I play so many of these hidden-object games that they all start to blur together but things got very clear when I started playing Silent Valley: Mystery Mansion. This amazing mobile adventure game blew me away with some of the most gorgeous visuals I’ve seen in the genre to date, and when combined with a truly sinister setting, story, and thrilling, chilling gameplay full of great puzzles, I was sucked in from the beginning – played until my battery died; plugged in my iPad and kept on playing. That’s a first for me with any iPad game.
The story is setup quickly with a few animated panels that show our newly married couple getting hitched before setting off for their romantic honeymoon in a remote cabin in the woods. This idyllic paradise is quickly shattered when the groom turns up missing just after arrival leaving our intrepid bride to investigate the cabin and surrounding areas for clues.
The game makes surprisingly good use of limited space and locations by having you backtrack but not in an annoying way. There are always fresh puzzles and puzzle pieces in these areas, even on return visits, so you never feel like you are spinning your wheels. The puzzles are fantastic as are the mini-games, offering up a great variety; one of which is restoring a painting to match a photo that was completely original. You also get to play and position a toy figures to create a functional dairy farm. These and other rare puzzles are a refreshing respite for the rest of the more mundane activities that include logic, jigsaw, and yes, hidden-object puzzles.
The visuals are remarkable with cutscenes that look like actual photography overlaid with a stylized art filter, and once you get into the game you will marvel at the detail, both indoors and out. The design, the colors, the lighting, and all the spooky supernatural effects really suck you in. While there is no speech, the music and sound effects really help immerse you in this chilling adventure.
As always, there are selectable difficulty settings that tailor the experience with tweaks to the hint refresh and visible clue indicators, and there are four slots so the entire family can play. With its stunning presentation and captivating gameplay Silent Valley: Mystery Mansion is a must-have addition to your mobile adventure library. Don’t miss it.