Cragne Manor

by Ryan Veeder profile, Jenni Polodna profile, Adam Whybray, Adri profile, Andrew Plotkin profile, Andy Holloway, Austin Auclair profile, Baldur Brückner, Ben Collins-Sussman profile, Bill Maya, Brian Rushton profile, Buster Hudson profile, Caleb Wilson profile, Carl Muckenhoupt profile, Chandler Groover profile, Chris Jones, Christopher Conley profile, Damon L. Wakes profile, Daniel Ravipinto, Daniel Stelzer profile, David Jose, David Petrocco, David Sturgis, Drew Mochak, Edward B, Emily Short profile, Erica Newman, Feneric profile, Finn Rosenløv profile, Gary Butterfield, Gavin Inglis profile, Greg Frost profile, Hanon Ondricek profile, Harkness Munt, Harrison Gerard, Ian Holmes, Ivan Roth profile, Jack Welch profile, Jacqueline Ashwell profile, James Eagle, Jason Dyer profile, Jason Lautzenheiser profile, Jason Love profile, Jeremy Freese profile, Joey Jones profile, Joshua Porch, Justin de Vesine, Justin Melvin, Katherine Morayati, Kenneth Pedersen profile, Lane Puetz, Llew Mason, Lucian Smith, Marco Innocenti profile, Marius Müller profile, Mark Britton, Mark Sample profile, Marshal Tenner Winter profile, Matt Schneider profile, Matt Weiner profile, Matthew Korson, Michael Fessler, Michael Gentry profile, Michael Hilborn, Michael Lin, Mike Spivey profile, Molly Ying, Monique Padelis, Naomi Hinchen, Nate Edwards profile, Petter Sjölund profile, Q Pheevr profile, Rachel Spitler, Reed Lockwood profile, Reina Adair, Riff Conner, Roberto Colnaghi profile, Rowan Lipkovits, Sam Kabo Ashwell profile, Scott Hammack profile, Sean M. Shore profile, Shin profile, Wade Clarke profile, Zach Hodgens profile, and Zack Johnson

2018

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Number of Reviews: 4
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15 of 15 people found the following review helpful:
Don't let it scare you (except for the scary bits), January 6, 2019
by Mr. Patient (Saint Paul, Minn.)

(I wrote an unmemorable 1% of this game. The stars are for the other 83 people.)

I'd like to push back just a little bit on some of the introductory text from Cragne Manor. Not the parts about how the game is insane and brilliant and fun; that's all true. I'm immensely proud and grateful to have been part of it. No, it's the stuff about being prepared to be frustrated or overwhelmed on account of its hugeness. I completed it a few days ago, and I was surprised at just how playable it was.

There are a couple of things that distinguish Cragne Manor from something like The Mulldoon Legacy (which is amazing, but is definitely overwhelming). First, Cragne provides a fantastic amenity in the form of an item that tells you if you're able to solve the puzzles in a given room, or if you need additional information or items from elsewhere, or if you've done everything you need to do already. It's difficult to overstate how comforting this thing is. I get overwhelmed in huge games from the combinatorial explosion of rooms, puzzles, and information. I can't keep everything in RAM, so to speak, and become exhausted even looking at my inventory. The (Spoiler - click to show)coffee cup in Cragne kept my headspace manageable.

It also helped tremendously that each room was written without knowledge of the other rooms. Without saying too much about how the game and its puzzles are structured, this means that almost every item or piece of information is single-use. There are definitely things you'll need to take notes on, but for the most part, you use an item or a piece of info, and you can then throw it away (or put it in the zipped-up trash pocket of the brilliantly-implemented carryall). And many of the biggest and best set-piece puzzles are standalone.

I worked alone in my playthrough, and only needed a few hints. It probably took me over 30 hours to finish, and 6800 turns (maybe twice that when you consider moves lost to restores). But I always knew what I could do next, what would have to wait until later, and what items were still useful, and that made it manageable. Don't let the size of Cragne Manor scare you off.