Vampireville is a seek-and-find game that features a rich, progressive story line with hidden object tasks, puzzles and mini-games spanning a total of 24 chapters. The premise of the story leads players to assume the role of a real estate appraiser checking out an ancient castle up for auction. With McGyver-like skills, you will weld broken water pipes, hunt down a ghost dog and pick locks all by employing random objects found in each scene. Players also interact with one rude-as-heck undead butler that can’t even be bothered to show you to your room when you arrive. Can you complete the story or will you go batty like your predecessor?
As players progress through the Vampireville story, classic mini-games like memory matching and solitaire creep up in addition to the primary seek-and-find objectives. The addition of mini-games breaks up redundancy and keeps the game interesting, but the progressive story line does a nice job of keeping things moving and tying things together. The animation and script are both semi-intelligent and well-performed, giving various amounts of quality to the overall game. The actual gameplay is also of quality design, even though the interface is a catch twenty-two of sorts.
Vampireville features many different scenes, all of which are completely interactive. Unlike a lot of hidden objects games that ding you for random tapping, Vampireville actually necessitates the action. Many of the objects in each scene are interactive, requiring players to tap, touch and drag objects that move and reveal additional objects. At times it can be frustrating, especially when the scene requires zoom to find objects, but the complete view to place them. However, the available hints, which are indicated by “sparkling” objects, are generously available and regenerate fairly quickly.
Fortunately, as a casual game Vampireville fits the bill and while auto-save after each chapter is the only save option, the chapters are all broken down into fairly manageable bite-size bits. New characters are introduced as the story progresses and there is enough variety in the included mini-game puzzles to keep the game entertaining.
Vampireville is a great blend of quality design, quirk and even a bit of cheese that will leave players feeling immersed in something somewhere between the Adams Family and Dracula. Seek-and-find game fans will find Vampireville eerily satisfying, if not challenging, and casual gamers of any age can enjoy the plot. To get started for free iPhone users can download the Lite version, which includes the first three chapters, and upgrade to the full version to complete the story. An HD version is also available for iPad users.