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About the Story
In For Rent: Haunted House, it's your job to rent out a haunted house before your tyrannical boss has you fired.
FOR RENT: HAUNTED HOUSE (EERIE ESTATE AGENT)
The PC is a real estate agent at a floundering agency, and the housing crisis has driven the boss (spoken of as "The Crocodile" behind her back due to a tricky surname and less than pleasant demeanor) to pit you and your rival agent against each other to battle for top earner, who will then keep their job. The twist: you are each handed a special, notoriously difficult property to rent out.
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Number of Reviews: 2
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Choice of Games started with Choice of the Dragon, which was a great game but pretty short at 30K words. From there, it's grown to where there are now games over 1 million words long. In the last year or two, though, they've commissioned two shorter games as a sort of free sample for their omnibus app (those games are Sky Pirates of Actorius and Zip! Speedster of Valiant City).
Besides those three games, this is the shortest among all Choice of Games titles at 56K words. It's also one of the earliest, the 6th game ever made.
I think it suffers a bit from early experimentation, which produced some amazing games and some that were more lessons for the future.
This is a very funny game, don't get me wrong. I enjoyed trying to keep my tenants from demonic rituals or getting possessed. But some parts really show their age.
For instance, there are only three main stats in the game: one relationship stat (with your boss, non-romantic), your Ruthlessness, and your Activity level. These, along with your income and work-life balance, are the only things visibly tracked by the game.
This hampered the classic Choice of Games scenario where you can strategize your statistics, making difficult choices between them. Instead, it felt more like a branch-and-bottleneck twine game, with exploration and trying to find 'the right option' in each case. Those things aren't bad, but it's not what I was hoping for here.
Also, the story kind of puts a snarky and competitive viewpoint on you, and I wish I had an option to choose not to be like that. But those kinds of options are the things that make games longer, and again, this is one of the shortest.
Gavin makes great games in general, though. He's written several Exceptional Stories for Fallen London and Hana Feels is one of my favorite hyperlink games, and one that's touched a lot of people.
I received a review copy of this game.
I was recommended this game, and it is one of the most enjoyable Choice Of games I've played. Unlike with many Choice Of games, you are not required to spend time at the beginning customizing you character, which can sometimes feel a bit arbitrary and uninvolving to me. Instead the game launches straight into the story, casting you as a harassed estate agent working for a small company in Edinburgh. You're charged with renting out a house with a mysterious history, and your whole livelihood depends upon making a success of it. The NPCs are both interesting and believable, and the choices you make have a real influence on the course of the story. There is enough branching to give the game plenty of replay value, which is one of the key things I look for in a choice-based story. It is also very funny. Of the Choice Of Games that I've played so far, this is my favourite, and I'll definitely be trying other games by this author.
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