Chinese Association of Idaho State University (CAISU)
Title: Wayward Manor
Genre: Adventure, Casual, Indie
Release Date: 15 Jul, 2014
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This belongs on tablet or phone. $9.99 is also a high price to pay for a little Neil Gaiman. Save yourself the $ and wait for it to go on sale or get released on mobile devices.. I've been reading some bad reviews of this game, I think written by people who expected something different from what they got. It's a relatively short but cute, enjoyable point-and-click puzzle game. You play a ghost, who can make items in his house move in order to scare the residents. By clicking the items in the right combinations and at the right times, you are able to construct elaborate scares that will eventually cause your unwelcome houseguests to leave. The puzzles are rarely that difficult, but they can be tricky if you don't use a little imagination. I especially enjoyed harassing the old man with a crossbow, making him shoot arrows into people's butts and set things on fire. It has an intro from Neil Gaiman and the art direction looks like something he would design, but don't buy this game solely on the Neil Gaiman name. Buy it if you like a clever family-friendly, puzzle game with some replay value and a unique art style.. I kickstarted this for Neil Gaiman. Suffered through the levels to hear his voice at the cut scenes, but am entierly underwhelmed. Levels must be restarted once all options are exhausted. More an exercise in clicking the items in the right order than solving a puzzle. Music is good. Might have just written a short story set to the spooky music rather than make us wait for a sub par game. Dissapointing.. Okies, this game isn't for everyone, it has a simple quirky nature to it which some peeps may find annoying or way too simple, but if you're a casual gamer who likes something a little different and not too fussed on fancy graphics or thrills, then this may be for you.
It's quirky, fun, simple, silly, easy and yes somewhat low budget, but it's alright in it's way. :). Just completed it. It's a shame, I love the premise of the story, but the gameplay just doesnt live up to the vision. The character designs are pretty fun, and there is the occasional fun moment the first time you play one of your tricks.. but after that there is nothing unexpected. Here's the things you may click, click them at the right time, level over.
If you want to see this concept done right, get Ghost Trick. You can hop into all sorts of objects and the puzzles always unravel in quirky, unexpected ways. It is a joy to play and very clever. Wayward Manor doesn't come close to it. Sorry guys.. As a big Neil Gaiman fan, I was eager to try this game. What could go wrong, I said to myself the day we bought the Steam key. I didn't realise that the author of Coraline and The Graveyard Book could be involved in such a broken, easy, repetitive game!
I played this for an hour and completed three chapters out of five, I sat through the same levels and did the same thing for one hour. ONE HOUR! That is enough to drive someone mad. 3/10.. About half way through the game and having a great time! Love the art direction and the puzzles are a lot of fun, I'll definitely go back to solve them in different ways. Ran into a few minor bugs, but nothing that stopped me from playing. Defintely worth it for the music alone.. I didn't pre-order this game because I'm a Neil Gaiman fan, but because I really liked another game by The Odd Gentleman (The Misadventures of P.B. Winterbottom).
That being said, there isn't much writing or dialogue in the game and the plot doesn't really seem like it's going to knock anybody's socks off. The gameplay is (so far) just a series of fairly simple and repetitive puzzles that are solved by clicking on various objects that glow to let you know you can interact with them. The art style, music, and what little writing there is create a nice Haunted Mansion-ish atmosphere, but the graphics leave something to be desired. The lack of detail and simple animations take a lot of the fun out of scaring people, which is the central (only?) mechanic of the game.. FULL REVIEW HERE: http://noisecannon.com/2014/07/15/wayward-manor-pc/
For a game that had an extra year to be released by dark humoured author Neil Gaiman and Los Angeles developers The Odd Gentlemen, Wayward Manor is unfortunately disappointing. The story is fun enough: you take on the role of a recently released ghost who needs to spook the living inhabitants of Wayward Manor to make them leave, with the Manor itself guiding you through the point and click style levels to take back the house.
Each level takes you to a different part of the house with a different member of the unwelcome family to frighten, with hints on how best to scare them provided by pets and animals hiding in the rafters. The ghostly ability to move objects and manipulate the characters is a great aspect of the game, and with the changing of rooms and people it is an aspect that does not get repetitive or simple. Timing the rattling of suits of armour or the scurrying of a rat provides a sense of strategy to the game, along with the ability to combine objects for some spooky fun.
The plot of Wayward Manor is an interesting one, written by Coraline and The Graveyard Book author Neil Gaiman, with the ambience of the game taking the same direction as the surreal and innovative film Coraline. As you take back Wayward Manor you uncover pieces to the puzzle of your death, making the levels all the more interesting to replay and discover every detail and objective.
The graphics are one of the main downsides to Wayward Manor. In a gaming world which focusses on high quality landscapes and frames per second, Wayward Manor looks as though it was made at the time of Playstation 2 level graphics, the boxy objects and poorly stretched textures leaving much to be desired by modern gaming’s visual standards.
When completing a level by scaring the inhabitants enough that they are ready to run out the door screaming the objects in the room swirl in a ghostly tornado, however when the objects swirl half out of the building the effect is sorely dampened, and may leave you wondering what the extra year of development was spent doing. Sadly this is not where the glitchiness ends, with poorly placed clouds of smoke to represent cartoon like scuffles and levels often prone to freezing, the otherwise enjoyable gameplay loses a lot of its finesse and impact.
Wayward Manor has a lot to offer in terms of story and the tactical use of the environment, but the meagre aesthetics and poor coding (at the time of writing) lead to glitching and freezing of the levels, ruining the experience and quality of the game. This lack of attention making one of the levels impassable due to glitching all Wayward Manor has going for it is the story and its author’s notability. With an hour’s worth of decent gameplay at the most, it seems the ghost of Wayward Manor will scare off any hopeful gamers who patiently waited over a year to play this broken, lazy game.
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