Escape from Home: Darkwood Manor

Following the death of Emily, Master Darkwood locked up Darkwood Manor and never returned. You stumble upon the house and realise the ghost of Emily is stuck inside. You must find her and set her free. Are you brave enough to try?

Rating: Mysterious
Completion Time: 30 minutes
Date Played: 21st of June 2020
Party Size: 1

The spooky tale of Darkwood Manor by Escape from Home centres on a series of letters by the mysterious Emily who passed away at the manor many years earlier. You retrace her steps through the manor, guided by her ghost, eventually finding her place of death and freeing her spirit once and for all.

In terms of setting, it’s a little like a cross between the escape games My Dearest Emily by The Panic Room and Murder at the Mansion by Escape Hunt. But the uniqueness of game flow and puzzles sets Darkwood Manor apart from other escape games of the genre. In this, you receive a pack of puzzles that run along a clear narrative. At the end of each ‘level’ you have to find a code, or a word, which you should check in the answers before proceeding.

The game strongly encourages you to use real-life props such as padlocks and code locks on different parts of your house – which would make all the difference in the world! I can easily imagine Darkwood Manor being a game you could recreate in your own home with locks on cupboards and each section of the pack protected by the puzzles. By comparison, playing on your sofa with only the paper is just a little less magical, but engaging enough to keep you excited.

In terms of difficulty, I’d put Darkwood Manor in the middle! There were some puzzles in there I honestly couldn’t get my head around it – I’ll caveat, definitely my problem not the game’s! There were others which were comfortably easy, as I turned the page a “Yep! I know exactly what to do”. So good signposting all round, and a handy hints document just in case you do get stuck.

Overall, an enjoyable and spooky escape game with a unique set of puzzles! I’d recommend saving this one for Halloween (or at least a dark night) – the perfect excuse to get the candles out and really get in the mood. Me, I did this on a sunny Sunday morning. Less spooky, but no less enjoyable.

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