Neil Gaiman & Wayward Manor invite you to jump into the afterlife of a disgruntled ghost, trying to reclaim his house from its newfound owners.
User reviews: Mixed (67 reviews)
Release Date: Jul 15, 2014
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About This Game

Wayward Manor invites you to jump into the afterlife of a disgruntled ghost, trying to reclaim his house from its newfound owners. Set in the 1920s, this puzzle/adventure game transports players to an era of dark screwball comedy where they must unlock the secrets of a twisted mansion. Players will discover the quirks of Wayward Manor’s unwelcome guests and choose how to prey on their darkest fears.

The Budds, a dysfunctional family of misfits and eccentrics, have brought their own abysmal possessions into your humble abode and stifled your power. Each level is a playground for scares where players earn fear to take back control of the room. If you want free reign over your mansion once again, you must drive the Budds mad with fear using only your imagination and their hideous belongings.

What started as a Lego prototype that The Odd Gentlemen and Neil Gaiman played together one afternoon, soon became a unique collaboration to tell a story through a non­linear puzzle/adventure game hybrid, where the player learns about the characters and world through their observations and discovery. First launched on the website, Wayward Manor has been slowly unveiling its story and world to a whole new audience. Wayward Manor is Neil Gaiman’s first foray into video games.

● Discover 9 quirky inhabitants each with their own desires, fears, and anxieties.
● Possess ghastly furnishings to manipulate the Budds into dire consequences.
● Level up as you absorb fear to take control of each room
● Pleasantly dark tone reminiscent of old Hollywood whodunit mysteries.
● Five floors, each filled with new items to posses and new ways to terrify.
● Find secret scares and multiple solutions to every puzzle
● Musically themed characters each represented by their own instrument.
● A story crafted and narrated by Neil Gaiman
● Featuring art from the Eisner award winning artist Chuck BB

System Requirements

Mac OS X
    • OS: XP
    • Processor: Intel Core 2 Duo 2Ghz+ or better
    • Memory: 2 GB RAM
    • Graphics: 256 MB Video Card
    • DirectX: Version 9.0
    • Hard Drive: 2 GB available space
    • Sound Card: DirectX Compatible
    • OS: 10.6
    • Processor: Intel Core 2 Duo 2Ghz+ or better
    • Memory: 2 GB RAM
    • Graphics: 256 MB Video Card
    • Hard Drive: 2 GB available space
    • Sound Card: Mac compatible sound card
Helpful customer reviews
4 of 6 people (67%) found this review helpful
1 person found this review funny
0.8 hrs on record
Posted: March 14
I wasn't impressed with this game from The Odd Gentleman and Neil Gaiman. It seems to me if you're going to make a game with Neil Gaiman, you want to take advantage of Neil Gaiman's story-telling and character-creating expertise. A puzzle style game, which is what they made with Wayward Manor, is not a good vehicle for a great story and characters, in my opinion. I was hoping Wayward Manor was going to be more like an adventure game, where plot and character would have an opportunity to shine. Based on this game, I'm fearful of what The Odd Gentlemen are going to do to the classic King's Quest series. Their website says they "strive to become masters of the short form gaming experience." Short form? Is that another way of describing mobile gaming?
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235 of 296 people (79%) found this review helpful
1 person found this review funny
1.3 hrs on record
Posted: July 15, 2014
Pre-Release Review
Full disclosure: review copy provided by developer/publisher!

"Wayward Manor," huh? Let me start this out by saying I LOVE Neil Gaiman. "American Gods," "Coraline," and the "The Sandman" series... he easily makes my list of greatest living authors. So imagine my excitement and surprise that one of my heroes was collaborating on a video game! Wow, jeez, shucks! And it's a ghost/haunted house puzzler? AND the art direction/creative flourish looks like the "Coraline" film adaptation made a baby with a Tim Burton flick? Sign me up! Are you as excited as young, naive, several-weeks-ago me? Are you waiting eagerly for my opinion, clutching your loved one(s) close- perhaps too tightly?

Surprise! It's pretty bad!

No, this is not the hero we were looking for. This isn't a "Coraline"/Tim Burton baby... this is some Frankenstein's monster gone terribly wrong; gurgling, wide-eyed, pleading for the sweet release of a merciful death. Then your gun jams. Where to begin? It looks bad. Like "Psychonauts" - not only in style (which is good!) but in the year it was released: 2006 (which is bad!). Jagged, ugly, archaic-looking. The characters are stylized and interesting looking; but good God almighty are they ugly. The environments are ugly, the furniture and clutter filling each room is ugly, the traps are ugly... when you complete a level the items that occupy it spin and swirl about; but they clip right through the level which is not only hideous, but also an unfortunate oversight.

"But what about the puzzles," you're likely crying out, tears streaming down your bewildered, makeup-smudged face. "Surely they aren't also hot ♥♥♥♥?" GET A HOLD OF YOURSELF, FIRST OFF. YOU ARE COVERED IN SNOT AND IT IS UNBECOMING. Anyway, the puzzles? The puzzles are simple and amount to clicking a bust or coat hanger, causing your haunting target to wander over curiously. Then you drop a bottle on their head or open a window and cause a breeze to blow a convenient barrel of dynamite towards them (I miss old-timey America. What happened to my old-timey America that never existed?). Rinse and repeat until you have enough green skulls. Then you click on a giant, green skull, the furniture clips through the level, and your target bolts out the area door. Now you're on to the next level.

"But what about the story? This is Neil Gaiman we're talking about!" DAMN IT, I KNOW. BELIEVE ME. I DO. This is simply not Gaiman quality. A sentient mansion seeks the aid of a recently freed ghost to clear the current, living, jerk occupants out. To its detriment the story takes a backseat to the setting.

Neil also does some excellent, albeit brief, narration.

That's it, that's all I've got for you.

Wait! One last thing. I might be wrong, but at the moment I can't get past Chapter Three, Part Two. The game refuses to let me progress. There have been a few times I've had to quit - for whatever reason when I complete a level the game doesn't recognize this, and no matter how much I click on the skull to progress it floats there until I quit out and retry. I've retried Chapter Three, Part Two about five times now. Seems like that's my stop.

This is NOT good. This is bad. Simple, repetitive puzzles? Check. UGLY? Check. Decidedly not fun to play? Big checkaroo. Possibly broken? Checkz. I can't recommend this despite my love of all things Neil. Got 10, 15 bucks burning a hole in your pocket? Buy one of his books. They're pretty amazing. This though? This is a heaping, generous bowl of cat food. Is it edible? Sure. Do you want to eat it? Are you a ♥♥♥♥in' prawn or something?
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34 of 43 people (79%) found this review helpful
1 person found this review funny
0.6 hrs on record
Posted: July 18, 2014
I am one of those "more than 3000 fans" who backed this game when it was first announced. I've read all the books by Neil Gaiman, and I own most of them. He has been one of my top ten authors for nearly 20 years. Of course I backed this game.

I played for 38 minutes, then I couldn't take anymore. The gameplay is mindnumbing. The puzzles are repetetive. Maybe the story is really good? I have no idea. When I gave up, it was still just a bunch of cryptic flavour that will probably be really meaningful and engaging in the end when it all comes together, but doesn't make much sense until then.

After I gave up I vaccuumed my whole house. It was a more fun.
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32 of 45 people (71%) found this review helpful
6.5 hrs on record
Posted: July 16, 2014
After reading some reviews, I was wary. I could understand some of the points others were making and I went into the game worried about gameplay, graphics, and story; but I pleasently surprised.

There were a few bugs here and there, but it looks like the developer is taking care of them as they find them. This would explain not encountering some of the bugs others had previously mentioned. As time goes on, I am sure there will be little to none to speak of.

The graphics, although not up to the quality of some of the larger titles, has character and style. It was actually an enjoyable break from the drab color-palatte of larger games. And since this game is tagged as both indie and casual, I am to take into assumption that it isn't meant to rival a heavy-budgetted game and just live up to what it wants to be; fun. Intent aside, the rooms are fun and visually enjoyable, the characaters are amusing to watch, and the resolution seemed fine for whatever screen I played on.

The gameplay was simple, a point and click combination puzzle game that didn't have me frustrated by level 2 by some overly-complicated design. Even further in, the difficulty was raised, but feasable. The complexity came into the 'secret scares' which would be the achievements for this game.

The story felt a bit loose, but the quick cutscenes between the worlds as well as blurbs from stuffed animals/gargoyles/tutorial-like house narration helped keep you tethered to the story and who was involved. I didn't feel like it was a visual narration of one of Neil's books, which I can only assume others felt dissapointed by. All in all, the focus was more on the fun gameplay than bogging the player down with too much story.

As a over-all whole, I enjoyed the game. I even spent time trying to get all the secret scares, some of which took me a while to get, and some yet elude me.

TL;DR : It's a fun casual puzzle game with some character with a bonus of Neil Gaiman's narration.
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15 of 21 people (71%) found this review helpful
1.6 hrs on record
Posted: July 17, 2014
A lot of people seem to not like this game. I'm not exactly sure why. I like it.
Neil Gaiman does an excellent job with the short narrations. And the entire concept of an old house calling on a ghost to haunt the current annoying residents out is in no way a new concept but it is done well here.
The artwork is interesting. You won't see much like it. Now some are really hating it because they just can't seem to get why everything is so...well ugly. However, I see that it is all based on Victorian style cartooning, (please go look up Alice in Wonderland and look at the original artwork by John Tenniel, you'll see exactly what I'm referring to.) So its not supposed to look pretty by todays standards, its supposed to look the way it does and I find that its quite charming.
The puzzles; if your an adult or near adult then I imagine this game will be rather easy and will just become tedious to you. If however, you have children or if you are a child then the puzzles will be challenging but not too much so.
Now the Music, at first the music isn't the worst thing in the world but yes it does become very very irritating. The sound effects are very repetitve and will make you want to shut off the sound. At least they did with me.
Lastly, the bugs, yes there are some serious bugs. One is that the objects sometimes don't interact with the enviroment like they are supposed to. Sometimes the items at the end of the level when they are all flying around the room will indeed go through each other or through the walls. And yes sometimes the game will in a sense freeze up because the people wont run out of the room but rather just run around the room trying to get out and you will have to restart the level.
As it stands currently I'd give it 3 out of 5 stars. If they fixed some of the bugs, then maybe would consider raising it to a 4 out of 5.
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14 of 20 people (70%) found this review helpful
3.1 hrs on record
Posted: July 30, 2014
+ Graphics look alright (but are technically mediocre)
+ Random objectives give the game replay value
+ Short

- No freedom, objects are unlocked for use once you scared a person a certain amount of times
- Repetitive and shallow gameplay
- Short
- It just isn't fun

[Rating: 58/100]
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35 of 61 people (57%) found this review helpful
0.7 hrs on record
Posted: July 15, 2014
I was really excited to play this on release but was extremely disappointed. I didn't realize you would be stuck in one room at a time per level trying to scare people by knocking down an item. I thought maybe you would get free roam throughout the house. I would not recommend this to anyone.
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9 of 12 people (75%) found this review helpful
0.8 hrs on record
Posted: July 22, 2014
Horrible game. I backed it up on Kickstarter and it was a huge disappointment and they're selling it for more than it's actually worth. Neil Gaiman backed it up because it really looked promising on Kickstarter. I expected better from them. The bugs, sounds effects, and game design itself reminds me of the horrible ROM games of the 1990's but Barbie did a better job of entertaining me. Huge amount of bugs, I couldn't get passed Chapter 2 level 2
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24 of 41 people (59%) found this review helpful
2.1 hrs on record
Posted: July 15, 2014
I went into this game with pure anticipation due to Neil Gaiman bringing out a horror comedy game. I was really looking forward to it having loved his previous work.

First Impression Video before it went sour
The game was released, I dived in with high expectations. I loaded it up, and found that it only supported a maximum resolution of 1920x1080, not an issue it's still HD.
The narration starts and I fill with joy as I listen to Neil Gaiman narrate the plot while characters are shown on screen. The game certainly has a rather funky art style. It instantly reminded me of newspaper comics strips that made fun of politicians with their eccentric facial features.

I started off with a really good impression of the game, sure the graphics looked dated. The art style and music suited it somehow and it seemed fine. The puzzles start off slow and get more complex, but sadly there is no free roaming as a ghost. You're limited to a single room at a time for your ghostly deeds of frightening the denizens out of their abode.

Then, things went south rather quickly. I experienced a bug that locked the level, unable to knock over a vital bottle. No problem I say, I'll just reload the level, and sure enough it works and I continue my spectral adventure.
More bugs, and more, items clipping, clicks not registering and then...then dreaded chapter 3, part 2 where the game refuses to continue after spooking everyone. Five retries later and I was still stuck, not to worry I'll quickly email the developers.

Sure enough they respond in kind and have patched the level. I can still not continue. Sadly once again the same happens, this time the puzzle items are broken and you're unable to catch a drunk patriarch dancing to scare him. Several tries and the same issue.

Sadly due to limited gameplay with many puzzles just reusing the same items over and over again; broken puzzles, and game breaking glitches galore I cannot recommend the game. My first impression video is in direct contrast to what I have come to realise the game is like upon playing it to near completion. ( I cannot finish it due to the puzzle bugs)
The writing, although good, is also not to the level one has come to expect of the Author, leaving you wanting more.

The games needs more polish, better gameplay, and much more depth sadly. It's shame, as Wayward Manor had so much potential, although it seems Neil despite being a brilliant author does not know how to make a game. I hope that in the future he will make a second attempt and that everyone gets what they want: a successful and good game.
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5 of 6 people (83%) found this review helpful
9.6 hrs on record
Posted: August 12, 2014
Wayward Manor is a puzzle game, where you play as a ghost of sorts and try to chase the inhabitants out of their gothic manor.
It is also very much a mobile style game: you need to get six "scares" per level, and you get more options to interact with the room as you scare the person or persons more times.
Each level also has three optional objectives to get.

There is therefore replay value if you want a perfect run. The characters each have a distinct personality which makes them unique, and what ties the individual levels together is a short story written for this game by none other than Neil Gaiman.

As for the graphical style: it is based on drawings from the Victorian age, such as used in the original publications of Alice in Wonderland. This means superdeformed yet "cute".

The game is easy to get through, but can be really challenging if you want to perfect it.

It's not a perfect game, I encountered a few minor glitches, but none of those really detract from playing. But my overall experience is a very positive one.
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6 of 8 people (75%) found this review helpful
2.6 hrs on record
Posted: August 10, 2014
I was disappointed enough with this game that I just stopped playing. The concept is cute, and the art is lovely, but the actual gameplay is dull, and it's rather buggy still. Honestly, I bought it because Gaiman's name is attached to it, and I'm finding myself regretful
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7 of 10 people (70%) found this review helpful
0.8 hrs on record
Posted: July 17, 2014
Wayward Manor has a certain charm, and some quirky humour. There is a lot of competition in the mobile style puzzle genre, and it holds up moderately well.

You will be performing the same tasks repeatedly, but there is variation in how you accomplish them.

My main ♥♥♥♥les are that the camera angles aren't always ideal, and the rather limited voice overs. It advertises with narration by Neil Gaiman, but this is only during very short cutscenes. The main game has no voice overs at all.
For a mobile game that would be iffy, but on pc this just feels rather lackluster.

All in all I would say this is worth picking up, but perhaps only during a sale. This game might also make more sense on mobile/tablet, so you might want to wait for that release instead.
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9 of 14 people (64%) found this review helpful
3.1 hrs on record
Posted: July 16, 2014
A game of ever-increasing complex puzzles, with clever characters that make me laugh. The learning curve is quick, the controls intuitive, and it's a pleasure to control with only the mouse (no keyboard). I do wish there was more history, background, and a longer game. Overall, happy and reccomend you buy it!
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10 of 16 people (63%) found this review helpful
1.3 hrs on record
Posted: July 16, 2014
To put it simply: I love this game.

It's very charming. It's extremely quirky. But what makes me love this game the most is that it'
Yes, it's fun. Simple, but fun. As I'm writing this, I'm only through the first chapter, but I can say this with certainty:

Wayward Manor has an interesting story, cute characters, and a unique direction of art. Put all of those things together into the gameplay style (Point & Click, Puzzler) and voilà: You have a fun game! (In my opinion)
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10 of 16 people (63%) found this review helpful
2.9 hrs on record
Posted: July 20, 2014
its a very good game its simple and fun to play, the characters are funny and the music complements the game. i recommend this game, all the people in the family can played and its fun wathc how diferent everybody find the solution.
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28 of 51 people (55%) found this review helpful
1.5 hrs on record
Posted: July 15, 2014

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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14 of 24 people (58%) found this review helpful
21.4 hrs on record
Posted: July 16, 2014
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. :)
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15 of 26 people (58%) found this review helpful
1.1 hrs on record
Posted: July 15, 2014
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.
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8 of 13 people (62%) found this review helpful
0.3 hrs on record
Posted: July 16, 2014
I LOVE Wayward Manor!! It's not hard to play and still very entertaining. I really like the music and the graphics. The story is original. I definitely recommend this game!!
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8 of 13 people (62%) found this review helpful
1.3 hrs on record
Posted: July 16, 2014
Fun Fun and more Fun. Love the music and the art style. Very cute and entertaining. Seems like they fixed the bug issues. Looks bug free to me. Give it a try!
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