This game is brought to us by the twisted minds that created Christmasville, Annabel, and Mushroom Age. If you've played any of these games then you know (somewhat) what to expect from Vampireville: Quirky humor, and lots of it.
First of all, our main character looks like Keanu Reeves and sounds like Sherlock Holmes. Add to the mix a cocky Saint Bernard, a surly (funny!) butler, and a painting that features a woman who looks suspiciously like Helena Bonham Carter, and you have a tiny portion of the game that is Vampireville. You won't be massaging Socrates or anything (Mushroom Age), but there is still plenty of humor to be had.
The game is rife with cutscenes, all voiced over. You CAN skip the cutscenes, but seriously, why would you want to? This game is all about the story, and you'll miss some great humor if you skip them!
Despite being over two and a half years old, this game still has the options that are standard nowadays: Separate sliders for music and sound, plus options for full screen and custom cursor.
The HINT button is refillable and useable at any time. Some puzzles can be skipped, but some cannot. The puzzles that can't be skipped have unlimited hints (though you have to wait for the hint button to refill.) The puzzles vary from simplistic (early on) to very difficult.
There is NO misclick penalty. Indeed, you will HAVE to click on everything, as there are no "helpful", unasked-for sparklies. If you mouse-over an area that can be interacted with, it will sparkle... maybe. Sometimes you just have to click and find out! Like Mushroom Age, items you need to find are frequently hidden behind things. Curtains, books, screens, vases... You never know until you click! Sometimes you will end up with an item "stuck" to your cursor. When this happens, just place it in your inventory, which you will find at the top of your screen.
You have your adventure-esque play (as noted above), and you have your hidden object scenes. The list will only show a few items at a time, and will add more as you find things. Sometimes you have a written list, and sometimes you have to find things by outline. Hidden object scenes are not the primary focus of the game - it seems like it's very nicely balanced between adventure, puzzles, and hidden objects. Items are hidden (whichever type of gameplay you might be doing at the moment) across two to three scenes. It's very easy to transfer between scenes, and requires no loading time. HINT: When you are working on a list of items to find, you will usually be able to find items entirely on the first screen you're on, and when you run out of items on that scene, switch to the other and they'll usually (mostly) be there.
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There is also the occasional pop-up (aka circle or bubble) play, where you click on an item and pictures of items that need to be found will appear in a circle around the item. Simply find the items and place them in their appropriate slots. These scenes are more of a mini-game than anything, which is why I mention them separately.
If ever you are stuck
and have no idea what you're supposed to be doing, simply click on your journal/task list
, which is located in the upper left corner.
One small negative: You cannot save in the middle of a chapter. If you exit the game before you finish a chapter, you will lose any progress you've made on that particular chapter. Something that's very cool is that you can replay any chapter whenever you wish. When you enter the game, it will give you the option of replaying any chapter that you've unlocked (finished).
This is a nice long game with 24 chapters. Some chapters are quite short, but others are nice and long. My sis was playing the game today and (according to the walkthrough) finished 3/4 of the game before I left. It took her FIVE hours to get that far in the game, so there's a nice length to Vampireville.
Overall this is a wonderfully quirky, delightfully funny, and entertaining game. You'll likely have a lot of "Huh?" moments, but you have both a hint button and a detailed walkthrough to depend on if you need help. Absolutely recommended