Sleepy Hollow

[Review] Mystery Legends: Sleepy Hollow (PC)

Okay, hands up: who has heard of the Legend of Sleepy Hollow?

I am going to sound extremely sheltered and naive here..Let me tell you my point of reference associated with Sleepy Hollow:

1. Ichabod’s, a popular bar on Richmond St in London, ON (RIP).

2. Sleepy Hollow Golf Course, located on Tenth Line in Whitchurch-Stouffville, ON.

3. Sleepy Hollow: the movie, starring ubiquitous actor, Johnny Depp, with Christina Ricci.

4. The write-up on Wikipedia…

5. A hidden object game called Mystery Legends: Sleepy Hollow, loosely based on the story of the ghost of a headless Hessian soldier who haunts the hamlet of Sleepy Hollow.

What can I say. My mom never wanted my sister and I to be exposed to anything scary or that could maybe be associated with ghosts or “spirits” growing up, so even though we read a lot, this famous legend passed me by. I didn’t get around to learning anything in-depth about Sleepy Hollow until about 10 years ago.

Knowing the story, I really didn’t have much of an expectation that the Sleepy Hollow game would be any good. It is one of the three afterthought games packaged on my Victorian Mysteries: Woman in White game CD, and figured it would probably be a throwaway. I was partially right: it wasn’t bad, but could have been better.

If one were to rely on Mystery Legends: Sleepy Hollow to accurately tell the original story of Sleepy Hollow, literature teachers everywhere would be sorely disappointed. Essentially, the game takes elements from the story, and lamely frames hidden object scenes around it. Each chapter of the game highlights one character from the story, such as Ichabod Crane, Katrina, and Brom Bones. The gamer needs to solve 4 hidden object scenes to “solve” the mystery of each character. The “solving” is saving the character from “losing their head” to the fate of the ghostly headless Hessian soldier. You search some nicely designed scenes and play some okay puzzles. My favourite part? As you are playing the game this soldier voice-overs, “Bloo-ddddd, you-rrr hea-ddddd…” like a creepy “R-r-r-roll up the rim” guy from Tim Hortons. Nice!

This game is for those that enjoy repetitiveness and familiarity with their bona fide hidden object games. There isn’t much to tell about Sleepy Hollow;  each chapter follows the same formula, repeats hidden object scenes and clues (Repeating clues: a huge no-no in my books) and has similar chapter endings. I would have liked to have seen more variety with the gameplay myself which is probably why I abandoned the game after Chapter 4.

My vote? Meh: It’s an okay game, if repetitive. You could do worse…

Mystery Legends: Sleepy Hollow
Developer: Play Pond
Released: 2011