Damn good days, those were. Wish there were more games like that.
Anyhoo, I did post on this some years back but I'll do it again because it's that good and fits with the Halloween season.
Step up, step right in to Ravenhearst Manor! You are the detective in this game and its up to you to figure out what happened at the ghostly, haunted Mansion on the hill. This game is kind a mix. Ever hear of Where's Waldo? or I Spy? It's a little like that. You will get some screens where you have to find certain objects to progress foward. In the case of Return to Ravenhearst Manor you get to have beautiful, gloomy, gothic scenery all the while listening to haunting, quietly played background music. The rain drips steadily, the crows cry out in the distant. Thunder rumbles as you search the grounds of the mysterious manor for a way to get inside.
and then there are the puzzles. Take a little bit of Gothic macabre, mix in antiques, steampunk and a little bit of rust along with a wallop of tough brain teasers and you have the puzzles of Ravenhearst. Some are simple to figure out, some are very difficult and you should feel no shame in googling the answer (in fact, you may have to if you wish to progress in the game).
Getting in the house is only the very tip of the ice berg. This is actually the second game of a series - Ravenhearst Manor is the first and it is absolutely different from this one. Return to Ravenhearst Manor is, I think, the best of the three. They managed to fit in everything that makes Mystery Case Files so wonderful; hidden object screens, beautiful and fascinating scenery, puzzles, atmosphere, music, sound, short video clips (mostly of the ghosts begging for help) wacky inventions and overall intrigue.
Some of the few minor flaws may be the amount of time spent in beating Ravenhearst Manor; it is, admittedly, a very long game with many parts to it. There is some big frustration with some of the puzzles as well. Some you can't skip and if you don't figure them out you are quite literally stuck. (*cough*google*cough)
Overall this has remained one of my favorite computer games to play. For anyone who has ever wanted to explore an abandoned, haunted mansion and longed for the romance of a haunted house, mystery novel and decayed but beautiful scenery this is your game. Since this is an older game I'm not sure if you can buy it at Wal-Mart any longer (which is where I got it for ten dollars). You can try the Big Fish Games site, or amazon.com