I wasn’t a huge fan of the original Paranormal Agency but I adored the sequel, finding it delivered a tense and engaging experience that is on par with some of the best games in the genre! Now it arrives on the Mac!
Type of app: Hidden Object Puzzle Adventure Game
Platform/where to buy: Mac; available in the Mac App Store
Developer: GestaltGames / G5 Entertainment
* Nearly 100 absorbing scenes to explore
* 12 puzzling mini-games to master
* 20 desirable achievements to earn
* Two gameplay modes: casual and expert
Paranormal Agency: The Ghosts of Wayne Mansion puts you in the role of a ghost hunter whose car crashes outside a mansion, and you quickly find yourself in the midst of a chilling supernatural mystery. Once inside the gates, you are confronted by ghosts and other things that shake your normally skeptical nature and compel you to unravel the mystery.
In terms of the challenges, you encounter items in pretty much every room that will be useful in one way or another, including finding books laying around that will help you solve a puzzle to open a hidden passage.
There are also hidden object scenes, rotating element puzzles, matching and reassembly, wiring and flow puzzles, and so on. There are also a couple of skill-based challenges such as pocketing six pool balls with one shot, and beating a card shark at a round of Black Jack.
The challenges range from trivial to difficult, but are always engaging and fun and interesting enough to keep you going. Like most other genre games you can skip mini-games, but in Paranormal Agency most things are either easy enough or interesting enough to complete without much difficulty.
Ease of use/Overall performance:
The game follows all of the standard hidden object genre conventions – There is also always help available in the form of path highlighting, item highlighting, and a rechargeable hint button. Depending on whether you play casual or expert the availability of these changes.
The only performance issue I saw was long load-times, particularly in some areas where you would expect quick transitions.
Would use again/recommend?: Definitely! For me, this game does a great job of blending an interesting story with plenty of great puzzles and challenges. The balance is tilted more towards the challenges, but there is enough going on in terms of story to keep you engaged. There are enough achievements that it is unlikely you will get them all at your first try!
Suggested changes/wish list for updates: Load times are a bit long, and are most noticeable in quick-travel areas, such as traversing a maze at one point.
Source: Publisher provided review code