Early Look: Game Insights Seeks Hidden Object Success on Facebook With Mystery Manor

Mystery Manor is a hidden object game from Russian developer Game Insight and publisher 6waves that launched in mid-March. Between its two largest games, Resort World and Big Business, Game Insight enjoys over 4.2 million monthly active daily users, according to our traffic tracking service, AppData. Mystery Manor joins the lineup with 484,000 MAU and 132,00 DAU after less than a month on Facebook.

The game is interesting to us for its choice of genre. Hidden object games are rare on Facebook and we’re hard-pressed to point to a successful example. This type of game traditionally monetizes through one-time download sales and doesn’t lend itself to social networking features because of its static, solitary gameplay. Mystery Manor has some advantages to overcoming these challenges through access to 6waves’ wide audience reach and through its established success with Resort World and Big Business. Hidden object games also tend to appeal to an older female audience common to Facebook.

Mystery Manor presents users with a floor plan of a mansion and pop-up text informing them that they’re trapped in a mansion owned by a mysterious person nobody’s ever seen. Players must search each room of the mansion for clues and for a way out. Searching a room involves identifying and clicking on objects that match a list displayed on the right side of the screen when viewing a room. Variations on the puzzle include scrambling the words of the objects, displaying only the silhouettes of the objects, and narrowing the player’s field of vision to only one small, movable cone. Completing a room search in a certain amount of time nets the player collectible items, money, energy, and experience points. Some rooms are restricted to higher-level players and all rooms cost a certain amount of energy to search.

As mentioned above, monetization presents a challenge for Mystery Manor. Publisher 6waves is exploring options for effectively monetizing the genre through item sales and gameplay options. Currently, the game offers players power-ups and bonuses that replenish energy, extend the time on puzzles, or reveal the locations of objects on the search list the user can’t seem to find. Players can buy these with the game’s premium currency, Diamonds, available through Facebook Credits, offer walls, pre-paid cards in certain regions like Taiwan and Hong Kong, and other regional payment systems (e.g. Ultimate Game Card). Additionally, players can pay Diamonds to unlock rooms before completing level requirements or to buy objects to complete quests without searching rooms.

As for the social feature challenges, the game has a recruiting feature where friends who also play the game appear in each other’s mansion as once-per-day power-ups that improve drop rates in searched rooms. Players can also visit their friends’ mansions once-per-day and click on rooms to earn coins and other items. Mystery Manor also displays people on your friends list who aren’t also playing the game as icons floating around outside the mansion floor plan that can be “Invited in,” which leads to a game invitation screen.

In the coming months, developer Game Insight plans to add new rooms and a second floor of the mansion to the game. Meanwhile, 6waves is hard at work on localizing the game in Chinese, French, Spanish, Italian, German and Turkish as part of the publisher’s global audience strategy. There may also be additional localization on the English version, as some of the word choices are not naturalized to North America (e.g. “a clew of threads” versus “a ball of yarn”).

We’re keen to see how Mystery Manor does given its uniqueness. You can follow its progress on AppData, our traffic tracking service for social games and developers.

Publish date: April 6, 2011 https://dev.adweek.com/digital/early-look-game-insights-seeks-hidden-object-success-on-facebook-with-mystery-manor/ © 2020 Adweek, LLC. - All Rights Reserved and NOT FOR REPRINT