For Rent: Haunted House

by Gavin Inglis profile


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Number of Reviews: 3
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful:
An amusing shorter sarcastic haunted house game, August 9, 2020
by MathBrush
Related reviews: about 1 hour

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.