The product of a husband and wife team from British Columbia Canada,
Possession 1881 is 3-4 hours of puzzling, working your way through a
Victorian mansion to get to the heart of the mystery at its centre.
It’s a mystery set in a deserted Victorian mansion, one that
involves the occult and in which, according to its homepage, the
"science, history, and art" of the time inspired the design.
It looked like a suitably deserted Victorian mansion; a little drab, a
little dusty, at times rich in detail and at others rather bland.
There were lots of occult bits and pieces – demonic sigils,
apothecary labs, experiments gone wrong and notes warning of uncontained
beasts to name a few – and while it isn’t scary, or even terribly
creepy, I thought the game did a good job of creating a suitable
atmosphere. The ongoing darkness, which you can briefly illuminate by
lifting your burning torch (scroll the mouse wheel) or permanently
illuminate by lighting any candles or lanterns which might be present,
and the realism of the ambient sounds (the rain, the crackle of the
firelight etc) worked well together and built throughout the game. A
just in the background soundtrack (because I turned it down) plus a few
growls added the final touch. It was nicely done.
The puzzles and conundrums were contained to the immediate location.
It might be a single room, or a few rooms, but what you are trying to do
is activate the exit to move further into the mansion. Everything you
need is there with you (except for the torch I don’t remember taking
any items with me from one area to the next). There are notes and books
and other things to read, much of which will be relevant to the
solution. It isn't a hard game and a little fiddling, some lateral
thinking and a bit of brain power should see you through.
The best and biggest puzzle is the endgame (as it should be) and the
one just before that I particularly liked as well. There are a decent
number throughout the game, and there was only one that irritated me to
any degree. There is also a music puzzle.
The game plays entirely with the mouse. Moving the mouse to the edge
of the screen will turn the scene in that direction (and it will keep
“spinning” until you move the mouse away). You can also pivot the
scene up and down by moving the mouse to the top or bottom edge. It
produces a full 360 degree perspective, which I always like, but I know
some people get a little motion sickness with this type of motion.
A little footprint icon means you can move in that direction,
sometimes seemingly across thin air. Early on I was navigating an
upstairs landing, and was trying to walk around it. I could do two sides
but while I could see the rest, I couldn't walk the rest of the way
around it. It was a while before I discovered that by standing on one
side, a hotspot was available that would move me right across the open
space to the landing beyond. That didn’t happen very often, but being
aware of it helped as I went through the game.
Hotspots and cursors are used to interact with the game world. An
active item will light up when the cursor is placed on it, and the icon
will indicate what you can do (look, take etc). If it lights up but the
cursor doesn’t change it means another item is required. Right click
to open the inventory, and left click to choose the item you want. Right
clicking an inventory item means you can examine it more closely, and
possibly manipulate it in some way.
Holding the right mouse key means you can then turn the item by
dragging the mouse (it doesn’t tell you that in the game) and one item
requires some very fiddly manipulation in order for it to be effectively
You can save at will, and just choose continue at the menu to pick up
where you left off. There is only one save slot however, so starting a
new game will erase whatever you have done, and you can’t go back to
earlier points in the game. It wasn't an issue for me, as I didn't want
to do either of those things (start again or go back), but you might
It does end a little suddenly and somewhat underwhelmingly, but I did
enjoy my time within these Victorian halls.
I played on:
OS: Windows 10, 64 Bit
Processor: Intel i7-9700k 3.7 GHz