Detective Bridget Brightstone is supposed to be on vacation, but when she gets the call, she drops everything and runs to investigate. Things are not right at a certain hotel in France; a necklace is missing, a mysterious woman lies in a coma, and all signs point to the paranormal. As “Biggi” Brightstone, you’ll need to interview the suspects, investigate the scene, and get to the bottom of this – even if it means risking your own life.
The gameplay in Brightstone Mysteries: Paranormal Hotel is of the point and click adventure type. You’ll work your way through various environments in and around the hotel, searching for items that either seem out of place, or could be of interest for the investigation. For the most part, there isn’t a whole lot to distinguish between usable items and background items, so you’ll do a lot of random clicking to figure out which items are able to be picked up. Figuring out what to use is only half the battle though, as figuring out where and how to use it is the real puzzle.
The emphasis in Paranormal Hotel really falls more to the story, and it feels like fully half the game is talking to various characters and learning about more of the story, with less of an emphasis on actually playing it out. That isn’t necessarily a bad thing, as even though the story line is kind of standard for these types of games, it is interesting enough to keep you engaged just to find out what happens next. There are murders, people who are definitely more than they seem, and enough hidden passages and mysterious characters to keep any fan of the paranormal happy. There are even some cameos from historical figures like Cleopatra and King Arthur.
In addition to wandering environments in search of usable items and clues for where to go next, players will try out a variety of mini games. These, again, are pretty standard for the genre, ranging from figuring out the right configuration of switches to working your way through a maze. Nothing is really all that memorable, but they are an interesting enough way to break up the game and add variety (and if mini games aren’t your thing, all of them are completely skippable after a brief wait).
Brightstone Mysteries: Paranormal Hotel is a game that is suitable for all ages and abilities. There are three different difficulty levels available, so even newcomers to the genre need not feel intimidated. If you do get stuck mid-game, there is a hint system that works on a timer. You can use it whenever you need a nudge in the right direction, with a minute or two needed for recharging before it can be used once more. The story all plays out in text, and you must tap the screen (or make a conversation choice) between each text box. On the one hand, it can be a bit annoying for long conversations, it is a great feature for younger players. My children love point and click adventures, but oftentimes the stories move by too fast for beginning readers. In this case, they can take as long as they need without fear of missing out on the story line.
Brightstone Mysteries: Paranormal Hotel is a fairly standard point and click type adventure. You’ll wander the area in and around a mysterious hotel in France, searching for clues behind the missing necklace and comatose hotel guest. All signs may point to the paranormal, but this detective won’t quick until she knows for sure what’s going on, and that makes for an interesting story. With a variety of skill levels available, it’s a great choice for mystery fans of all ages.