GOA’s own Menthonso has been sinking his teeth into Sunshine Manor from studio Fossil Games. Check out his thoughts on this horror 8-bit title!
Safe to say it has been quite a while since I have played any sort of 8-bit game, arguably since I was a child. So seeing the trailer for Sunshine Manor brought a wave of nostalgia back into my mind. I was hooked. I wanted it. I HAD to play it.
Sunshine Manor developed by Fossil Games is a 8-bit blood-soaked horror RPG that includes an enjoyable element of puzzle solving. It is the prequel to 2016’s Camp Sunshine and sets the tone and story for its predecessor quite well. I am yet to play Camp Sunshine (review to come) so I decided to play the series in Chronological Order.
You play as Ana, a young girl who is dared to enter Sunshine Manor on Halloween with her two friends. You quickly realise that the stories are true, the Manor is haunted with all kinds of creepy ghosts and demons as you travel between the real world and demon world to help free ghosts who are trapped in Limbo. The main premise of the game is to travel around and solve puzzles to assist the ghosts who don’t realise they have been killed. They still believe they are working in Sunshine Manor and it is their job to ensure the Manor is kept immaculate, else they’ll be punished.
I quite enjoyed the puzzle and exploring aspect of the game as it encouraged you to explore the entire Manor to problem-solve, which also meant you got to experience all the art and decor throughout the game. Whilst on your journey through the Manor you are occasionally thrown into the demon world to free the trapped ghosts. Each time you enter the demon world you are faced with a different set of challenges and a mini-boss to beat. The mini-bosses add a nice element of standard RPG combat to break up the puzzle-solving. One boss for example required you to knock back her stylish fashionista hat whilst dodging large sewing needles being thrown at you. I have to say one of these worlds did bring out a bit of gamer rage in me, purely because of a slight bug I kept encountering which was falling off a platform half-way through the area and being taken back to the beginning.
The limited vision you have (essentially a circle of light that surrounds Ana) really immerses you in the game, almost making you want to check every corner to make sure nothing jumps out to scare you. The music also ties in very well with the horror theme, think an 80s synthwave horror movie intro. Developers Paul and Josh from Fossil Games have done a wonderful job meshing every medium available to them to create a truly wonderful experience.
One feature accessible from the Main Menu that I quite liked was the Kickstarter Gallery. Essentially everyone that had backed the game on Kickstarter had an 8-bit portrait made of them and included within the gallery. You are able to explore it as the dog companion you meet within the actual game. A nice little nod to the supporters that helped back the project.
In total, it took me just under 3 hours to complete the game. I highly recommend this game for someone with a busy lifestyle that still loves gaming but cannot commit to the 10s if not 100s of hours required for some new AAA titles. Sunshine Manor has been a brilliant stepping stone into Camp Sunshine, and I look forward to digging my teeth into it soon.