Review: Millionaire Manor
I’m not sure why anyone would want to play a hidden object game without a goofy, awkward, nonsensical story to it, but those people can rejoice for they have Millionaire Manor. Freed from the oppressive shackles of plot and narrative, players can click through the many game modes offered in rapid succession. If you need a quick item-hunting fix it’ll get the job done but honestly just scrounging items is not what I’m here for. Consider this a pretty tepid recommendation based solely on the strengths of the game modes and the impressive scenery-chewing of one major character.
I was being a little facetious, there IS a plot, it’s just arranged so that all it does is bookend bouts of object hunting. The verbose title, Millionaire Manor: The Hidden Object Game, refers to an old game show that your character’s grandfather used to enjoy. It’s off the air, but you get a call from him saying he’s going to be on it. Rather than calling the nursing home you chase him down and discover that he and a handful of other people have been captured by some jerkoff in a top hat who’s doing his best Andrew-Divoff-in-Wishmaster impression. Seriously, this guy is great and a big highlight of an otherwise bone-dry game.
If you want to free these wayward souls, you’ll have to play top-hat’s games and I don’t need to tell you they involve a lot of obfuscated items. The appeal of Millionaire Manor lies in its many game modes. You must complete 6 games to release each of the 5 prisoners, and for each game you spin a wheel of the 10 different modes available. There’s the standard hidden object search with a list to complete, but you’ll also encounter riffs like hunting silhouettes or sets of three, combining items to make new ones, finding letters or solving riddles to learn what objects you need, or even spot the difference rounds. You’ll frequently have to do double rounds to score a victory, and occasionally triple rounds, but each of these is guaranteed to be a different mode.
During each round you can also trigger bonus scenes by clicking glowing text that appears. In these you have all of 12 seconds to find pieces of chips that earn you more hints, tokens to skip specific modes, and unlock new modes. These searches can be pretty tricky due to how well the chips blend in, and honestly the base game isn’t much easier. Millionaire Manor is a little dated in looks, with lower-res, washed-out graphics that hide more than a few pixellated objects in the backgrounds. While I wouldn’t call it hard by any stretch, you might have a tough time getting through it without burning hints.
You might also have a tough time chugging along to the end, even if you’re digging the different game modes. Lacking any kind of exploration or adventure elements, Millionaire Manor feels much more hollow and disconnected than most games in the genre. There’s no big conclusion at the end, just a victory screen. You do unlock the ability to play any of the modes on any scene once you win, and it does bother to track which ones you’ve beaten for the rare completionist that wants to 100% their hidden object game. Honestly between this and the different modes to try, I’d say this one is still worth a look. It’s not the sharpest or prettiest HOG out there, but the variety of modes helps to make up for its other shortcomings.