Game: The Manse on Soracca
Platform: PC
Genre: survival horror
Style: directly based on Lovecraft’s work
Verdict: Highly Recommended
Buy: Steam |
Lovecraft Video Games received a review copy of The Manse on Soracca through the Steam Curator Program.

When I got my copy of The Manse on Soracca, I expected it to be a standard retro-style survival horror game about exploring a mansion. You play a private investigator who goes to Soracca in search of a missing woman, and since it was supposed to have Lovecraftian themes, I assumed he’d gradually uncover a cosmic horror mystery connected to the mansion.

There are three basic controls: you can walk, you can inspect things in the environment, and you can use items from your inventory. While the inventory system is a little awkward at first, it’s not hard to get used to. Everything about the game feels like it was modeled after an old adventure game.

Then you find an eldritch artifact, a monster awakens and kills you, and things start getting weird.

It’s hard to really explain the direction the game takes without getting into spoilers, and The Manse on Soracca is a game best experienced unspoiled. Let’s just say the actual story is much more interesting than the initial premise, and by the end of the game I’d stopped thinking about the private investigator at all and instead saw it as my own journey through the game.

The one thing that holds it back is its difficulty. The Manse on Soracca can be a little too challenging at times, not because of how easy it is to die (death isn’t as much of a setback as you might expect), but because sometimes things are unclear. It has a lot of clever puzzles, but it also has a couple parts that left me scouring the mansion for hours because I needed to interact with a specific spot that was visually no different from the rest of the room but made the “interact” icon light up.

Moments of brilliance are separated by these sections of tedious trial-and-error, but it’s ultimately satisfying to solve the game’s puzzles. Some parts of the ending felt a little too game-y compared to the rest of what had been built up, but it’s a clever twist on cosmic horror overall.

The Manse on Soracca is not the game I expected it to be when I started it up, but something much more interesting, and I hope it’s one that doesn’t go overlooked.

Buy: Steam |