It is well past time for autumn to give way to winter. But curiously, autumn lingers. The townsfolk speculate this must be the work of the eccentric scientist, aptly named Mr. Strange, who has been known to conduct peculiar experiments in his home, Crimson Manor. You are tasked with investigating Crimson Manor. Solve puzzles as you explore Mr. Strange’s mysterious abode and uncover The Secret of Crimson Manor.
The Secret of Crimson Manor is your typical mobile puzzle game. Created by MediaCity Games LLC, this title costs $0.99. The game is fun, don’t get me wrong. There just isn’t anything spectacular about it. While most of the puzzles are relatively straightforward, there are only a few that will frustrate you. We play puzzle games to challenge our brains. It’s disappointing when a puzzle game fails to be challenging.
The Secret Uncovered Too Soon
The Secret of Crimson Manor is divided into four acts. The first act allows you to explore Mr. Strange’s exquisite manor. The second act takes you through the gardens, and the third through an underground complex. The fourth act, which takes place in a secret laboratory, is so short it should really have been added into the third act. In fact, each act is incredibly short, and it won’t take most players more than an hour to complete the entire game. Honestly, those who have a knack for puzzles can finish the game in under fifteen minutes. The short gameplay would not be so disappointing in a free game, but one hopes for more content when paying for a game.
Many mobile games bombard players with in-app purchases. That’s not the case with The Secret of Crimson Manor. Refreshingly you will not come across any ads and there are no in-app purchases to tug at your purse strings.
A Rather Unpuzzling Puzzler
The Secret of Crimson Manor, unfortunately, doesn’t provide a challenging experience. While a few of the puzzles may take you a few minutes to figure out overall, they tend to be simplistic in nature. Some aren’t really puzzles at all, but rather memorization tasks. In the first act, you’ll come across a puzzle in which you’ll have to dial a number into an old rotary phone. It’s best to take a moment to jot the number down as stopping midway to check your clue means you’ll have to start over. I’m all for tricky puzzles, but it is tedious having to memorize a sequence of numbers.
Hints That Leave Little to the Imagination
A tried and true staple of puzzle games is the hint feature. However, MediaCity Games LLC sets up the games hint system in a way I found rather infuriating. Instead of giving players a small clue leading them in the right direction, The Secret of Crimson Manor’s clues completely guide players through puzzles. This really took the fun out of the game. Additionally, hints for every puzzle are available under the hints menu right from the get-go, and each hint is only identified by a number, so you don’t know if the hint you’re opening is the hint you’re looking for. Therefore, it is easy enough to spoil the game for yourself by opening hints for puzzles you haven’t accessed yet.
The Secret of Crimson Manor will keep you briefly entertained with its mildly challenging puzzles. However, the hint system gives far too much away. The game is far too short for a premium game, and the developers never manage to immerse you in its sparse storyline. While I love that the game is ad free, that does not make the game worth its $0.99 price tag. All in all, The Secret of Crimson Manor is one I wouldn’t recommend bothering to uncover.
Is It Hardcore?
The Secret of Crimson Manor is a mundane puzzle game with a hint system that reveals far too much. The entire game can be completed in under fifteen minutes, which doesn’t seem worth the $0.99 it costs to download.