The Halloween season comes and goes pretty fast, but game developers do their best to offer big scares right off the bat. There are two types of games in this regard, which are the ones that smash you in the face with scares and those that put you in an constant atmosphere of dread. The latter doesn’t have to even scare you at all, but the good ones that maintain a constant state of tension can be considered as horror games due to . For an old school genre, it becomes a challenge in creating an immersive experience for today’s gamers.
Silent Valley: Mystery Mansion is one of the horror-themed offerings by G5 Games, a developer known for their adventure games on the iOS. The story is about a couple who just got married and is currently on their honeymoon. They check into a hotel with mysterious tickets that they somehow acquired from an anonymous figure, but they soon regret their decision in booking this place. The Mystery Mansion, as it is known, soon shows itself as a venue for nightly terror, mostly due to the machinations of the creepy-looking landlady.
The groom Peter had been invited by the landlady in the mansion first and mysteriously disappeared just like that. As for the bride Victoria, she has to look for her husband and also decided that she doesn’t want to end up like Marion Crane from the Alfred Hitchcock movie Psycho, so she goes off to investigate the shenanigans in the mansion. What she soon encounters are ghastly and haunting circumstances that slowly envelope the couple, and they must use their wits to get out of this situation and perhaps salvage whatever is left of their honeymoon.
You play as Victoria, so you have to explore the Mystery Mansion and find out what’s going on by following the clues and finding ways to access parts of the house that are locked away since they may have something inside that will give you the answers. However, they may also not be what you’re looking for, and perhaps they’re out to get you instead. The puzzles and hidden object games that you have to go through are enough to carry the narrative along, but not enough to become frustrating. The dialogues and various cutscenes in between are non-intrusive and do well in telling more of the story as you play along. Victoria is quite alright as a protagonist in this game, serving as a sane voice amidst the bumping in the night that is going on in the mansion and the of her new husband.
As an adventure game, Silent Valley does show everything that G5 is known for. It has a good entry level for casual gamers while still having enough depth in narrative for more dedicated adventure gamers. It has nice artwork for the environment and the characters in the game, and they are framed in an interface that is easy to understand and use. You get an inventory bar for the items that you pick up along the way, letting you access them whenever you need it like a key for a locked door or some quest item to place in some slot or pedestal. The hint button is also helpful whenever you find yourself stuck. It’s attached to the inventory bar though, so you may keep hitting it accidentally when you want to tap on an item instead of being told what to do for yet another time.
As a horror-themed adventure game, it’s not too shabby. Compared with other G5 adventure games for the iOS, this one does stand out a bit and is well worth playing if you’re a fan of the genre. Of course, that’s if you’re willing to shelf out $4.99 for the iPhone or $6.99 for the iPad.
Tested in iOS. Final Score: 7.5/10