Mystery Mansion 8-12-81


This is a very rare WIP prototype for Haunted House, notice how the labels still refer to the game as Mystery Mansion. The board is very interesting, and appears to be heavily modified.  It is unknown why this was done, but the back of the board is a giant mess of wires.

 While all the game elements are present, the gameplay itself is very different.  In this version the player does not have unlimited matches, instead you must learn how to budget the few you are given.  Also, the games in this version are played with a timer, which was used as a scoring device (beat your own best time).  There are also some minor cosmetic differences such as the scepter being replaced with a cross and items are shown being carried around.  The difficulty in this version is also a bit harder.

 This particular version was the first one sent to consumer testing, and as such came with some Preliminary Instructions.

Special thanks to Chris Cotter for generously loaning this prototype and helping out on this review.



The colors are different
The display font is slightly different
There is no matches counter
Items you are carrying are not shown in the display at the bottom of the screen.  Instead, you are shown carrying the items around with you,
There is a counter that displays how long you have been playing (in minutes).
There are eight variations instead of nine.
Each variation starts the player off with a different amount of lives.
You do not have unlimited matches.  Each variation starts out with a set amount (50-20 depending), except for the first level where all the rooms are lit.
Some of the sound effects are different.
There is a constant 'heartbeat' sound that plays whenever you stop
Instead of a scepter there is a cross.  
In the higher variations, the stairs are randomized
There is no sound when you move up and down stairs
There is no sound when opening a locked door
There is no footsteps sound as you walk through the house
When an enemy draws near the display box will flash red in time to your heartbeat.
Enemies are only visible when they're within the light of your match
The bottom display does not change color with each floor
The ghost is always immune to the cross.  In the final game this is only true for the highest two difficulty levels
On variation one, you can see the urn pieces and stairs without a match.  In the final game the match is always needed to see them.
The urn pieces do not glow
The collision detection with the monsters is a bit off.  It is occasionally possible to walk through them unharmed.
A colored line will sometimes appear below the display (glitch)
Instead of controlling lightning flashes, the difficulty switch determines whether or not your match gets blown out when an enemy enters the room.  In the final version your match is always blown out.


Nice colors...


Great! Now I have rabies!


There's the cross


Notice how I'm carrying it around with me?


Same with the urn


Only 40 matches?!?!


I've got a handle!


Mission complete in only 1 minute!



Return to Haunted House