Reviews for Yumiko in the Haunted Mansion (#27988)

Review by MIC on 28 Aug 2013 (Rating: 3)

You are controlling a girl - Yumiko - in a set of dark rooms. Your objective is to light up all candles in rooms simultaneously. You light up a candle simply by stepping near to it.
There are also ghosts in the maze, visible only for a while when lighting strikes. They randomly blow off candles you have previously lit, so sometimes you must re-light a candle you already lit before.

That about sums it. The game features 128k music and quite nice graphics, but it runs really slow and becomes quite frustrating after a while, because there's absolutely no way you can affect the gameplay. You cannot walk faster, choose a wiser route, kill ghosts, make candles burn longer or do anything - besides patiently lighting candle after candle and returning to the places you already were and relighting candles you already lit.

Games should be challenging, they should be about improving player's skills and thus getting further in the game in each play. With this game, there's nothing to improve or think about; you will simply play up to the point where ghosts will blow off candles quicker than you can possibly light them up, ending up in an infinite loop of pointlessly walking between some two sections of the maze, always lighting candles in one of them, while the ghosts are blowing off the candles in the other one.

It would be nice to give more thoughts to the gameplay next time.

Review by dandyboy on 28 Aug 2013 (Rating: 3)

The idea of playing the role of a girl lighting candles in the dark with phantoms chasing her is rather nice , but the game-play seems to spoil things a little .

ps - The tune is also very inspiring !

3,5 / 5 .

Review by Stack on 18 Nov 2013 (Rating: 3)

Creating a new game with a whole new look and feel against such an enormous archive is a heck of an ambition. Only a few - Jonathan Cauldwell (many titles), Bob Smith (esp. SplATTR) – have managed it in recent times.
Fun Forge (Leszek Chmielewski Daniel - LCD) has joined the ranks of those who have dared to be different. I think I have seen Spectrum games before that require you to light your way, but with Yumiko the pace is all about creepiness and this game, which is reliant on atmosphere for success, manages to build creepiness with a handful of rooms that start off dark and can be lit by little Yumiko’s candles.
A quick word on Yumiko, whilst we are at it. You play a little girl in this game, a character drawn and inspired by Japanese animé, those wide-eyed populous of the cartoon genre. I find something about anime+adult audience a wee bit creepy in the first place, so this game was an unlikely choice for me.
I played Yumiko in the Haunted Mansion when it came up as a choice in a Spectrum Games club and was outvoted as the game to play by the deranged Soft and Cuddly. I was surprised to note a similar plot, rescue your own ghost-world parents, features in both.
Anyhow, the Games Club made the wrong choice really as this game offers more to discuss, including clever use of compiled Basic, the aforementioned graphics, some inspired offbeat 'lost in translation' storytelling between stages, and graded skill requirements from Easy which the author describes as too easy, only for babies, and Madness, which the author has made because he believes players like a skill level that makes the game impossible to complete.
Anyhow, I played on Hard, and found that I tip-toed through about half the levels first go – thankfully getting level complete passwords on the way.
The first time I played I loaded 48K and was rewarded with nice footstep FX as Yumiko crept about the place. 128K, it turns out, has a brilliant welcome and in game score by the masterful Yerzmyey whose soundtrack is haunted and brilliantly composed, though a nitpicker might call it too busy for the tip tap gameplay offered here.

Misc Negatives
The main one is repetitive gameplay. LCD tells of his trials to make the required code fit into the Spectrum but new challenges on later levels would have added a lot. As it is the game is more atmosphere than actual game, and, like a scene demo, once you've been impressed by it, there's no real motivation to continue.
Some kind of timer or life bar on screen would also help.

Misc Positives
If you die you are told “Worse than hell. Endless pains! This is the end of my human life and the beginn of ethernal damnation.” Which would, strangely enough, be just the sort of thing that John George Jones (author of Soft & Cuddly and also Go to Hell) would have approved of, especially if there is enough ether to last us in ethernity.