Scary typos (2018 reupload)

  • NTC3
  • 04/18/2018 01:59 PM
NOTE: This is a reupload of my original review, written about a year ago. Apparently, the developer has since deleted the original gamepage, which also removed my review, before reuploading the game under this new gamepage. Luckily, I keep back-ups for all of my reviews, so this changes nothing. The gamepage doesn't mention any changes made to the game either, so I didn't bother to replay it.

I have recently played One of You and described it as potentially the first great MV horror. While I find its quality unquestionable, “first” might well have been premature without playing any preceding MV horrors. Hence, I decided to check out the two (2018 edit: there are now 3 of them) Mystery Dorm games: while they are technically tagged on here as “Puzzle RPG”, neither one actually contains any RPG elements, and the presence of ghosts, zombies, insta-kills and messages scrawled in blood should be enough to make them relevant to the horror category. They are also notable for the way Mystery Dorm II was actually uploaded on the website before its supposed predecessor. In hindsight, that should’ve been a harbinger of what’s to come.

Aesthetics (art, design and sound)

You have the characters’ custom artwork. Otherwise, it’s MV RTP for practically on-map, while soundtrack clearly includes tracks from Presence of Music (including one I first heard in the far superior Subject). It also possesses footstep sounds, thankfully, though they are the same for everything. There was also a really cool ringing sound effect used for when you climb a metal ladder, which was nice. However, the mapping suffers badly from the scale disease: the titular dorm has 3 floors with 21 rooms on each one of them (according to the in-game room numbering, at least), but the vast majority of them are totally useless and are largely indistinguishable from one other. Sure, one has 2 beds, and the other 4; another also has 4 beds, but changes their alignment a little: another has 2 beds, and one bed has a pointless printer on its bedside table, etc. Even rooms with such basic furnishings still have mapping errors like in the image above, where half the bedside tables have their drawers put up against the wall, rendering them useless.


There’s very little of it – so little in fact, that the second game actually includes “A Book”, which recounts the whole story in five short lines, including the premise and the ending, and leaves absolutely nothing out. The protagonist is named Zul, he is a student in the Muadzam Shah High School (the exact location of which is never stated, but I’m guessing the game takes place in Indonesia/Malaysia) and one time, he stayed up so late in his dorm’s study room that he fell asleep, and once he woke up, the dorm had emptied out, save for a stranger who gives you a few tips (then disappears from the narrative entirely) and a few other unfriendly residents. From then on, you are not going to encounter any actual character writing until you either get a brief, unexplained bad ending and reload, or go straight towards the good ending that renders the entire game, all of that wandering around 60+ empty rooms pointless with one of the most maligned plot turns out there (SPOILER: It literally was all a dream.)

The secondary writing is no better, usually saying that the object you just walked up to is, in fact, a “printer”, a “faulty laptop”, “drawer” and such. Sometimes, you will encounter books that seem to consist of nothing but their subject’s Wikipedia/Merriam-Webster’s description, from rats to pianos. This only happens 3 times or so, which is not really enough to go beyond weird and act like something unique to the game, or at least provide information beyond the rather obvious. There’s also a nice touch when trying to interact with the windows, as you get a flash of lighting, roll of thunder and “It was raining outside”. The kind of description you’ll see most often, though, is “It lock”, in relation to doors/wardrobes/drawers or, sometimes more specifically, “Door is lock”. The spelling in the game is atrocious, to the point grammatically correct sentences are considerably less frequent then stuff like “Why I can’t out from here?”, “There are somethings behind this box”, or my favourite, “Hammer to smash a things”.


You do occasionally get to use a hammer to smash some vases, sometimes getting keys from there. Weirdly, though, you can’t then use it to defend yourself, even against a pretty regular-looking rat (though it became a giant one in the sequel’s retelling.) Yes, Mystery Dorm is in fact a game where you get insta-killed by a rat! Meanwhile, you can sometimes stumble upon spikes just randomly coming out of the floor, and it will only remove one of your three lives, which are easily refilled at the relatively frequent vending machines anyway, and at no cost. Besides, those spikes actually do nothing once they activate (I tried walking over one multiple times, and it did nothing) and they only cropped up for me twice anyway. The only other way to lose “lives” I know of is to try breaking vases with your hands rather than a hammer, which is just pointless. Otherwise, you can die through falling through the cracks in the floor, there’s the aforementioned insta-kill by a rat, and a random zombie, who gets nothing said about his presence at all, (as well as a random ghost, which is potentially encountered 3 times, and main character only ever addresses their presence once.) will probably insta-kill you too, but I never got caught by either of them, and so can’t tell. Oh, and there’s a pretty obvious “trap” with a creepy grey teddy bear, where you can touch it or leave it. After saving, I decided to try touching it: the screen went red, there was the RTP punch sound, and then I got a “game over” screen. Really scary!

Still, all of these are an exception to the rule: most of the time, pretty much every room is empty, and nothing important happens. Mystery Dorm is the kind of a game where you find a door locked with a code about as soon as you enter the 1st floor, and so obviously start searching for the clues to solve the code… only to discover pretty much all of them are on the 2nd floor, and basically every 1st floor room on the way is useless. On the other hand, at least there you could clearly tell what the hints were for: often, you start with several locked doors you know of, do the only thing the game lets you do at that point, and then have to run and check which one of them got unlocked by what you just did. Pretty much the first key you get is Room G-3 key; once you open that room, you find absolutely nothing useful in it, but opening it will magically unlock another door elsewhere regardless. Then, there’s another moment when you “clean” a mirror (really a shattered plaque) and it immediately turns brand new, letting you read what it says - “This is a curse!” This action nevertheless unlocks some other door, elsewhere. And of course, I’m pretty sure a bunch of doors never ever get unlocked: while people might’ve made fun of Silent Hill’s broken locks, you do start to appreciate them more once you see the alternative – many doors that’ll never be unlocked, but look just like the ones that someday will be, necessitating you try to check on them.


One of the game's puzzles.

In all, I found Mystery Dorm to be little more than a complete waste of time. I was certainly never scared by it, or invested in the proceedings, and nor was I really intrigued by a couple of easy puzzles that fail to counter-balance extreme amount of running back-and-forth. At least, the game has the whole MV “click to move” thing, which helps makes movement a lot less tedious.


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I already fix and remove all this bug and typo so please remove this review

This 2018 version not same as you play before , I already made many change so
please replay before you made a review !!!!
I lost my arms in a tragic chibi accident
Yeah it is a pretty crappy thing to do, to review the latest version of a game even though many of the complaints are fixed. Heck, he updated this game as recently as today.
The gamepage doesn't mention any changes made to the game either, so I didn't bother to replay it.

That's just being lazy. Just because there isn't an extensive change log, doesn't mean nothing has changed. All this old review does is discredit the creator for what he has already put in lots of time to fix.
You're magical to me.
I'm of two minds about this. First, it depends on why the page was deleted in the first place. Was it to erase the 1-star review? If so, that's not a cool thing to do. The better option would be to eventually ask the reviewer if they wouldn't mind revising the review after the changes were made.

On the other, it would be pretty great if NTC3 could revise his review to fit with the current build. If the dev has put in the time to improve, it'd be nice to see how NTC3 likes the newest version.
the world ends in whatever my makerscore currently is
Yeah, the biggest question to the developer would be why did you remake the game page? I don't see much point in that unless you wanted to erase the bad review or take advantage of getting your game seen more as a new upload/latest download/buzzing etc

Something ain't right, and I for one don't blame NTC3 for reuploading the review. I doubt much has changed honestly, unless it's an entirely new game.
Reviews of old builds show the evolution of a game. So it's a good idea to keep them and respect the reviewer who gave feedback on the game early build. If the game improved significantly, the reviewer should set the review score to N/A so the game average score matches the current build.
Here, CashmereCat did exactly that.
You're magical to me.
Good point! ^_^ That's also a good way to handle the situation.
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