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Mortimer Beckett and the Secrets of the Spooky Manor Box Art
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Mortimer Beckett and the Secrets of the Spooky Manor

Based on the RealArcade game of the same name, Mortimer Beckett and the Secrets of the Spooky Manor comes to Wii full of motion-sensing point-and-click goodness.


There's good news and bad news in the Mortimer Beckett graphics department: Good news is, the Wii port features a nearly pixel-perfect recreation of the original PC game. The bad news is that it doesn't particularly tax the Wii hardware in any way, a fact which will be more important for some gamers than for others.

Mortimer Beckett and the Secrets of the Spooky Manor features a fairly Gothic setting, but the haunted manor and its environs are presented in a humorous fashion. Animation is scarce, and the story is presented in a comic book format, where panels can be zoomed in upon by highlighting them with the pointer. Each room in the mansion is shown as a still painting with which the player can interact, while the status screen takes on the appearance of a treasure map, lending the game a feeling of mystery.


Being set in a haunted manor, it's appropriate that this game includes a host of classic "scary" sound effects like eerie moans, screams, creaks, rattling chains, and the like. While there are only a handful of distinct music tracks and each tends to loop itself over and over during a level, the truth is that these happen to be very catchy -- a must for good video game music. Players shouldn't be surprised to find themselves humming along with the score while searching the mansion for clues.


Mortimer Beckett's Uncle Jerome has only recently discovered that his manor is haunted, and after sending a letter to his nephew, he disappears. At his uncle's request, Mortimer travels to the titular spooky manor in hopes of assembling the "Ghost Machine" -- a contraption Uncle Jerome created to get rid of the ectoplasmic menace once and for all.

The primary focus of Mortimer Beckett is to find parts of objects hidden amongst the environs of each room. For instance, a billiard ball will be broken up into different pieces and concealed in four different parts in the room. Some objects are easier to spot than others, and each has a place on its particular floor -- the billiard ball will be placed on the pool table. Some items, called "Puzzle Items," need to be constructed in order to find a piece of the Ghost Machine or move to the next level, while others just need to be put back where they belong. Completing every item on a given floor and returning it to its place will provide Mortimer with a clue to the whereabouts of the Ghost Machine's final piece, but players can proceed to the next level without completing the current one, provided they've found the exit.

The ghosts in Uncle Jerome's manor aren't dangerous or scary, but they sure are annoying. They pop up when the player has "clicked" in random spots too many times, floating around the screen and obscuring the view. Occasionally a ghost will latch on to the cursor and must be shaken off with the Wii Remote, as well. Other ghosts will simply require a certain item in order to be satisfied. Players who get easily stumped don't need to worry -- Uncle Jerome has provided a guide book to the manor, and there are hints aplenty for those items which can't be easily located.


In addition to supporting cooperative play for Story Mode for up to four players, Mortimer Beckett and the Secrets of the Spooky Manor also features two unique score-based multiplayer modes. In Scavenger Mode, 2-4 players can compete to see who can find and return items the fastest, and Ghost World mode, players need to find a specific item before other players find theirs.


It really isn't appropriate to prop up Mortimer Beckett and the Secrets of the Spooky Manor next to games like Super Smash Bros. Brawl or Call of Duty: World at War and compare, because they don't offer the same kind of experience. Compared to high-profile Wii point and click titles like, say, Zack and Wiki, though, Mortimer Beckett holds its own. Since it would be considered a "casual" game in the first place, it doesn't offer a high-end graphics experience and isn't heavy on the presentation, but with multiplayer support and a second quest, Mortimer Beckett and the Secrets of the Spooky Manor is a graphic adventure with a lot to offer.

final score 8.0/10

Staff Avatar Aaron Roberts
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