The Haunted Mansion
Not content with making fluffy conversions of its films onto the Xbox, Disney is now rebuilding its own theme park on Microsoft’s console. Pirates Of The Caribbean sunk without trace in an ugly mess, but now we have The Haunted Mansion – and it’s a much better ride.
Ignore the trailers for the Eddie Murphy movie, this is a completely different take on the Disney house of horror. Armed with just a lantern (no, really) you open the door ready to face an army of skeletons, she-bitches and giant spiders to gather 999 evil spirits (without becoming number 1,000) in order to keep some nice ghosts happy. Now that’s a Disney thing.
To get there you have to solve a number of puzzles in order to turn on the lights in each room and get the ar-souls in the firing line. These challenges can be quite complex as well as good fun (pot all the balls on a pool table by being the target for the white, for instance) although once you’ve figured them out it’s pretty plain sailing on to the next level. Sadly, there are inconsistencies in the difficulty levels, leaving you occasionally frustrated.
Still, the game looks and plays handsomely and has plenty to recommend, but exactly how much enjoyment you can get out it is questionable. The comparisons to Grabbed By The Ghoulies are understandable, but The Haunted Mansion doesn’t stand in the same league for anything more than short bursts of entertainment, or something to plough through on a quiet Sunday afternoon.