The Malstrum's Mansion

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"Something sinister happens every night in a cursed mansion in Vienna. Some years have passed since the second plague epidemic, and you are the only descendant of the Malstrum's family who will dare enter the mansion, and discover what happened in that haunted place."

Many, many years ago my brothers Andres, Edmundo and I discovered the classic game 'Shadowgate' on our first family computer; a Macintosh Plus. This title was basically the first game that made us want to create a game ourselves. Not even being able to beat it, we started elaborating our own version and after several months of drawing pixel by pixel, in 1989 we ended up with all the art assets of 'The Malstrum's Mansion'. The problem was: The three of us were aspiring artists and designers, but not programmers. So after several attempts of trying to bring the project into life (we even tried to implement it with Hypercard - a early Powerpoint type program), we simply moved on and the game was left aside.

Many years later we formed a independent game studio named ACE Team and started working on our debut title 'Zeno Clash' (a first person melee fighting game running on the Source Engine). As we were nearing completion of the game, we had the idea of using The Malstrum's Mansion as some sort of viral advertising for Zeno Clash, but we were not sure how. Juan Briones programmed the game in Flash and we ended up using it as an April's fools joke, just some weeks before the release of ACE Team's first commercial game.

So that is the history of The Maltrum's Mansion. The game was drawn and designed in 1989 for a Mac Plus, but it didn't see the light until April 2009. To preserve the classic feel of the game we even made it run on a fake 'Apple' OS and even implemented some retro DRM (you just have to read the readme.txt in the game's directory). The only warning is that the game has no save feature, but neither did the version of Shadowgate that we played. If you get stuck and don't have the patience to get through it, you can always search for walkthroughs in Youtube.

P.S: The 512 x 384 resolution that this flash has was around the full screen resolution of a Mac Plus those days.

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Easily one of the more interesting sleeper hits.

I haven't written a review in a while, but considering the lack of reviews this had...

Graphics: You guys did a great job on all of those backgrounds. In addition, the old Mac aesthetic was captured perfectly. Of course, there wasn't much in terms of actual animation, but considering the limitations; I'll let you off the hook.
Sound: There wasn't any music at all considering how the Mac was up until a certain point. On the other hand, those sound effects are excellent.
Content: I'll admit that when I first played this, it was confusing until that aforementioned walkthrough. However, this captures the spirit of the old ICOM/Infinite Ventures games quite nicely. Plus, you guys got the scary factor down to a T. This may not be for the little peckers who can't put down the lame a-I mean, latest iDroid products, but for people who want real Flash movies and games; this gets my appreciation.

What I do like:
-Nice use of the old Mac aesthetics
-Fun once you know how
-Good sound effects

What I didn't like:
-Confusing at first
-Not going to win beauty pageants, but not everything needs to be in HD.

Overall: Here's a nine from me. (4.5/5)

I had fun!

Played it on JiG originally, had fun, the game's weird, kinda creepy, and fun all at the same time.

The lack of a save function is not nice, so I recommend a walkthrough if you don't wanna mess around trying to find out all the methods of death. And believe me, there's a LOT.

Another thing - you need to "Operate" doors before you can go through. A slight peeve, to me, anyway, but only 'cause I don't like the constant clicking.

Also, for those of you who don't know, but I discovered this tidbit in the room where you got the dagger from the dead brother:

A velvet hat. It looks like the one used by the archdukes of Austria.

You pick up the hat.

You are now wearing the hat.


Nostalgic fun!

This really brings back memories of the old adventure games. It plays just like they did, even down to the strangeness and difficulty, which isn't a bad thing! It was challenge to play this game, even though I kept getting killed. Even though everything is retro, and the graphics do hurt the eyes after a while, it was still fun to play this! Great job!


I got eaten by a dog that sucked. Fun game though im not a big fan of point and click games but this one kept me enertaind for a while

Good little game.

And by the way, reddeye5...

Word 1 is in fact "is" since '1989' is a number..

..now what about <<<<<LINE SEVEN>>>>>, WORD ONE as you were instructed??

ohhhh okay..

Credits & Info

4.04 / 5.00

Aug 18, 2009
12:21 PM EDT
Adventure - Point 'n Click