GBN appreciates the fact that gamebooks are tricky to write at the best of times, but how about a thousand paragraph gamebook that has time travel as its central theme? If it takes courage to attempt such a thing, then Joseph Daniels – author of The Legacy of Craven Manor – is amongst the bravest of the brave.
Perhaps it helps that the author has already written a time travel gamebook, The Ghosts of Craven Manor, which is the prequel to this latest release. Any of our readers who have played this book will recall playing the role of David Ingram; a man with the ability to time travel. In the story you found yourself trapped in a haunted manor, and having to use your abilities to discover the origin of the ghosts preventing you from leaving. Once you had acquired this knowledge you had the choice of either saving them in the past or dealing with them in the present, which resulted in six possible endings – phew!
Now, with the release of its sequel, the ending readers reached in the previous book will affect their starting point in The Legacy of Craven Manor. Furthermore, players of the prequel will be allowed to carry over certain statistics, items and choices into the new book, leading to highly individualised experiences and offering genuine connectivity between titles. If you have not yet played The Ghosts of Craven Manor, however, fear not – the sequel can be enjoyed as a stand-alone gamebook, as well!
Readers of the previous book will be happy to know that the ability to reverse time in any scene, gather knowledge from the future to use in the past, make changes in the past that affect the present, and finding time coordinates that allow you to visit different periods in history remain core gameplay features in The Legacy of Craven Manor. On top of this, several new gameplay elements have been added, including a new combat system that incorporates gunfights and sword fighting! There is also a database that allows you to independently find time coordinates by typing in the correct keyword corresponding to the date in question, as well as a new town navigation list that is incorporated into your adventure sheet.
Indeed, everything in The Legacy of Craven Manor is done on a much grander scale. Whereas in the prequel readers are mainly confined to the halls of Craven Manor and the surrounding town, this latest release sees you visiting three different modern locations: a haunted residential house, a spooky theatre, and a ghostly forest. All of these can be visited in any order you wish, and each comes with its own murder mystery to solve, requiring you to travel back to numerous time periods spanning a hundred years!
In addition, there is an overarching storyline concerning a mysterious being stalking you across time, a number of side quests, hidden Easter eggs and ten (yes, ten!) possible endings. All in all there are many days’ worth of gameplay to be had for the avid gamebook adventurer.
Not to forget Joseph Daniels’ first gamebook adventure, The Shadowborn Trials: A Hermacles Divide Gamebook.