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Neil Game-Man: Neil Gaiman's Wayward Manor

Get out of my home! And take your weird blur effects with you.

As someone who self-identifies as (and gets paid to be) an oftentimes colossal nerd, I’m ashamed to admit that I’m only just now getting into Neil Gaiman. I’ve been ploughing through Sandman, and I just finished American Gods the other day. It’s all been marvelous, and I absolutely despise myself for not starting sooner. But late-bloomer Gaiman binges do have their advantages. For instance, maximized excitement over the Man Who Desperately Wishes He Had My Hair’s first foray into the world of digitized amusement laser rainbows – sometimes referred to colloquially as “videogames”. It’s called Wayward Manor, and it sees you play as a grumpy ghost who must frighten away a “remarkable” band of intruders while maybe – just maybe – learning a little something about himself in the process. Or, well, his death, anyway.

There’s no actual footage of the ghastly puzzler in action just yet, but it sounds promisingly intriguing – especially in light of involvement from The Misadventures of P.B. Winterbottom developer The Odd Gentlemen. Here are the basics:

“Wayward Manor is a puzzle/adventure game hybrid that invites players to solve the mysteries of the mansion any way they choose. You play as a disgruntled ghost, trying to reclaim your house from its newfound owners. This dysfunctional family of misfits and eccentrics have stifled your power and brought their own abysmal possessions into your humble abode. Each level is a playground for scares where players absorb fear to take back control of the room. If you want free reign over your mansion once again, you must uncover their deepest anxieties and drive them mad with fear using your wits and their hideous belongings.”

Gaiman’s story, meanwhile, revolves around Neil Ghostman (note: not his actual name) slowly but surely uncovering more not just about the human plague mucking up his pristinely web-wound halls, but death, the world beyond, and ” the danger they are all facing”. WoooOOOOoooOOOooo [chains rattle, bats squeal, a painting looks directly at you and then things get really awkward for a second].

The first chapter of what Gaiman hopes will grow into an ongoing series is set to release this December. The website has a bunch of vaguely crowdfund-y pre-purchase options, which come in tiers and include all sorts of bonus treasures and trinkets. The game itself? $10. Dinner with Neil Gaiman? Er, $10,000. There are some other options too, but that’s the spectrum. Anyway, I just ordered Anansi Boys off Amazon and have one more volume of Sandman to read and bye.

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Nathan Grayson

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