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iPhone Game Review: Mishap: An Accidental Haunting
      09/03/10 11:27 AM

iPhone Game Review: Mishap: An Accidental Haunting
Reviewed by JadeDragon

More and more hidden objects games have evolved into not just finding objects but adding more action puzzle element to the gameplay. Mishap: An Accidental Haunting, ported from PC to the iPhone and the iPod touch as well as the iPad, falls into this category with a variety of casual game genres cooked together like a stew. If you come to play a hidden objects game, you will get what you want, but be prepared to also hunt ghosts, cook dishes, play some cards and more. One thing this mixed drink offers is plenty of surprises just like the characters in the game find in their newly purchased home.

Gameplay

The Burtons has just moved into their new home, gigantic one at that. But they soon discover that they are not alone ? ghosts roam the mansion as freely as they are. With the help of a paranormal investigator, the Burtons set out to construct ghost catching devices, trap ghosts and then challenge them in variety of games. Though spooky, the game shows sophistication in level designs (that?s what you get when you port a already polished PC game) and a unique blend of mini-games that balances with the main gameplay very well. Mishap is at heart a hidden objects game. The scenes are stuffed with objects comparing to the number of hidden items you have to find, making it very intriguing experience. It?s a good thing that the game doesn?t have time limits for finding hidden objects as you will spend some time just gawking at everything. Veteran hidden objects gamers should find the gameplay challenging enough but no real obstacles are in their way of completing the levels. Should you need a helping hand once in a while, Mishap offers Hint function to help you find those items that are hidden really well.



There are 32 rooms in the game, as we mentioned it?s a big mansion, and rooms are grouped into 8 stages. Each stage has a center room, like the bedroom, the kitchen, the Foyer, and so on; and each center room links to three additional rooms, each room with their own set of hidden objects to discover. What sets Mishap apart from many hidden objects games is the sheer number of items filling up the scenes, and each room has its very own unique style. You never feel like you are just repeating another room you?ve completed before; everything is completely fresh. The items in each scene match the theme of the room to a T, though the rooms feel very stuffed yet nothing looks out of place.

The hidden objects part of the gameplay takes about half of the time you will spend on the game. The other half goes to ghost hunting, puzzle solving and arcade actions. Each of the rooms you search for hidden objects in has ghosts; the center room has two ghosts and each of the adjacent rooms has one ghostly occupant. The key items you find in the hidden objects game will help you build devices and contraptions that help you find ghosts. There is a monocle next to the Hint button, activate it to put the game in ghost hunting mode. You have to find all the ghosts in order to complete the stage. The monocle uses iPhone?s accelerometer to give you hints on where the ghosts are hiding, and you have to find them three times in different hiding places to catch them. Fun!

Once you trap a ghost he or she will challenge you to a mini-game. The mini-games in Mishap aren?t space fillers, they are seriously designed, well presented and fun to play. Each mini-game has three rounds and you get rated at the end of each round (get different metals). You can also choose to redo rounds or skip the mini-games all together. But then What?s the fun in that?! Each mini game is different from the others and they are all integrated tightly with the gameplay. For example, after you trapped the cook?s ghost, you are treated to a cooking challenge that?s a ?lite? time management mini-game; after the garden stage, you will need to play an action game where you have to kill bugs to keep the flowers alive and the ghost happy.



Graphics

Mishap has a very unique style in graphics. The scenes look like a super sharp and colorful version of a Tim Burton film. Certain structures and furniture have odd shapes to create a haunted mansion feel, but all hidden objects have normal shapes so that you don?t have to guess if you are looking at the right items. The ghosts too are well designed: they don?t look ghoulish at all, rather they are sharply dressed and looking fashionable with just the right amount of creepiness as ghosts.

Sound

Mishap has both background music and sound FX. Music has a typical haunted mansion theme, no surprise there. Like the graphics, each stage has its own music pieces that fit the theme of the stage well. It?s unlikely that you will get tired of the in-game music. Sound bites and voice acting are also top notch. There are sound bites in both hidden objects games and mini-games. Voice acting has a dramatic flare and fits each character well. All in all, Mishap has an excellent audio package.

Conclusion

Mishap is a top tier hidden objects game that provides constant entertainment. Though it?s not particularly cheap, the game certainly packs a lot of gameplay for the money. You get no only hidden objects but everything else in the mix too, and everything is tied up nicely. The game is available on both the iPhone and iPod touch and on the iPad with a bigger screen and more luxurious feel. If you are a casual gamer, Mishap is an absolutely fun ride.



Ratings (scale of 1 to 5):

Graphics: - 5 - Very unique and stylish graphics.
Sound: - 5 - Full compliment of sound tracks, sound FX and voice acting.
Controls: - 5 - Easy to use, no glithes.
Gameplay: - 5 - Not only the game has mixed of casual games, they are tied in very well together.

Playing Hints and Tips:

- Use the accelerometer to move the monocle for ghost hunting.

- Re-try mini-games to get the gold metals.


App Facts:

Developer: Namco
Release Date: Sept 2, 2010
Price: $4.99 (for iPhone), $6.99 (for iPad)
Buy App: Mishap, Mishap for iPad

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