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November 10, 2017 1 min read
Prototype Mansion presents itself as a bargain-bin disc. Its box art isn't art at all, really, it's just more a callback to the kinds of games you'd find at a thrift store or yard sale; a plain plastic CD case, conspicuously missing any front-facing inserts. A yellow price sticker tags the bottom of the image, suggesting this game could be yours for two bucks. The problem is that it's impossible to know what, exactly, the game is. Right where the disc's title should be, there's a single piece of tape. It blocks out what's underneath, obscuring its original intent. Instead, this "prototype" is what you get, according to the rigid, assured letters on the tape.
If it sounds like I'm spending way too many words talking about a digital game's fake box art, I'm sorry. It's important though, I swear. You see, that bargain-bin bootleg spirit is so baked into Prototype Mansion that I can't help but obsess over it. It's a game for everyone who ever went to a video store and rented the weird horror flicks with derivative titles and lowest common denominator scares. It's a send-up to that specific period when games were as silly as they were spooky.
More than anything, Prototype Mansionis a shuffling, grainy nod to Resident Evil.
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