The Mystery of Devils House – Review
Follow Genre: Action, Platformer, Horror
Developer: Anamik Majumdar
Publisher: Anamik Majumdar
Platform: PC
Tested on: PC

The Mystery of Devils House – Review

Site Score
3.5
Good: decent pixelated graphic design, good variation of enemies and traps
Bad: achievement spam, no randomization of levels, no soundtrack, partial controller support, lack of customization, no replay value, rinse-and-repeat gameplay
User Score
0
(0 votes)
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Five years ago, a mysterious murder took place in the William’s House. Ever since, the house seems haunted by unknown dark entities. The new owners are shivering with fear with the thought of entering the haunted house, afraid the Devil himself is present. It is up to you, The Ghostbusters Crew: International, to research the paranormal activity in this retro 2D horror platformer.

Story

The William’s House was built during the 1950s, a seemingly young building for paranormal activity but five years ago, the owner was mysteriously murdered, presumably by a dark entity. In the meantime, the house has a new owner, but the dark history of the house brings a chill to the new owner’s spine. Legend says the house was used for a plethora of rituals in the 1980s, and the rituals seem to have a direct link with the increased paranormal activities. The new owner is determined that somehow, these rituals have opened a portal to the underground.

You are part of a crew of four individuals who have dubbed themselves The Ghostbusters Crew: International. The name hints towards the variation in nationalities; Annie is from Brazil, Ankush is from India, Steve is from the USA and Tomoko is from Japan. Each member has their own unique skillset and equipment, which comes in handy when investigating poltergeist activities. Steve has been asked to research the William’s House, located in Massachusetts, and he presents the case to his team. Together they agree that the recent activities should be checked out.

Graphics

The visuals in The Mystery of Devils House are dark, 2D and retro-styled pixels whilst not being quite 8bit. It is not the most appealing graphic design, but it acceptable for an indie game. The optic atmosphere is obtained by the dark visuals, and it is the same obscurity that somewhat makes the graphics passable. What stands out unfavorable is the user interface. It’s bulky, more polished and doesn’t quite fit the theme.

Sound

It is rare that a soundtrack of a video game evaporates into thin air thanks to the excessive use of ambiance sound, which in turn is repetitive and downright aggravating. Scratch that, we’ve tested a few rounds and noted that a soundtrack is completely lacking and the only sound you’ll hear is when you come close to the ghastly enemies. The game lends itself to a simple but atmospheric background sound but instead, we are bombarded with retro Super Mario-styled pings, weapon blaster sounds, terrible moaning and deafening female screams.

Gameplay

As The Mystery of Devils House is a 2D platformer, there aren’t too many buttons to smash but you do have a choice between the traditional keyboard and mouse setup and the Xbox 360 controller. The latter is only partially supported which can cause some frustration as you can’t interact with the menu. Further frustration is gained by the lack of changing key bindings for both playstyles. In fact, the game doesn’t offer any customization at all except for the volume change which does not save.

The controller is very responsive but there are some downsides to playing the game with a controller. First, the directional pad does not work, even when the options screen shows a controller with only a directional pad. Instead, you are using the left stick to venture around, which is quite normal but we’re getting to the second issue. Left, right and down work like a charm but there are stages in game where you need to jump to the right. You need to move the left stick up instead of using one of the buttons. We can work with that. What we cannot work with, is the fact that moving right and jumping simultaneously simply does not work. Too many jumps have failed for it to be a coincidence.

To fight off the demons and other entities, you are given two weapons at the start; primary and secondary. A third weapon, the rocket launcher, is unlocked in later stages of the game. You won’t have unlimited ammo but there are enough ammo “drops” throughout the levels which makes the game a tad less challenging. What is challenging are the traps in levels, traps you will only know about if you have been killed by them before. This turns the platformer into a rinse-and-repeat sort of experience. It is also the only replayability in the game as the twelve levels are not random generated. Something the game lends itself to, if it weren’t for the invisible traps. Each level can be replayed via the menu, but only after you’ve completed the level before. It seems a bit silly as randomization isn’t present, but the game does have more than 200 achievements that can be unlocked; half of which are spam achievements.

Conclusion

Have you ever heard of the trope So Bad, It’s Good? It is often used to describe movies, but The Mystery of Devils House is a perfect example in video games and while it’s passable and playable for a short amount of time, it will never become a cult classic game-wise. On the other hand, the low-price tag makes it much easier to buy the game for its silliness and occasional jump scares caused by aggravating audio. Personally, we wouldn’t say the gameplay is addictive, but we do reckon some of you love the idea of rinse-and-repeat platformers.

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Drydwen
Drydwen


Hi! I'm Jess and I’m a writer, dreamer and gamer at heart since the early ages. I primarily game on PC but occasionally also on PS4 and Xbox One. I have a tiny obsession for World of Warcraft and caterpillars but you may also claim I have a devoted passion for the gaming industry in general. If you want to hit me up, find me on twitter!

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