Phantom Mansion: The Red Chamber

The Red Chamber
Phantom Mansion: The Red Chamber


And now was acknowledged the presence of the Red Death. He had come like a thief in the night. And one by one dropped the revellers in the blood-bedewed halls of their revel, and died each in the despairing posture of his fall. And the life of the ebony clock went out with that of the last of the gay. And the flames of the tripods expired. And Darkness and Decay and the Red Death held illimitable dominion over all.

The final stanza of Edgar Allen Poe’s Masque Of The Red Death is a chilling end to a story that reminds us of our own mortality, but it is also where the story of the Phantom Mansion picks up. The Phantom Mansion, Spectrum of Souls is a fairly standard puzzle game and nothing new is presented to the genre, but it is an enjoyable game to play nonetheless. You play as Hector the Spectre Hunter and your goal is to free the souls trapped within the mansion, all one thousand of them.

Controlling Hector is a simple yet tedious task by use of the arrow keys on your keyboard. Walking over objects causes you to pick them up and interaction with doors and boxes is as simple as walking up to them. Occasionally some fancy footwork will be required to navigate your way around diseased undead but for the most part it’s a waiting game thanks to the slow speed of both the undead and Hector. Yes, one unfortunate part of this game is Hector’s excruciatingly slow pace of movement. This was most likely so you don’t end up making easy mistakes but at the same time it drags the game out far longer than necessary. The controls are one area where bugs become very apparent. For instance, you can push a box in front of an enemy and if your timing is poor they will tend to walk right through it and into you.

Visually the game has some good points. It’s a kid-friendly game since there’s no blood or violence of any kind but those of you who are very prone to motion sickness may have trouble with the swirling background in several of the levels. Hector and the enemies are simply drawn but the animations are fluid. The levels are well drawn and lend to the spooky atmosphere of the mansion, making for a stronger game in the end.

The sound in this game is a mixed bag. The spooky organ is fun to listen to and the doors and footsteps add to the atmoshpere of a haunted mansion. However, the evil laughter gets repetitive and the zombies sound like they are snoring as opposed to moaning and muttering. Some people may find that turning off the sounds and playing their own music is better, especially since audio cues for events are not used in this game.

Well let’s wrap it up, shall we?

7/10. There’s a fair amount of polish here and no obvious glitches when it comes to what’s on the screen.

6/10. Standard puzzle game, not much else to say.

7/10. Some good, some bad, but it still lands on the plus side of ratings.

8/10. Building the game off of the Masque Of The Red Death is an interesting idea but then again, I’m a fan of Edgar Allen Poe.

7/10. The collision detection needs some work, quite frankly. Increasing the movement speed would be nice as well, but later levels use the undead as part of the puzzles so this may not be an option.

Phantom Mansion gets an A for effort, but it gets a 7/10 from me. It feels like it’s mostly finished but some final testing could have been done before it was released.

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