This game is huge! Mabel’s Mansion is about as big as the Cragne manor, albeit with somewhat fewer puzzles. And it is quite polished, with lots of detailed descriptions for almost everything. An impressive feat to say the least.
Before starting this game, I wanted to play through the first Bullhockey game, and I did. The sequel is bigger, better and much more manageable, without the complicated timed puzzles that frustrated me about the original. Although, I must say that I laughed out loud more times during the first game; Bullhockey 2 had slightly toned down the humoristic aspect from its predecessor.
With so much detail, and not just for the important clues and objects, most of the playing time end up being exploration, though very enjoyable. The story is good, and seamlessly builds on the first part, with a rather sympathetic protagonist that perhaps mocks himself a bit too much.
The puzzles were mostly really fun. Interspersed in the early and later part of the story are several small ones that felt logical and as a natural part of the story. There is, however, also a rather large magical riddle-puzzle in the middle of the game that, although fun (and logical), seemed constructed for the game rather than for the story. It actually brings bits and pieces of an entirely different story to light.
In the end, apart from a slight miss in the very beginning, there were two puzzles that I couldn’t figure out:
Super crazy difficult puzzle 1
How to get out of the mansion: There were essentially only one window that was possible to open, but all my attempts to exit it was met with comments of futility. I would never have thought of folding a paper airplane (although the possibility was indeed hinted upon earlier in the game).
Super crazy difficult puzzle 2
In the very last puzzle, I figured I’d have to try and wake Mabel somehow, but I didn’t examine the right thing during my few moments in room 215 and did not have a clue how to do it. Also, the way to use the secret command was very unpredictable. I think it would have been better if it were possible to just use it directly on Mabel.
I played the first version published on the Spring Thing website. Here are some minor bugs I noticed:
- It’s possible to take only “the back of the box” from your backpack, leaving both “a back of the box” and “a box of magic re-sizing” in your inventory.
- In the final scene, it says “Someone has painted some words on the pavement, in red letters.”, but I seem unable to read it.
- I’m sure there were something that caused an actual error message too, but I can’t find it in my transcript at the moment.