Wednesday, May 16, 2018

MachiaVillain Gameplay Review

I'm playing MachiaVillain, a haunted house management simulation by Wild Factor and Good Shepherd Entertainment.

The goal is to lure people to your mansion and eat them. Minions with randomized attributes and abilities are available to collect resources, build structures, put out fires, clean up blood, and manufacture food, research, or processed goods (like steel plates or planks of wood). There are only six different rooms to construct, and each has a limited number of structures that can be placed in them; in addition, most items beyond the basics require a lot of resources, meaning adding new items to your mansion becomes very infrequent after the initial setup. Workers must be kept happy with plenty of specific foods (some monsters like bones, while others prefer brains or blood). In order to attract visitors to your evil abode, letters must be written and sent out to potential victims. Combat is the weakest part of the game: units move too fast in the slowest real-time mode, so constant pausing to issue commands is required. Also, it can be impossible to target specific victims if they are closely spaced; this results in simply not seeing a victim obscured by other objects until it’s too late and they run off. Killing victims outside or letting ones escape will increase suspicion; once the value crosses a certain threshold, heroes and mobs will come to attack you. Following the rules of killing (kill all victims only when alone, kill the virgin last, don’t hurt the dog) also grants crypt points used to unlock new monster types and recruit new workers. MachiaVillain is a great idea that mostly works, but it is a bit repetitive due to the limited, expensive room items and inelegant combat.