Mystery House is historically notable for being the very first computer adventure game to use graphics rather than purely textual descriptions. It is also the first adventure game created by Roberta Williams, who, with her husband Ken, founded On-Line Systems, later known as Sierra On-Line, and currently known as Sierra Entertainment.
The game starts out as a treasure hunting game, but the protagonist's fellow treasure-seekers start dying, and players must figure out who the culprit is.
There were several different 1982 games called Mystery House released in Japan:
- Star Craft's Mystery House for the FM-7 and PC-6001 was an enhanced port/remake, with the cartoon graphics replaced by more realistically drawn graphics, which was possible due to the higher resolution of Japanese computers at the time.
- MicroCabin's Mystery House was not actually related to the game, but simply borrowed the name, and had a different plot altogether.
- MicroCabin's Mystery House II is the sequel to their unrelated Mystery House game mentioned above, rather than a sequel to the original Mystery House.
Sales & Legacy
The game sold 80,000 units worldwide. The majority of those sales came from Japan, where it sold 50,000 units.
The game was responsible for laying the foundations of the point & click graphic adventure game genre. In addition to its impact on Western adventure games, Mystery House was also partly responsible for introducing the adventure game genre to Japan, influencing visual novel writers such as Rika Suzuki.