Ok, so youre this cute
little superintendent, Polpo, of a very successful hotel. Your rise to fortune has, in the
games own words, "greatly agitated" some of your rival hotel owners. They
kidnap your sister and will only give her back once you prove you are worthy to be the
most successful super
well, its a puzzle game! And
its a wacky Japanese one at that. Did you expect a Metal Gear Solid-esque plot?
game compensates for a poor plot with some truly inspired gameplay. In this 2D title
youre not trying to make blocks disappear by lining them up or manipulate dice to
get the highest possible score; instead you are mearly trying your darnedest at
controlling the stress levels of your tenants. Why should you care if the people in your
building are happy or ready to go postal? Well, if they get too pissed-off they quite
literally explode, and you gotta make a new room. You see, the tenants all have different
effects on neighbors. There are little arrows that point in eight different ways. Blue
arrows reduce stress and red arrows increase it. They can also cancel each other out. So
if a guy in a room has a red arrow pointed at him, you can get someone with a blue arrow
to point at him, and nothing will change. Knowing what the tenants do is a very important
part of the game. Some tenants, like the sweet little girl, radiate peace and love which
reduces neighboring tenets stress levels. Others, like the practicing ninja, can get
to be a bit too aggressive to be socially accepted, and they really yank one
anothers collective crank. You might ask, "Why let the ninja and his cohorts in
the building at all?" The answer is Syndicate 5.
5 is a local gang that likes to invite themselves into your humble abode. They stress
everyone out and try to set the hotel on fire. They have no redeeming qualities at all.
They must be gotten rid of. How? Remember that pesky ninja fellow? Hes your new
fair-weathered best friend. You put him in a position that will cause great annoyance to
the Syndicate 5 member. Eventually he will explode just like the other tenants, and you
will be rid of him . . . for the moment.
levels you play have one of three goals: Raise X amount of money, build X amount of rooms,
or get the mansion X stories high. Other than raising money, these stages offer little
challenge. If you need to make twenty rooms, why not just wait till you have twenty
tenants in your cache and put them in all at once? The same goes for raising the hotel. A
story only needs to have one person on it, so why not wait till you have enough for one
person per story? The really bad news is that those two types of challenges make up most
of the game. Needless to say, it can get very tedious. Like I said, the only kind of level
that provides any kind of adequate challenge is raising money. Since it takes a long time
to scrounge up tens of thousands of dollars (sometimes more), good strategy is imperative.
You can put incompatible people next to each other for a quick fix, but if you leave them
unattended for too long, the results could be disastrous. And since these levels take
longer to play, youll have more run-ins with Syndicate 5-- often multiple members at
a time. There is also an Endless Mode, which is basically a
go-on-for-as-long-as-you-can-bear mode. Its interesting at first, but it quickly
graphics and sound are typical puzzle game fare: cute and colorful. They give the game a
very whimsical feel, one that I could appreciate after a few too many hours of Silent Hill
2. I do wish, however, that the characters had more animation. Youd figure that with
a game this simple theyd go for broke on the little details, but they didnt.
One Piece Mansion is a very entertaining game. It has all the elements of a successful
puzzle game: simple yet hard to master, addictive gameplay, cute graphics, and a funky
plot. There just isnt enough challenge or variety. Its a great rental, but
Id think twice about purchasing.