Stormhill Mystery: Family Shadows
January 29, 2019
4 Difficulty Modes
Exclusive Bonus Chapter
Years ago, your parents lived happily in a beautiful mansion until they welcomed Julianne to their household as their maid. Powered by jealously, Julianne took up dark magic, which eventually led to your mother’s tragic suicide. Now that you father has just recently passed away, can you fulfill his last wish and put an end to all this misery in Stormhill Mystery: Family Shadows?
Three years after their latest HOPA release, Specialbit Studios is back with a brand-new paranormal adventure. On the surface, Stormhill Mystery: Family Shadows might sound like a typical haunted mansion adventure. However, the excellent execution and delivery make up for the rather simple plot. The atmospheric and gloomy environment successfully capture the suspense and the sense of mystery that linger in the air. This makes Stormhill Mystery: Family Shadows a captivating and an incredibly immersive experience.
This could not have been achieved without the game’s fantastic sights and sounds. There is no denying that the visuals in Stormhill Mystery: Family Shadows are inconsistent at times, with some animations being amazingly realistic and some being underdeveloped. Still, the ominous color palette and the detailed artwork are enough to maintain the momentum of the game from start too finish. Moreover, the sound effects and the soundtracks in this game are especially impressive. Unfortunately, this does not apply to the voice-overs, which are often awkward and distracting.
Unlike most casual adventure games, Stormhill Mystery: Family Shadows features zero hidden object scenes and very minimal puzzles. The bulk of the game revolves around the adventure portion, which is well-crafted. The challenge level is surprisingly high because solutions to tasks are less obvious than what we are used to in other HOPA games. Given the maze-like outline of the mansion and the heavy amount of backtracking, the interactive map also proves to be extremely useful. As for the puzzles, they are not particularly creative, but offer a nice change of pace.
Stormhill Mystery: Family Shadows is not a long game. I managed to complete the game in just a little over three hours, on the easiest mode. The Collector’s Edition includes extra content like a prequel bonus chapter, achievements, and morphing objects.