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About the Story
You thought the abandoned manor would be easy to rob. But you were dead wrong. Its many rooms and corridors are filled with evil. You need to be lucky to make it out alive!
62nd Place - 24th Annual Interactive Fiction Competition (2018)
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Number of Reviews: 3
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The Addicott Manor is a choice-based horror game in which you search for treasures in a haunted house. The author put in every standard element of the horror story: you’re breaking into an old, abandoned, isolated, vast building that was built by a merchant who got rich off of selling weapons; the neighbourhood has been troubled by mysterious strangers and missing locals; an incredible storm is about to engulf the area; and when you arrive, the supernatural starts intruding very quickly. Obviously, the game is more interested in revelling in the traditions of the genre than in breaking new ground, but that’s fine. Most of us can enjoy a good genre tale.
Unfortunately, the game’s prose is marred by a large number of spelling and other language errors. Here is a short, more or less random sample:
The feeling of dread is already wearing you down like a mantle. A long lonely howl pierce through the encroaching night.I suppose you can wear down a mantle if you wear it frequently enough, but it is surely strange to suggest that a mantle wears the wearer down. (To feel the strangeness more acutely, put “coat” in place of “mantle”.) And a howl of course “pierces” rather than “pierce”. A few such errors are forgivable, but The Addicott Manor has rather too many of them.
Once we reach the manor, the game quickly pulls out all the stops. You can die a gruesome death in the first location and meet all kinds of ghosts and other monsters soon after. I’ll admit that I was rather put off by the fact that avoiding death seems to be a matter of pure luck. You will frequently be asked to make choices like this: “There are three identical corridors. Do you want to go left, right, or straight on?” But that’s not really a choice, is it? It’s a guess. But even when the choices are not identical, it does seem to be the case that life and death hinge on information you cannot have in advance – there’s a crazy guy in the building and a fearsome noise outside, do you go in or do you stay outside? (Spoiler - click to show)Turns out the crazy guy is more deadly, but you can only come to know this by, well, trying and dying. After a few deaths of this type, I decided to quit. Playing this game will involve patiently trying out all the possibilities one by one, and I have neither the patience not the inclination to do so. (I also couldn’t find a way to save/restore my games, though the game luckily allows you to undo a move after dying.)
Note: this review is of the original competition version.
I played The Addicott Manor on Halloween, and it was a perfect selection: a solo visit to a haunted mansion!
In terms of gameplay, The Addicott Manor is choice-based. The choices are given to you in list form after a piece of text. Then you have to click on the number that corresponds to your choice. With the interface that this game features I suppose this is the only way to do it, but it feels a little more immersive to me to click on my choice itself than on a number that corresponds to that choice.
The title page tells you that there are six treasures. I played through several times, but I never did better than escaping the house with two of the treasures. This is a game with a good bit of replay value.
Overall, The Addicott Manor worked for me in terms of creating that horror vibe of slowly exploring a sinister, ominous mansion. I could feel my pulse rising a little while I played. And I wanted to find the treasures: I kept playing and playing until I had achieved a small measure of success.
A few minor critiques: There is a lot of text at the beginning, which made it a bit hard for me to get into the game at first. Once I got into the mansion the ratio of text-to-choices worked better for me, though. There are a few too many grammar mistakes; more proofreading would have helped. Also, occasionally the game presents a choice to you that's actually unavailable. This may be a function of the program used to create the game, but it would have felt more immersive for the game to list only those actions that are actually available.
Fun fact: The PC drives a Ford Fiesta, making this one of three games in IFComp 2018 to feature a character who drives a Ford Fiesta.
This IFComp 2018 game features a professional thief protagonist who is exploring an old, haunted mansion with the intent of finding treasure.
The style is unique to the company, Intudia, with numerical choices listed in the text and buttons with numbers on them lined up below.
The game itself has an intricate backstory, with the mansion having many levels and many ghosts and villains.
There are numerous problems, however. The text is overly long at times, with scattered grammatical errors (like 'to' instead of 'too). The numbers on the bottom are often in a strange pattern with one number far to the side of the others. Instead of tracking state, it seems as if the game relies on you to remember what actions you took in the past.
Still, the story is compelling, and a fun read for fans of horror.
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This is version 2 of this page, edited by Doug Orleans on 25 November 2018 at 5:52pm. - View Update History - Edit This Page - Add a News Item