking a scene. The opposite is true in Vampireville. Cupboards can be opened and curtains can be drawn. Random pieces of furniture or clutter can also be moved around to reveal hidden objects. Looking for a photograph? It may have fallen behind that dining chair …
There are plenty of other puzzles in the game as well, ranging from jigsaws to logic and memory puzzles. Fortunately, the developers have added a bit of originality and uniqueness to the puzzles, keeping them fresh and interesting. Rather than looking at two pictures and doing the old spot-the-differences thing, this time you have to look at two different pictures and try to spot the similarities!
Overall, Vampireville is a good hidden object and adventure hybrid game that stands out above the crowd. The effort put into the cutscenes, animation and voice-acting is something you do not expect from games with this kind of budget (Oh, and the characters' deadpan humor is hilarious as well). Try Vampireville for a nice mystery adventure where you get to be a hero and explore ghosts and vampires!
Rating: 4.0 / 5.0