Developer: Fire Maple Games
Price: $2.99
Version Reviewed: 1.0

Graphics / Sound Rating: ★★★★½
Game Controls Rating: ★★★★☆
Gameplay Rating: ★★★★½
Re-use / Replay Value Rating: ★★½☆☆

Overall Rating: ★★★★☆

By the end of the 90’s I was sure that the pixel hunter/puzzle genre was dead. Sure, there would be more that would come out, but gone were the days that Myst, The X-Files, and Blade Runner were the coolest things around. Who wanted to dig for pieces of puzzles when you could blow up masses of online gamers in Quake Tournament?

All of the whiz-bang explosions and fast paced action is nice, but many gamers longed for something slower, perhaps something less bloody. Selling a game devoid of all action on a console or the PC would be a waste but the iOS platform is absolutely perfect for a fun blast from the past.

The Secret of Grisly Manor really isn’t all that different from Myst, except for the fact that the puzzles aren’t quite as cumbersome and the scope of the game isn’t nearly as epic. Instead of wandering a world inside a book that is inhabited by red and blue pages, Grisly Manor is a simple mystery game in which you are trying to unravel the mystery of your missing grandfather.

The puzzles in the game range from obvious to fairly challenging, and the whole game will take around an hour to complete, assuming you don’t get hung up for too long. The overall feel of the game is a bit spookier than necessary (given the game’s ending), but the dim lighting and sinister sounds certainly add a sense of urgency. Because there are no real animations involved, the graphics all look quite nice, even if they are predictably static.

While the game won’t impress people that have become accustomed to crazy action and arsenals of weapons, fans of the old pixel hunting puzzle games will love the challenge. The game does go by quickly, but it is a fun ride while it lasts.

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