iOS App Review: Haunted Domains HD

Haunted Domains on appSIZED

First class supernatural service is fun, fresh and exciting in Haunted Domains HD, a polished little time management (TM) gem that should be on your buy list this Halloween.

Haunted Domains HD is a time management game in the Diner Dash tradition with a slightly spooky flavor. Here, you fill the shoes of Sheila, who has been recruited by her uncle to help him manage his hotel that serves “eccentric” customers – namely an endless stream of supernatural folks looking for a good place to stay.

You know the drill if you’re a time management games fan like I am. Gameplay consists of queuing several actions much like a hotel in real life, from check-in all the way to check out. At your disposal is Flip, your dog-turned-chest which can store up to six items, and Igor, your helpful assistant.

You escort guests to their room and attend to their various needs, from food to books, to finding lost cats to the witches. You fetch luggage, serve food and drinks, provide books for your learned vampires and witches to read, and clean up after your guests have left. Each level requires you to earn a certain amount of money which you can use to purchase much-needed upgrades to boost your performance (e.g. faster lifts, a bigger carrying capacity) and slowly upgrade your hotel by collecting blue ‘mystic stars’ from your guests. Different types of guests ask for certain items in a particular order, get impatient quickly, and planning your actions in advance can get quite confusing after a while. The sim aspect of renovating your boarding house is a nice addition, giving you an additional purpose.

Your basic incentive is to complete the level, and if you’re efficient, score an expert rating. The game is quite challenging, even at the normal difficulty level if you’re gunning for an expert score. To boost your score, you can earn color bonuses by matching your guests to the appropriate rooms, and score chaining bonuses by queuing the same actions successively. Of course, as in any good TM game there are monkey wrenches to complicate things, such as witches’ cats that tend to wander all over the hotel and need to be reunited with their respective owners.

The graphics are awesome, and the game nicely mixes cartoony drawings with the gorgeous dreamy graphics of say, the boarding house. The music is appropriately Halloween.

Formula-wise, Haunted Domains HD is most likely familiar if you’ve played Hotel Dash before. This isn’t necessarily a bad thing, especially if you consider that this game offers much more content at a lower price, with its 50 levels of story mode, endless mode and nifty little extras such as wallpapers for your mobile device.

This game is highly recommended for TM addicts and basically anyone who’s looking for a Halloween themed game. An iPhone/iPod touch version is also available.

App: Haunted Domains HD (iPad)
Price: $2.99
Copy: Provided by the developer upon request
Developer/Publisher: Alawar Mobile
Ver.: 1.0

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