Haunted House is a hidden object video game which focuses on Nancy Evans, an expert in superstition and modern societies. She's been invited by her aunt, Mary Allen, to spend a few days in a quiet cottage by the sea.
What she doesn't know is that, next to the cottage, there's a large, run-down house that has a macabre atmosphere. You play Nancy Evans and must investigate the strange phenomena coming from this gloomy house.
The hidden object gameplay of Haunted House follows the classic gist of the genre. You travel from area to area looking for objects, and investigate interactable zones to get even more objects. Some zones require objects themselves, others are puzzles that award useful items. These puzzles are very varied between one another, and they are where most of the fantastical things in the game happen.
As you collect things, you have to use them in order to advance to the newer areas. Plenty of times you will find yourself backtracking in order to solve previous puzzles, since all areas are interconnected like that.
The main puzzle for you to solve is the List. You are shown a scene with plenty of cluttered items, and you have to find and click on the ones shown on a list. These List puzzles are found all throughout the game and sometimes you need to do the same one twice in order to get multiple useful objects. Be careful about clicking too much in these scenarios, or you will end up being startled by a ghostly apparition. I can say from personal experience that it is not a nice feeling.
If you ever find yourself at a loss of where to go, you can always count on the hint button to give you a nudge in the right direction. And in certain puzzles, that button can even skip the task altogether.
Please use PC to download
The story is divided into two, and part of the mystery is finding out how they connect.
Firstly, there is the story of the house and the family that lived there. In 1994, an archeologist led a happy life along side his wife and two children, a boy and a girl. One night, right after he came home from a long expedition overseas, something terrible happened. The whole family barring the daughter were found murdered in different areas of the house.
The only supposed survivor was still missing, along with her boyfriend. Authorities never made any conclusive discoveries, but they did manage to find out that the archaeologist's latest find was missing. Therefore, they attributed everything to a robbery gone wrong and declared the case closed. The house was never inhabited again, and it remains in ruins since that day.
Fast forward twenty years, and this is where the game starts.
You are a student of journalism finishing your thesis about the supernatural, when your grandmother invites you to spend a weekend at the beach with her. You eagerly agree, only to find out that your grandmother’s plans for the evening involve entering the dark run-down house from the story of 1994. Since you have expertise in the matter (and because you do not want to let your family down), you agree to investigate. It does not take long for apparitions to make themselves known, especially in the form of a ghastly young girl, her hair covering her face.
The art style and theme of the game is dark and grim, and it wants you to take it very seriously. While it has some out of left field puzzles, it tries to keep everything grounded as to augment the scariness of the setting. Therefore when something strange happens it can catch you off guard.
Still not everything is black and red, since contrast is a very important aspect of these games, otherwise you would not be able to find the items required to continue. Still, do not expect any bright colors to pop up at any moment.
The characters that you interact with are designed with a lot of details to suggest their personality. They are rendered in gorgeous 2D illustrations that are full of life, especially when engaged in conversation; they blink and even change expressions according to what is being said. There are other characters quite less charming waiting for you inside the house, but it is better to not spoil the surprise.
Haunted House archives exactly everything it is trying to do, that being an engaging game and an intriguing mystery tale. Enter at your own discretion, and be thrilled by the scares that this story has hidden all throughout.
If you enjoy these free games, you will love this list of our 10 Best Horror Hidden Object Games!