Piece together objects in order to solve this forty-five minute mystery.
Mortimer Beckett and the Secrets of Spooky Manor is a seek-and-find, point-and-click adventure that bears similarities to popular book-based games such as I Spy. Like many other seek-and-find games, the story is simple, the controls are intuitive, and the ultimate satisfaction a player can reach is finding misplaced items without using hints. Although Mortimer Beckett adds some unique features to a simple concept, the result is an extremely short, eye-straining adventure that ends far too soon.
The game's story begins when protagonist Mortimer Beckett receives a letter from his uncle, who requests Mortimer's presence at his mansion. In the letter, his uncle details a machine he was building in order to rid his mansion of ghosts. However, the spirits discovered the Uncle's plan and imprisoned him within the mansion walls. Thus, Mortimer must go to the mansion, find all the pieces of the ghost machine, and rid the mansion of spirits to rescue his uncle.
The game is split into five levels, each corresponding to a different section of the mansion. Within each section are several rooms where players must find a number of specified objects. Unlike other similar games, players must find several pieces of an object rather than the object as a whole. Once players collect all of the pieces of the given object, they are able to make use of said object in order to solve puzzles within each of the rooms.
Each room contains three main objectives: find all of the object pieces, properly place the assembled objects, and discover all of the secrets, which range from sharpening a pair of hedge clippers to returning a lost broach to a ghost. Finding all of the object pieces allows players to complete the second objective, which will in turn net players a piece of the ghost machine. Discovering all of the secrets reveals a piece of a hidden message, which is used to find the final piece of the ghost machine. It should be noted that players must complete all of these tasks in order to complete the game's final objective, assembling the ghost machine.
The primary control input for Mortimer Beckett is the Wii Remote's pointer. Whether players are navigating to new mansion rooms via the map, searching for an object piece in a room, discovering a secret, or placing an object, pointing and pushing the A Button performs the necessary action. Clicking around a room too quickly in an attempt to find an item through brute force spawns ghosts who must be dealt with by either quickly shaking the Wii Remote or simply waiting until they disappear.
Unfortunately, for a game based on finding objects, its backdrops are extremely low-resolution. More often than not, items are hard to find solely because they are indistinguishable from their messy background. This causes physical strain on players' eyes, and in many instances encourage players to click around the screen frantically (regardless of the consequences) or waste a hint.
Mortimer Beckett and the Secrets of Spooky Manor begins just as quickly as it ends. In as little as an hour, players will fully complete the game. The game's multiplayer mode does little to expand upon this experience: up to four players compete in a mini-game where they must find specified objects floating around on screen as quickly as possible.
With such a poor graphical presentation, and little-to-no replay value for an already extremely short quest, Mortimer Beckett and the Secrets of Spooky Manor is incredibly disappointing and should be avoided. Fans of the seek-and-find genre will surely find themselves feeling shortchanged, and newcomers will wonder why the credits are rolling after only one hour.