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Curse of Slate Rock Manor

Score: 70%
ESRB: Teen
Publisher: Red Panda Games
Developer: Red Panda Games
Media: Download/1
Players: 1
Genre: Adventure

Graphics & Sound:

Curse of Slate Rock Manor is an interactive novel that goes a bit further than others I've reviewed recently. While some have just been little more than slightly-animated picture books, with some mini-games thrown in for no apparent reason, Curse of Slate Rock Manor takes on the form of a Which Way Adventure that you must explore all the branches of in order to solve the mystery.

The game's visual style is interesting, if not a bit unexpected. The backgrounds are CG stills that seem to do a good job representing the sleepy inn, while the talking characters appear as 2D sprites with an anime design style to them. In fact, if you were walking by a machine with this game up, you might think it was some quirky JRPG.

All of the characters are voiced and the voice acting isn't bad. The dialogue is fairly smooth most of the time and the lines are performed well. The only real issue I had is that the voices don't always seem to match the faces that they supposedly belong to.


As I said, Curse of Slate Rock Manor isn't a game, it's an interactive graphic novel. As you work your way through the scenario, you will be treated to some fair dialogue and you will have to make the occasional choice. The choices are pretty basic. They range from tasks like Go Up Stairs versus Go Into the Kitchen or Look Out the Window.

Each series of choices will lead to one of the game's 38 endings. As you explore Slate Rock Manor in search of your lost friend, you will experience various endings, typically deaths. The goal of the overall novel is to see all of the endings and attempt to solve the mystery that is Slate Rock Manor.

Your character is Delilah, and one of your friends has gone missing. He went off to do some ghost hunting just after graduating college and hasn't been heard of since. You and another friend, Lyle, head to the rickety old inn in search for him, but while there, run into many different oddities, the least of which being a maid who isn't where she is supposed to be, a dirty cop, a strange kitten and, of course, ghosts.


Curse of Slate Rock Manor is a pretty easy playthrough. Once you've gone through a few of the different branches, you start to get a feel for the overall series of events and how drastically your earlier choices can change how things play out. The only aspect of Slate Rock Manor that might get tough is remembering the different paths you've taken in order to get the last few endings.

Of course, the final trick to the game is figuring out the right things to do after you've been through all possible paths. Once you get that last piece of the puzzle complete, the mystery is solved.

Game Mechanics:

While the overall concept behind Curse of Slate Rock Manor is by no means new, it is different enough in the slowly growing genre of Interactive Novels to stand out in my mind. A playthrough is fairly fast, but there are enough branching choices to make you want to keep going and try out other options. If the distance between your first choice and any ending were even a bit longer, the game might get too tedious and you wouldn't feel as compelled to start over again. It is definitely an intriguing enough game to try out.

While the interactive novel is amusing and compelling enough to go through many of the game's endings, it's hard to say it has enough sticking power to actually get you to go through every possible path. That, plus the $20.00 price tag, means you should probably try out the demo before deciding on the full-blown purchase.

-J.R. Nip, GameVortex Communications
AKA Chris Meyer

Minimum System Requirements:

Windows 95/XP/Vista/7

Test System:

Windows 7 Ultimate, Intel i7 X980 3.33GHz, 12 GB RAM, Radeon HD 5870 Graphics Card, DirectX 9.0c

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Game Vortex :: PSIllustrated