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Game Info:

Kraven Manor
Developed by: Demon Wagon Studios
Published by:  Digerati Ditribution
Release Date: September 26, 2014
Available on: PC
Genre: Survival/Horror
Number of Players: One
ESRB Rating: Not Rated
Price: $9.99

Thank you Digerati Distribution for sending us this game to review!

Kraven Manor was developed in six months by thirteen grad students at The Guildhall at Southern Methodist University (a school for game development).     The game was released for free in May of 2013 and if you're good at using a search engine, you can still find the free version out there.  The $9.99 Steam version has added features like cloud saves and achievements to earn.  If you're curious to test drive the latest build, there's a demo available.

The game begins with you standing in an abandoned yet mysteriously well maintained mansion.  The doors are locked behind you and the roaring thunderstorm going on outside makes you somewhat happy to be indoors even if the mansion is a bit creepy.  What's with that bronze mannequin by the stairs that faces you no matter where you stand?

Kraven Manor
Highlights:

Strong Points: Great visuals and suspenseful atmosphere
Weak Points: Can be beaten in an hour; autosaves 
Moral Warnings: Blood and violence; supernatural references

That question and many more that arise will be answered  as you leaf through various scraps of paper, journal notes,  and annotated photos.  While not shown, many of the photos reveal details about murders and inhumane procedures done in the name of science.  The paintings on the walls are disturbing and depict violent acts like a woman about to cut off a man's head with a sword.

Kraven Manor was made with the Unreal 3 engine and the graphics are very well done.  There's a lot of detail and thought put into the levels and the suspense is spot on.  There are two difficulty levels: Regular and Nightmare.  The difference between them is that in the Nightmare mode, you have to manually wind up the flashlight and the enemies are more challenging.  I found the Regular mode scary enough for my tastes and had a few startling moments.

Kraven Manor
Score Breakdown:
Higher is better
(10/10 is perfect)

Game Score - 82%
Gameplay - 12/20
Graphics - 9/10
Sound - 10/10
Stability - 5/5
Controls - 5/5

Morality Score - 61%
Violence - 1/10
Language - 10/10
Sexual Content - 6.5/10
Occult/Supernatural - 3/10
Cultural/Moral/Ethical - 10/10

While my Steam account shows that I have three hours of game time, that is not true.  I left my game running when I had company over so I would not have to replay/relive scary moments or lose my progress.  Unfortunately, you cannot save whenever you wish and have to rely on the game's auto save/checkpoint system.    Fortunately, these checkpoints are usually at places where there is a high probability of your character dying but the ability to save after securing an important item would have been nice.  Sadly, this game is relatively short and can be completed in a hour's time.

Besides finding a way out of the mansion, your goal is to unlock various rooms within.  Each room has the key to unlock the next area.  Your paths are guided and many areas are blocked off until needed.  Since the game is very linear, there is not much room for exploration or re-playability aside from playing on a harder difficulty.

Overall, Kraven Manor is a short but scary journey.  Like many survival horror games you can expect to find supernatural references, violence, and blood.  If you're looking for a good scare, it won't disappoint you...I can also guarantee that you  won't look at mannequins the same way again.  :)

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Christ Centered Gamer looks at video games from two view points. We analyze games on a secular level which will break down a game based on its graphics, sound, stability and overall gaming experience. If you’re concerned about the family friendliness of a game, we have a separate moral score which looks at violence, language, sexual content, occult references and other ethical issues.

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