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All of this being said, I cannot help but point out that while the whole endeavor shows a tremendous amount of effort and creativity, you cannot ignore the fact that it’s all been done before. From the cast of characters - the shady politician, the greedy daughter-in-law, the jealous housekeeper - to the plotline - secret romances, a sudden blackout, deadly threats - Mystery at Mansfield Manor is simply a modern interpretation of the classic drawing-room whodunit, which has been adapted in countless forms for decades. Yet I can’t deny its entertainment value. As trite as it may be, it’s fun to play and, for a mystery fanatic, fun to solve. There is even a “Making Of” video and photo gallery to admire when you finish. The game certainly whet my appetite for a mystery (even if it wasn’t too hard to solve) and made me nostalgic for the Choose Your Own Adventure books and the interactive Clue VCR games from the late 80’s.
This is a really hard game to score, because there's nothing recent to really compare it to, but when all is said and done, Mystery at Mansfield Manor won't suit every gamer on the planet as there's no real action involved, but for gamers who want to test their gray matter, newcomers who want a gentle entry into the world of videogaming, and the "Touch Generation" of non-gamers will thoroughly enjoy their stay in the manor. And for a measly $4.99 (that's £2.50 english money - the price of a pint down your local pub), what have you got to lose by checking it out?
But for $7 — which offers unlimited access to the website for four days — this murder-mystery adventure is ideal for those in search of a fun challenge. Fans of the game can also access the various bonus materials, including a behind-the-scenes "making-of" documentary and photo gallery.