Today I’ll be doing a review of The Mystery of Devil’s House from developer Anamik Majumdar. The game will be available on Steam in May. If you’re interested in some of his other work, currently Anamik has NightmareZ, Keatz: The Lonely Bird, and Fear Half Factor available for purchase on the Steam Store.
Full discloser, Anamik has provided TIC with an early access key for review purposes. Under no circumstances will this affect the review provided today. With that out of the way, let’s take a look at the game.
The Mystery at Devil’s House is based on a haunted house located in Massachusetts. The location, Known as William’s House, was the site of a murder of the previous owner five years ago. Now the new owner is hiring The Ghostbuster Crew: International to investigate and remove the evil presence that exists. It’s a basic storyline that works for the game as it is based in the Horror Genre.
At the opening and throughout the game, you will encounter cutscenes providing more information. The cutscenes are at times a jumbled mess. The video above is the opening sequence. Not sure why the developer wanted the text to look like a scanner of some sort but that is the method used for all the cutscenes I encountered. The writing and the way it is presented is more of a hindrance than a help. Not that I don’t appreciate the effort, but the game would have benefited with just a well-written opening sequence and let the gameplay continue without interruption.
The Mystery at Devil’s House is 2D platformer based on old-school graphics. Characters, backgrounds, and cutscenes are all done in this manner. The cutscenes could use some work as the characters are almost unrecognizable in features. During the actual gameplay, the developer has done a great job trying to convey the environment. The levels are designed well to give you the feeling that you’re not in Kansas- er, Massachusetts, -any longer. I have to go back to my statement with the cutscenes. Omit those and the graphics in the game would carry the score. Unfortunately, I have to look at the whole package and with those intermissions, it brings the quality of the game down.
As with other games from the developer, the audio is done well. Granted, it’s a horror game so expect the occasional scream and for no reason scary noise. But the music hit marker responses and creature noises are great. If I had to pick one aspect of the game that was the best, it would be the audio. For a 2D platformer, the audio is spot on.
The game has its issues. If the game is trying to be another ‘Cuphead’ brutal difficulty, it’s achieved that. You will die, a lot. Every time kicking you back to the beginning of the level. Being a survivor of ‘Cuphead’, I can appreciate it. As far as it has the attraction of coming back again and again to master the levels, that it does not have. The biggest issue I have is with the controls.
Controller scheme for the keyboard is missing mouse support. Having either movement or firing/weapon options moved to the mouse would have improved gameplay. The gamepad controller would have benefited from a dedicated jump button. Having the jump mechanic baked into the joystick or d-pad made for some highly frustrating moments. Especially when you are in tight spots that require finesse.
Even with the issues mentioned above, the game is well made and will be a good fit for most gamer’s library. If you are looking for something to play as a break from the norm, this would be a good value. The time I spent with Mystery at Devil’s House was fun when I finally got the grove of the controllers. For the price of the game, there is a good amount of value in playing it.