Review: Spooky's Jump Scare Mansion

Table of Contents

Quick Info

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Additional Notes
This game's soundtrack is available! This game is free!


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Daww, so cute

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Why must there always be mannequins?

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I guess you'd call this a 'think tank'.

General Information

Genre:Stealth / Adventure / Horror ESRB Rating:NR - Not Rated
License:Freeware My Rating:Teenagers (13+)
Played on:Thaddeus
Available from: Indie Database, Steam
Soundtrack:Available as DLC on Steam

General Notes

There are a lot of indie horror games out there these days, and Spooky's Jump Scare Mansion is something of a love letter to the many terrifying experiences gamers have given each other.

But, don't be fooled by the game's cute appearance; even the cardboard cutouts can be dangerous and some of the scenes are the stuff of nightmares.

Story Overview

Up on a dark, foreboding hilltop is a lone mansion. Its origins have been long forgotten, which is just intriguing enough to get the attention of a history buff like yourself. Hoping to learn about the story of this ancient home, you decide to pay it a little visit.

After entering, you're greeted by the cute little ghost of a girl. She introduces herself as Spooky, and playfully challenges you to explore 1,000 rooms of her house. As she floats away through the ceiling, you're left to begin your journey.

Gameplay Overview

Played in first person, you wander through room after room. The main goal is simply to walk through 1000 rooms, and at first this is going to seem like a cake walk as the only "scary" things you encounter are adorable creatures made from cardboard. As you continue into the depths, you'll start encountering "specimens"; dangerous monsters that have been gathered together to hunt and kill anyone wandering through the halls. Each specimen has a unique twist in how they hunt you, so you're going to need to learn their tricks and adapt quickly in order to simply survive.

Some areas require you to locate a key or interact with specific objects, but none of the puzzles are complicated. This is actually a good thing, since these areas tend to be where you meet a specimen for the first time.

For extra difficulty, the sprint mechanic is a little different than you might expect. You have a stamina meter that goes down as you run around. Once you're out of stamina, you can't run until you stop and rest for a moment. The monsters do NOT have this limitation.

Have fun!


Extremely good pacing makes things scary
You can go through a number of rooms before you encounter anything. Early on, this can make you over confident, and later it helps make you more and more anxious as your imagination plays tricks on you. It's paced well enough that a simple spring-powered cardboard cutout can make you jump out of your chair. Play this game in a quiet room after dark for the best results.

Each monster behaves differently
There are really only about a dozen monsters in the mansion. While running away is usually the best option, a few of them can mess with your ability to see what's around you and some of them can even teleport, so it's not always so easy to get away from them in time.

Two endings
There's a good ending and a bad ending. Which one you get is determined by how you play after a certain room. Neither ending is exactly serious, which is probably to be expected in a game where cardboard makes up most of the monsters.

Randomly generated layouts
The mansion's rooms are completely randomized, though some of the monsters are designed to appear at specific points. Since you can't exactly predict the path ahead, getting away from a monster is harder. Also, checkpoints become less frequent later in the game, meaning you need to make it through more rooms before you're safe.


High difficulty
This isn't an easy game to play through. Some of the monsters are extremely hard to get around, and you'll probably end up getting killed repeatedly by a specific monster before you finally find your way around them. Of course, while you might succeed in getting by one monster, there's nothing stopping the game from having another monster come after you and kill you before the next checkpoint.

Geometry issues
In some areas, I kept getting caught on the geometry. This usually resulted in a game over, as most of the monsters can pass through walls or over gaps. It's a very cheap and frustrating way to lose. Unfortunately, I'm not sure if this can be fixed or not, nor am I sure if this happens to people regularly.

Concerns and Issues

Occasionally you'll encounter a room that has some blood on the floor. This usually looks like ketchup, but there are a few places where it's depicted realistically. There are also minigames that show Spooky brutally murdering people. These minigames are optional and really only exist to highlight Spooky's real personality.

That said, most of the blood you'll be seeing is a red gash that briefly appears on the screen when a monster injures you.

Cartoonish bones can be found lying about
Every so often you'll see a skull, pile of bones or ribcages lying on the floor. These are drawn in the same cartoony, cute style that you see at the beginning of the game, which can make people forget just how creepy things can get.

The monsters are very unsettling
One of the ways the various monsters are made just a little bit more unsettling is that they aren't depicted using the game's normal cute and cuddly style. Instead, they are depicted using either realistic designs or another atypical style. In fact, it's safe to say that with the exception of the cardboard monsters, each specimen is based on either a horror cliche or popular creepypasta.

The game over screens are often nightmare fuel
When you are killed by a monster, you get a little cutscene before being told that your soul is trapped in an endless maze. Which cutscene you get is determined by which monster killed you. The worst of these (by far) is the one you get when caught by the monster known as the Puppet (aka Specimen 6). Fortunately, the scene cuts away just before the giant nail actually enters your eyeball.