Haunted Halls 1: Green Hills Sanitarium
(IHOG)2012 review updated after replaying in May, 2019
Options are simply sliders for music and volume, full-screen and custom cursor. The game automatically stretched to fit the screen, and it looked just fine at 1920x1080. There is no choice of difficulty, so you're stuck with sparkles, whether you want them or not. Story:
Your journalist boyfriend has gone missing during an assignment, but the police have offered no help. Head out to the mental hospital he was investigating to learn the truth, but be wary... This is no ordinary asylum!
The story is mostly conveyed through the "Notes" on your in-game laptop. There you will find two sections: Entries
, which are our character's thoughts, and will sometimes contain mini-hints, and Medical Charts
, which give you extra background on the patients at the Sanitarium.
Your laptop font is bright green
and very appropriate for the mood they're trying to convey. You do not have
to access the notes area to progress through the game, but they really help to flesh out the story... and the "Notes" screen in your task bar flashes at you until click on it. Sights and Sounds:
Except for the game's intro, there are no voiceovers, and really no cutscenes, either. The story progresses through the notes and charts you find, and by talking (briefly) to people that you encounter.
The graphics are not pretty, but they capture the creepy, environmental feeling beautifully.Gameplay:
The game has a nice adventure vibe to it, despite frequent hidden object scenes. The HOS - each of which are played twice - are indicated by red sparkles, while green
sparkles show you where the puzzles are to be found.
During the hidden object scenes, the lists are found in four "boxes" in your task bar. Finish one box (find all the objects on that list), and the box disappears. Kind of nice, for it allows you to see more of the scene.HINTS
are refillable, and fill relatively quickly. Using a hint during the adventure portion of the game will either highlight an area, or tell you "There is nothing to do here." (No directional hints)
mini-games usually took a while to complete, but I thought they were fun, so only skipped a couple of them.CE Content:
- Integrated Strategy Guide
- Bonus Chapter
- 5 Wallpapers
- 3 Screensavers
- 8 Concept Art
- 4 Music Tracks - Can't be saved to computer, but sheet music is included, and CAN be saved
Only the Strategy Guide is accessible until you complete the bonus chapter.Bonus Chapter:
The extra chapter takes place just minutes after the main game ends, and is the true ending of the game. It only takes about an hour complete, and repeats one of the HOS from the main game. Missing this part isn't going to make or break the beginning of the story for the second installment of the series, but it does answer a question you might have had during the main game.Verdict:Green Hills Sanitarium
has an eerie, psychological story, interesting gameplay, environmental music and atmospheric graphics. I enjoyed revisiting the game, and recommend it to IHOG-lovers.