With Weirdwood Manor starts on April 18th, a cooperative dungeon crawler on Kickstarter, who is on a award-winning children's book series by author Christian McKay Heidicker based. Various Weirdwood books have been published under the pseudonym William Shivering, as well as an interactive story app for children, which tells a story in a mystical world full of secrets and dangers. Comparable are the stories from Weirdwood with those of the Three Question Marks ???. The Weirdwood Manor game is anything but child's play. In this crowdfunding preview you can find out why we think that people who play a lot will particularly enjoy the game.

Weirdwood Manor is a mysterious, magical place where the rooms and pathways change over time. But the mansion and its enigmatic mistress, Lady Weirdwood, are in danger. Fae monsters and their clockwork scarabs are invading the house and plotting to overthrow Lady Weirdwood. Only we can stop the fae monsters and save Lady Weirdwood. But be careful! Because time flies and paths change...

To the rescue!

In Weirdwood Manor, 1-5 players take on one of six characters with different abilities. The goal is to defeat the fae monster. At the beginning of a game we can choose between three different fae monsters. Each individual monster brings different game mechanisms into play and must therefore be defeated in different ways. For example, with the Chaos Ogre we have to make sure that not too many scarabs destroy the rooms of the villa, as this will make it stronger and stronger. The spirit Mîn Wraith, on the other hand, can heal itself through scarabs or through fights in which it takes no damage and damage Lady Weirdwood. Here you have to be careful not to let Mîn Wraith come to scarabs and cause him enough damage. If Lady Weirdwood dies or we don't manage to defeat the fae monster by the end of the 12th day, we lose the game.

Every fae monster wants Lady Weirdwood in different ways.

Every fae monster wants Lady Weirdwood in different ways. Photo: Sven Karsten

The course of a game is explained quite simply. During his turn, the active player plays a card from his hand in one of his four time of day zones above the player board. Depending on which zone you have selected, the time of day on the game board changes and with it the corridors of the villa. These are moved by rotating elements and open and close the rooms of the villa.

Which rooms open or close can be very important because each room contains a specific action that we can perform once we move into that room.

Which rooms open or close can be very important because each room contains a specific action that we can perform once we move into that room. Photo: Sven Karsten

Then you can carry out the actions described on the card. These include, for example, movements, attacks or resources. In addition, you can use any number of special abilities to pay for the required resources and place a Warden Tactic card on the card you just played. These bring valuable bonuses in the fight against the fae monster.

After the active player has performed all of his actions, the monsters resolve their actions. To do this, a card is drawn from the monster stack, the time is also advanced and the action of the card is carried out. If all time-of-day zones above the active player's board are occupied by cards, the cards must be discarded and the fae monster's scarabs spread throughout the mansion. Then it's the turn of the next game.

Clever combinations = Valuable bonuses

In addition to the actions, the character cards also have half symbols at the top edge. If you manage to complete a symbol while placing a card, you get the bonus associated with the symbol until all time zones are occupied and you have to discard all cards played. These bonuses can bring more defense or strength in battles or free resources when paying for things in the game. By skillfully placing and planning cards, powerful actions or combinations can be made possible. This felt very rewarding at all times and generally increased the fun of the game.

By cleverly combining cards, we can strengthen our character all the more.

By cleverly combining cards, we can strengthen our character all the more. Photo: Sven Karsten

Warden Tactic cards, which are placed on the top half of the card, still have wild symbols that can complete any symbol. If two joker symbols are placed next to each other, you can freely decide in fights whether you want to strengthen your defense or offense. In addition, when paying for resources, you can freely decide whether a knowledge resource or Mîn (similar to mana) is paid less.

Level up like crazy

Since battles are fought with dice and thus rely a lot on luck, the initial main goal in Weirdwood Manor is to improve our characters. The more we improve our character, the more control we have over our happiness. In this way we can get more dice, resources, Warden Tactic cards, defense or strength, and companions. Companions give us an additional time of day zone in addition to additional special abilities. When playing a card in this zone, we're free to choose what time of day we want to jump into, giving us a little more freedom to move around the mansion and the changing corridors. In addition, the additional time of day zone makes it possible to form even more powerful combinations of symbols. So in one game I had the situation that thanks to two companions and numerous wild symbols I was able to buy a lot of improvements and then fight the fae monster, which I was able to defeat with a large amount of damage points.

This combining and improving your own character is a big part of Weirdwood Manor and just feels good. You can feel how your own character grows and you can do more and more.

An adult game based on children's stories?

Weirdwood Manor looks great as a prototype with components and rules not yet final. The material looks great and is of really high quality. Especially the rotating corridors have to be emphasized here. Where I still had major concerns about the rings in an interview with designer Mike Cassie, these have been completely eliminated after our test games. These can be easily turned and contribute a large part to the atmosphere of the game. The twisting corridors draw you into Weirdwood Manor. You have to be constantly on the lookout for how the corridors are moving. What opportunities are open to us. You feel like you are really in the mysterious mansion.

Due to the many different rooms, each of which entails different room actions, Weirdwood Manor also has a multitude of tactical possibilities. At first glance, these are simply stunning. You definitely have to have played a game or two in advance to get an overview of the game. Over time, however, this becomes easier and easier and you can make more and more use of the rooms. Since these are always rearranged in each game, Weirdwood Manor also has a lot of variety and thus a high level of replayability.

Each room has different room actions that can help us arm ourselves for the fight against the fae monster.

Each room has different room actions that can help us arm ourselves to fight the fae monster. Photo: Sven Karsten

While the app is for ages 4 and up and the books for ages 8-12, the board game is for ages 14 and up. We would confirm this. The sheer number of options makes it a little harder to get started. However, once you're in, the game is easy to handle. In terms of difficulty, we would therefore place Weirdwood Manor in the expert game area. Those who play a lot will find enough space here to try out tactics and max out the game. The fact that Weirdwood Manor is actually based on a children's book series is not noticeable at any point in the game.


Weirdwood Manor is from the April 18 on Kickstarter finance. In addition to the game, quick backers also have the Family Pledge, which includes the upcoming Weirdwood app, and the Readers Pledge, which includes a digital copy of the first Weirdwood book. These are limited to 200 supporters. So you have to be quick here!

We personally enjoyed the game immensely and made us want more Weirdwood Manor. Heavy gamers who like to dive cooperatively into dungeon crawlers with boss brawler elements will have a lot of fun with Weirdwood Manor. We will definitely play the game a few more times before we have to give it back.

About Weirdwood Manor

Number of players: 1 – 5
Age: from 14 years
Playing time: 90 - 120 minutes
Difficulty: medium
Classification: Dungeon Crawler
Core Mechanisms: Area Movement, Map Management

Author: Mike Cassie
Illustrations: –
Publisher: Greyridge Games

Link to Kickstarter campaign: Link
Official Website: Link

Preview Product Rating Price
Thieves of Weirdwood: A William Shivering Tale Thieves of Weirdwood: A William Shivering Tale (English Edition) * Currently no reviews 5,00 EUR

Last updated on 25.05.2023/XNUMX/XNUMX / Affiliate Links / Images from the Amazon Product Advertising API. * = Affiliate links. Images from Amazon PA API