The Secret of Langton Manor is a free print-and-play game created by bromelain.mobi.
Style of Play:
Who is it For?
- Story seekers
- Best for players with at least some experience
Required Equipment: Computer with internet connection, mobile device, printer, pen & paper, scissors
Recommended Team Size: 1-3
Play Time: There is no timer. Expect about 1-2 hours.
Price: Free (donation based)
Booking: purchase and play at your leisure
Upon the passing of a distant relative, we had been summoned to help restore our inheritance: Langston Manor. This game was the first part of a series.
The game consisted of twelve printed pages (available in US and European letter size) as well as an online app. The printed narrative told us when to access each page, which revealed new information that was often accompanied by symbols. Each symbol corresponded to a lock in the app. We used information from different pages to solve the code for each symbol and then entered the code in the app.
Note, this game doesn’t need to be printed in color.
Andrew Reynolds’ Reaction
Legacy is the first episode in The Secret of Langton Manor series, a collection of print-and-play games. Legacy successfully delivered a creepy tone as the opener of the series, which begins in a stereotypical old and possibly haunted manor. Gameplay revolved around connecting information and inputting solutions into a companion app, which opened up doors in the manor and revealed new puzzles and background information by giving us more printed pages to examine.
While I appreciated Legacy’s economical use of paper (fitting two hours’ worth of game into 12 pages that needed to be cut up), there was a tendency for just too much stuff to be active at once. The papers in the “we think these are still active” pile were numerous once the game began to open up. This flurry of papers led to some confusion, and we were at times unsure if we had all of the information that we were supposed to have, or perhaps even too much. Two elements in particular stand out as needing additional tuning: a confusingly labeled sheet that we removed from play too early, and a throwback to elementary school that did not function in the usual expected way and could have used additional directions. Thankfully, the puzzles were varied and the information was well mapped to the locks; this was good for keeping information straight and for making sure players with different skills and abilities were able to contribute.
Joel Smileypeacefun Reaction
Langton Manor, a mysterious old mansion, is the first printable episode of a game where we help a distant relative with a house he allegedly inherited.
At its best, getting ready to play doesn’t take a lot of time. European and US letter sizes are both available. The instructions are straightforward, as is the app which even tells you if a puzzle is currently inaccessible. Have I mentioned that it’s completely free (donation based)? How cool!
At its worst, from the missing onramp through some uninspiring puzzles, the clue structure was lacking and could use more guidance. Throwing in an unprompted counting task, a red herring, and slight outside knowledge didn’t make the experience better. Halfway through, I lost interest in the story that doesn’t go anywhere.
Was this a waste of paper? Absolutely not. The intent and base of this game is very promising. However, solving never felt satisfying. Further testing could help make the puzzles more approachable.
Sarah Mendez’s Reaction
I appreciate what’s happening here…a puzzle game attempting to give an eerie sense of place and exploration. The concept was good, and the artwork and narrative created the right mood, but the puzzling fell flat for us. A combination of small print, poor signposting, and some guesswork cast a shadow over the experience. Multiple times, we knew what information we needed to use, but it could be reasonably translated into multiple codes. Fortunately, the hints helped, but we had to rely on them almost as part of the puzzles. Ideally, some of that information would be woven into the core game to help connect some of the clues more tightly. I am intrigued about how the story might progress, but I probably won’t invest the time to find out.