‘Kraven Manor’ Review

Platforms PC

Developer Demon Wagon Studios   Publisher Demon Wagon Studios

Genre Horror   Platform Played On PC

It is literally a dark and stormy night as you enter Kraven Manor, the empty and foreboding setting of the new point and click horror game of the same name. Created as a student project and published by Demon Wagon Studios, Kraven Manor offers gameplay and graphics indicative of a professional release.

Played from the first-person perspective of an unnamed protagonist, Kraven Manor places you right in the middle of a twisted nightmare house full of spirits, puzzles, and a violent antagonist that wants you out. In a unique twist, the house itself is also a puzzle; in order to advance you must find and manipulate small scale models of rooms and place them on a table in the entryway, thereby changing the actual layout of the manor even as you explore it. It is a fantastic mechanic that I do wish we could explore a bit more than the game allows.

Kraven Manor has quite a few jump scares but the real horror comes from the atmosphere and your anticipation of what is to come. As you make your way through the darkened house, you are pursued relentlessly by a faceless bronze statue. Like the weeping angels of Doctor Who fame, the statue does not seem to move as long as you keep it in your line of sight. Unfortunately, if and when your flashlight flickers or you turn your back to run away, the malevolent mannequin gains ground quickly. Not only do you know what is lurking in the darkness of Kraven Manor, but you know that it is after you specifically.

Though Kraven Manor feels like a unique spin on the “scary haunted mansion” concept, the story itself could be a bit stronger. Discovered through reading documents scattered around the manor, there is enough background to give the player a vague idea of what is going on, but not much else. Keeping the player in the dark is a good way to keep suspense and anticipation going but sometimes the story feels more like a sidenote than the actual meat of the game. That being said, the ending offers an excellent twist that manages to reinforce all of the tidbits you have encountered already.

Overall, I really enjoyed this game. I was engaged—and kind of terrified—for most of the hour or so of playtime. It does seem a little short for the price and the story could be a bit stronger, but Kraven Manor is remarkably well made. The antagonist’s relentless pursuit of the player combines well with the atmosphere to keep you on the edge of your seat. If you’re looking for a good horror game to get in the Halloween spirit, Kraven Manor is definitely a great choice. Check out the Twitter and Facebook to learn even more!

The Good

  • Excellent frightening atmosphere
  • Unique mechanic encouraging a different arrangement of the manor
  • Well built environment 
  • Twist ending 

The Bad

  • Story feels underdeveloped 
  • Playtime a little on the short side

The Score: 7