Fantasy Escape Games – Ghosts of Craven Manor [Hivemind Review]

Ghosts of Craven Manor is an audio escape game created by Fantasy Escape Games.

Three cute sheet ghosts around a table.

Format

Style of Play:

  • Online native experience (can NOT be played IRL)
  • Audio game

Who is it For?

  • Any experience level

Required Equipment: computer with internet connection

Recommended Team Size: 2-4

Play Time: 60 minutes

Price: $15-$19/person

Booking: book online for a specific time slot

Description

The narrator/ gamemaster screen shares a slide deck over a Zoom call while vocally providing information about what the players are seeing in the slides. Players call out which objects they want to interact with and the gamemaster shows a slide (if available) and narrates the effects of the interaction.

Andrew Reynolds’ Reaction

I’ve done a good amount of ghost hunting, ghost avoiding, and ghost putting-to-rest in my escape room career. But I don’t think I’ve ever actually been a ghost. Fantasy Escape Games’ Ghosts of Craven Manor finally let me cut loose from this flesh prison and be the spooky spirit I’ve always known I could be. And not some idle spirit wasting away my days in some old manor house. Instead, I had to evict some ghost hunters and exorcists trying to increase the property value of my old manor house by removing the ghosts. The indignity of it all!

Ghosts of Craven Manor is told through a live narrator/ gamemaster combined with a slide deck of images that contained all the puzzle information we needed. Slide decks don’t always make for the best puzzling, but this worked well – the art and the mechanics were both good. The puzzles were easy-to-medium difficulty and the interactions provided some funny imagery. Specifically mental imagery because the slides were mostly static and didn’t reflect many of the changes the narrator read to us.

One final thought: this game – like many moments in life – would have been improved if I had been able to pet the cats that I saw.

Tammy McLeod’s Reaction

This is a fun blend between a role-playing game and an audio escape room. We had to think creatively a number of times to complete this game, which I don’t normally expect to happen in escape games. It also had more traditional puzzles, so it was a good mix. The story itself was campy, but still cute and thematic. It would be a fun game for anyone who enjoys the goofy side of Halloween.

Matthew Stein’s Reaction

Ghosts of Craven Manor was centered around a unique premise: we were ghosts in an old mansion who had to disrupt an exorcist’s ritual to avoid getting evicted from our home. This narrative turned the standard exorcist escape room theme on its head and yielded gameplay which cleverly took advantage of the audio escape room medium.

Overall, Ghosts of Craven Manor was fantastic. It told an engaging story through beautiful custom illustrations and an articulate gamemaster who voiced some fun characters and embraced a “yes, and” approach.

The puzzles creatively led us to explore our roles as ghosts and interact with the environment in interesting ways that overall made narrative sense. However, the implementation of certain puzzles left room for improvement. Puzzle answers that were either random sequences of characters or unrecognizable spellings had us scratching our heads, wondering whether we’d correctly solved the puzzle — until the gamemaster confirmed that we indeed had.

Disclosure: Fantasy Escape Games provided the Hivemind reviewers with a discounted play.

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