Version Reviewed: 1.1.0
Graphics / Sound [rating:4/5]
Game Controls [rating:3/5]
Re-use / Replay Value [rating:2/5]
Mystery Mania is a *spooky* puzzle adventure where you have to guide a robot, F8, through a 'bizarre' mansion to solve a mystery.
Now ...EA games are the hard hitters, the big boys, the clever folks who brought us so many hits that there isn't even time to list them all (Sims 3, FIFA Soccer, Star Trek...)! This means I am expecting slick graphics, fabulous game play, and hopefully some sort of addicting gameplay.
The complete game consists of 27 spooky rooms full of "crazy conundrums, perilous traps, and intriguing secrets". I can appreciate what they have tried to do here with the puzzles and solving the mystery, but it just was far too lackluster for me. All the puzzles seem to be at level 1, and when you progress from room to room, they don't seem to get any harder. Most are so obvious and easily solved that you can, at times, feel like you are just going through the motions.
Mystery Mania does have a few things going for it. For one, the controls are easy enough to use, you just click and if something in the game is used for a purpose than there is a little cog symbol in the bottom left hand corner to indicate you can do some kind of action with it. The little robot is cute and when you click on him he does some kind of jump or spin which gives him some character. Also, the overall aesthetics of the game are very well done. It's all monochrome with the exceptions of bright colour for certain elements of the game... the items you will need to use in it to complete the level.
The best thing about this game is it's penalty free! This means, if you get electrocuted (and therefore rust) you just rust, you do not die and have to start back at the beginning. That is probably the best feature and I wish more games would have that implemented! There is no risk of death or losing levels, and that's great for gameplay, but it does mean you may finish the game a bit faster overall.
Throughout game play though, I kept thinking that I'm not sure I would have put this game into EA's repertoire. I can appreciate they want to get a Hallowe'en app out there before the others or to have one in the app store to promote, but I'm not sure how great this is for the price. It's all a bit slow, which for me borders on frustrating. I like my games to jump into action for me and I just didn't think this game had that. It seems almost like the robot will move when he can be bothered to.
Overall, if I'm spending almost 4 bucks on a game, it certainly wouldn't be this one. It's just not interesting, fast or clever enough to make me want to come back for more, plus once the puzzles are completed, you really don't need to come back for more. The graphics are fun and F8 is cute. But that's about all.