In Cypress Inheritance you play as Lorna, a young woman with a crazy uncle Alfred who has just died. But Alfred isn’t just any crazy old uncle. Alfred was apparently an odd scientist who dabbled in Artificial Intelligence and liked to use it to guard his priceless art collection. Lucky Lorna inherited her peculiar uncles vast fortune after he passed, but there’s a catch: she has to fend off the female robot A.I. Vonya in one of Alfred’s mansions. And Vonya is determined to make getting that inheritance as difficult as she possibly can. Typical A.I.
Cypress Inheritance is a first-person adventure game that may bring to mind memories of The 7th Guest in some ways. Lorna has to collect seven pieces of art that are stashed in a gigantic mansion that is filled to the brim with things that are trying to stop her. Vonya has almost total control of the house, and she uses it to her advantage to hinder Lorna at every turn. There are robotic knights in armor that will attack, and Vonya likes to set up traps and randomly lock doors to rooms, forcing Lorna to find alternate ways throughout the house. And if Lorna is lucky enough to snag a piece of art, she’ll have to contend with Vonya herself as she tries to stop Lorna from reaching her temporary safe house on the docks just outside.
Lorna isn’t totally defenseless though. She’s armed with a stun-gun and a mace to fend off the knights, and as she rummages through the house she’ll find her uncle’s journals that may have some passcodes in them to help escape rooms that Vonya has locked. And if things get too hairy, Lorna can call in an extraction team to get her to safety. Cause you know, bringing in a special-ops team is what everyone does when they go to collect their inheritance.
Unfortunately, all this craziness does not add up to a great gaming experience. Cypress Inheritance is a dull game that’s fraught with problems.
The game uses the Unreal Engine for its graphics, and while it looks pretty enough, the mansion design is dry, with lots and lots of long corridors and rooms that make it look like you’re walking through a mausoleum or a really ancient university. The enemies are also pretty plain looking (they’re just knights that all look the same) and are animated crudely. And Vonya, the evil artificial intelligence that runs the house, is probably the least menacing villain we’ve seen in a game.
The controls are also absolute misery. They’re typical FPS touch-screen controls, with the left and right sides of the screen for walking and looking around and buttons for attacking, but they’re so unresponsive as to be almost useless. You really get into trouble when you try to move and look at the same time, and combat is almost always a dicey proposition. We even had to delete and reinstall the game at one point, as the controls became utterly non-responsive. We could access the menus and interact with the environment, but movement and looking simply failed to register.
Cypress Inheritance is a game based on a neat idea that’s ruined by listless gameplay and awful controls. We honestly can’t think of any compelling reason for anyone to play this. The story is cool, but the game is not.