If you have followed our reviews, you would probably know that we were not very fond of the previous game in the Haunted Manor franchise. Sad to say, we found this third game in the series to be even more disappointing.
Name: Haunted Manor: Painted Beauties Collector's Edition
Release Date: 25 May 2014
Developer: Top Evidence Studios
First things first, the story has great potential; Stephan Black has made a pact with the Death in exchange for his wife and son's lives. Now, whenever he paints beautiful women, they would disappear and you are his latest unfortunate victim. You are then transported to a haunted manor on the mission to save all the souls and also, save yourself! However, a great story goes nowhere without a good production. In this case, while the story is solid; the cutscenes are not up to the standard. they look very cheap with cheesy effects and sub-par voice overs, no attempt at lip syncing has been made.
The graphics are depressing. The color tone is grayish, lightning is dark and dreary - we do not know that the developers hope that these aspects would create a creepy atmosphere or not, we only know that they do not work. Ironically, Haunted Manor is not very haunted; while all the haunted aspects are there from the skeletons to thick fog and so on, the creepy factor is just missing. One thing that is in total contrast to the game's atmosphere is the annoying angel which serves as your hint button; he giggles every single time when the hint finishes recharging.
On the gameplay side, there are a couple of noticeable additions; voice overs, difficulty modes, an interactive map to mention a few. Unfortunately, we still found the game to be very tedious and boring. The pace of the game is extremely slow and the mood is unbelievably sleepy. Moreover, there is nothing to be excited for; hidden object scenes are standards so are the puzzles. Another annoying aspect is the overload amount of backtracking; even though there is a jump-map, the map shows nothing other than a shot from each location so it is pretty useless.
At least, Haunted Manor: Painted Beauties does have a good length- the main game lasted over 4 hours for us. Regrettably, this satisfaction does not come with the bonus chapter since it only took us under a half an hour to complete. Other extras are fine, the usuals that can be expected.
Haunted Manor: Painted Beauties is a lackluster Collector's Edition. The combination of a snail-speed gameplay, lifeless graphics and a bad bonus chapter is surely enough to rate this game 2.5 Stars.
Graphics: 3/5 Stars
Sound: 3.5/5 Stars
Story: 3.5/5 Stars
Originality: 3/5 Stars
Originality: 3/5 Stars
Gameplay: 2.5/5 Stars
Puzzles: 3/5 Stars
Control and Navigation: 2.5/5 Stars