Sunshine Manor is an action-adventure game for the Nintendo Switch. It’s here just in time to bring you some much-needed Halloween cheer, complete with a haunted mansion full of ghosts and demons. The only question is: will you feel tricked or treated by this title?
Things start in the 1970s when a fading television star makes a deal with a clairvoyant to enhance his popularity. This invokes some kind of curse that causes him to pay with blood, and eventually there’s a massacre at his residence that becomes the stuff of legend.
Cut to several years later on Halloween night. A group of kids are out trick or treating and dare each other to ring the doorbell of this legendary residence, which has now become a creepy, abandoned mansion. The children become trapped in the house and all but one disappears. It’s now time for you to take control and uncover the mystery behind this dark tale.
As you set out to find your missing friends, a new goal is revealed. It seems as though you possess a special physic power, allowing you to locate and communicate with ghosts. The past inhabitants of Sunshine Manor are now specters trapped within its walls. You must seek out each one using your newly found powers and help them transition to the other side.
This creates a game based on exploration. Sunshine Manor is played from a top-down perspective, with multiple rooms and levels to investigate. You can interact with various objects, from switching on lamps to discovering keys and unlocking hidden areas. It’s a fun journey that’s full of genuinely creepy moments, along with some humorous dialogue. The quick pace also ensures full engagement, with no down time, or dull or frustrating moments.
When you find a ghost, you’ll have to complete a quest for them. This could be anything from finding an object to cleaning up rubbish. Once complete, it’s time to follow your new phantom friend into another realm to see what’s really happening in the mansion. The dark and creepy house morphs into something more sinister. Monsters roam the halls, blood drips from the walls, and demons are firmly in charge. Your next goal is to find and defeat the current demon before returning to Sunshine Manor to seek out the next ghost.
The variance in gameplay is superb. After exploring the manor proper, the ghostly realm features a completely different style each time you enter. There are platforming sections, enemies to battle, and puzzles to solve. It’s creepy, kooky, and super fun.
The music is also fantastic. It’s used effectively in both its presence and absence. Most of your time wandering the mansion is spent in silence, evoking a chill that makes you feel like you should be tip-toeing around the grounds. What it also does is highlight any sudden noises, creating a more immersive experience. Dare I say jump scare? Yes, there were a few moments that had me nervously laughing in terror as my heart rate quickened.
Conversely, when you enter the ghostly realm, there’s an amazing soundtrack at play. The beats are terrific, sounding both ‘80s and modern at the same time. There’s a real Stranger Things vibe with the tunes, and I love it. This disparity in the soundtrack goes hand in hand with the environmental and gameplay variance. It’s very well designed.
There’s a lot to love about Sunshine Manor, making it difficult to find any negative points. I would caution players that it’s not terribly difficult, though there is enough of a challenge to keep you moving. I prefer this to something terribly frustrating, but hardcore gamers might be looking for more. Still, the unique style and variance in gameplay and audio more than make up for it. My advice is to enjoy the ride while it lasts!
Overall, Sunshine Manor is a uniquely spine-tingling title that scratches that Halloween itch with cartoony gore. The terrific visuals and excellent soundtrack, not to mention the ghostly plot of exploration, create a creepy-yet-fun vibe just in time for Halloween.
Review: Sunshine Manor (Nintendo Switch)
Sunshine Manor is uniquely spine-tingling just in time for Halloween. The terrific visuals and excellent soundtrack, not to mention the ghostly plot of exploration, create a creepy-yet-fun vibe.