Scarlet Envelope: Wild Mansion of Mr. Ferri | Review

Mr. Ferri, the extravagant animal lover and the owner of the creepiest mansion in town, has suddenly passed away. The word on the street is that he was killed…by his own lion! But…was he really? And why is his wife hiring you to get him back home, while his son is talking to Ferri’s spirit through the ouija board? Looks like we’ve got another mystery on our hands!

Rating: Unique!
Completion Time: 1:45
Date Played: 3rd May 2021
Party Size: 1
Recommended For: Curious folks who want to unravel a unique narrative mystery!

📢 ANNOUNCEMENT 📢

You can win a copy of Wild Mansion of Mr. Ferri from now until May 5th by heading to our competition page. Good luck!!

Woohoo, we are back with Chapter 5 (I feel like I’m really powering through these lately!) in the Scarlet Envelope series. Inching ever closer to ‘the truth’, AKA finding out more about your mysterious Scarlet Envelope master and why, oh why has he been sending you throughout time to solve mysteries?

Wild Mansion of Mr. Ferri is unique in every sense of the word! It’s true, this game sticks with the general ‘mystery’ theme but steps away from the crime-y / whodunnit vibe of Breakfast for a Serial Killer and Cabaret in Lapin Blanc. Instead, you have a lot of information to sift through in what feels more like a scavenger hunt and a ‘grand finale’ minimal online interface that rounds out the story nicely. It’s more narrative heavy than I expected and we spent a lot of time with each individual character understanding who they are. Despite the lack of murder, I felt like I was on the set of the film Knives Out, complete with colourful and eccentric characters!

The Story

The rich old Mr. Ferri, an animal lover and owner of an almost certainly haunted mansion, sadly passes away. The only problem? Nobody really believes he’s actually dead. Every year Mr. Ferri sets up an audacious prank for his family members- a scavenger hunt if you were. The winner each year gets a larger portion of the Will.

Even with no body found, a very satisfied lion and scraps of clothing is enough for the detectives to call this an accidental death-by-lion. But you’re hired to figure out what really happened. Could it be possible Mr. Ferri is dead, or is this just some elaborate ruse? The game is afoot!

I love it! It’s light hearted, funny, and utterly charming. If he were real, I reckon I’d be great friends with Mr. Ferri.

The Experience

Almost everything you need to complete Wild Mansion of Mr. Ferri is in the envelope! Unlike the previous games, this one I believe relies the least on an online interface, and besides an introductory voicemail, I only used my laptop at the very end of the experience to input my final answer.

The game, in a slight twist I haven’t seen in another escape room experience STARTS with a logic grid puzzle. I say I’m surprised because I’ve played (and designed, hah!) a few which use logic grids as the anchor but usually end with the successful completion of your grid. Instead, Wild Mansion of Mr. Ferri begins with the completion of the logic grid. You can’t even begin to solve the puzzles until you’ve done this step.

The reason being, one of the key ‘pranks’ Mr. Ferri plays is that he’s assigned each member of his family a totem animal. But until you figure out who is who, you can’t do a lot with the information!

Once this IS out of the way, you then must work methodically examining each of the totem animal puzzles one after the other and solving the tasks that have been set for them. The bear, the crow, the snake, the cat and the horse. Each puzzle solved gives a solution, which when taken together gives another solution which completes the game! It’s a nice structure and again, a cool concept!

I had a minor tech issue at one point – specifically the web interface which requires you to assign each family member their animal, but this was quickly solved by finding a link in the clues page.

The Puzzles

I found this game… Really hard! I think whizzing through Breakfast for a Serial Killer lured me into a false sense of security because this one was fiendish! Sure, sure, I think I’m playing on “difficult” mode, but heck I also think I used a hint on almost every puzzle *hides with embarrassment*

The part I enjoyed the most was the logic puzzle. The game gives you a table, but I chose to draw out the full grid myself. After all, if a logic grid is going to be done properly, you may as well draw the whole thing out! And actually, it was a good shout! I needed it. There’s a lot of information (I believe 6 separate categories to track), and only so much you can do without drawing it out.

Another puzzle that was a lot of fun involved some physical manipulation of paper, but I’m not talking about cutting or folding! One of the items in the envelope, when solved correctly, gives a hint at what you should do with it next. I spent a good 15 minutes being like “surely not”, before checking the hints and realising oh yes, I literally have to do this thing. It’s hard to explain without spoilers, but put it this way – it’s a quirky use of printed material I’ve only ever seen in one other play at home escape room and I am very impressed!

Besides these two puzzles, the rest of the pack was typical Scarlet Envelope: “Wow this is so difficult to solve” to an immediate “Oh wow!!” when you finally do crack it. Players can expect to encounter a wide range of things to do and mysteries to solve in this game.

Other Cool Things

  • To access the clues page, you must always first solve a puzzle. This one was actually pretty tricky, in a good way! I almost gave up and emailed the creators and them *boom* I suddenly saw the solution that gave me the access to the hints.
  • There’s a playlist! Yay! I love a game that comes with a good Spotify playlist and this one really set the mood.
  • Another nice touch was that I was super pleased to see see some minority representation in this game. I may be wrong but I think it’s the first game in the Scarlet Envelope series to feature a POC main character

Overall

A brilliant little game that really challenges the brain! I’d recommend this one to anyone who wants to play something a little different. It’s funny, good for a small group, but it’ll still really challenge you and provide some wonderful “aha!” moments. When playing by myself I tend to request clues sooner and faster, but I reckon this game might be their longest yet and could easily give you 3 hours of fun!

Don’t forget, I’m hosting a contest with Scarlet Envelope right now where you can win a game of your choice! Enter here! But if you can’t wait that long, you can subscribe to Scarlet Envelope for $20 CAD (~£12) per month on their website.

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