DescriptionFollowing game launch in a lovingly simulated Macintosh environment, the player enters a retro 1st-person adventure in an explicitly Shadowgate vein (but closer to Uninvited in tone), apparently straight out of the Mac's old World Builder development system. There, the scion of a once-great family arrives at its dilapidated Vienna estate in 1800, to explore its haunted confines and the Roman ruins beneath, unravel a horrible family secret and acquire objects of mystical significance in order to dismiss an ancient evil demonic dealing cursing generations of the Malstrum family.
After fielding simulated copy protection, the player is quickly reminded of the minimalist and unforgivingly lethal nature of this old-style adventure game, exacerbated by the lack of any save / load functionality. With four action verbs to pick from (examine, take, operate and go) the player will combine these with prospective (if sometimes unlikely) hot spots on the screen, hoping to unlock a necessary item and not a surprise death.
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ReferencesAt least two of the game's opponents (the undead assistant and the grave dog) are modeled after analogous illustrations by Bill Houston in Fighting Fantasy gamebook #14: Temple of Terror (but, curiously, not its computer game adaptation). The assistant is a clear derivative of the gamebook's Phantom, while the dog is akin to the Death Dog in that game's desert city of Vatos.
Related Web Sites
- Malstrum's Mansion design document (Original game design notes from 1989, left dormant for twenty years.)
- Play Malstrum's Mansion (Free, legal play of the game from the developers' website.)