One of the regular complaints made against the bigger game companies is that they’re not much for taking risks on new titles. More often you’ll find nicely polished, but very familiar games being ported over to the iPhone instead of fresh development, which is why I was so pleased to find EA taking baby steps to break free of this mold with Mystery Mania.
An original point-and-click adventure in a more casual vein than Monkey Island, Mystery Mania has you guiding a really adorable little robot named F8 through a creepy mansion to find his maker. Along the way you meet other characters and solve all manner of puzzles. The story is on the slight side, but it’s engaging enough to keep you going, and the overall ambiance and character design are absolutely top notch; everything you encounter is sharp, adorably spooky, and just bursting with quirky charm.
F8 isn’t much of a talker, but that’s okay, since the puzzles are just fine with the strong and silent type. The puzzles are nicely clean, satisfying, and don’t require any crazy leaps of logic to solve. Those of you who dislike convoluted puzzles that seem to require a professional psychic will definitely appreciate Mystery Mania’s gentler approach. Because the puzzles are on the easier side, there isn’t any hint system in place if you get stuck, but there are usually only a few things to try, so you can generally figure it out before you totally lose patience.
One extra they had, which I liked, was an achievements board. Throughout the game there are little optional things you can do to earn yourself achievement awards, most of which rewarded you with a cute animation and gave you a fun sense of accomplishment. Unfortunately, these are not always obvious, and you can’t revisit rooms you’ve already completed, so this can be a little frustrating for the perfectionists out there, but it’s still a nice extra.
Overall, there’s very little to dislike about the game. The controls are a little slow to respond, especially for an impatient person like me, but the interface is generally smooth, and thanks to a super clean design, there’s usually very little hunting for hot spots. My biggest complaint about the game is that it’s entirely linear and much too short. If you liked the Lite version, the full version is definitely a worthwhile purchase, but overall, Mystery Mania is a super enjoyable experience that is over way too soon. I can only hope that in the future, we will be seeing more original and substantial point-and-click adventure games soon.
Welcome to AppSafari. Our team loves apps and is dedicated to writing iPhone app reviews to help you find the best new & free iPhone apps in the App Store. For the latest App Store buzz check out the Trending iPhone apps updated daily with free games worth downloading. Enter our giveaway contest to win free apps every day. You can browse the site in either gallery or list layout.