Video games are well suited to explore cruelty. Inside their consequence-less bounds, we're able to persecute, wound and haunt virtual creatures, experiencing the illicit thrill of vindictiveness without the guilt chaser. We smirk as we send oblivious lemmings to their death over the cliff, or when a Pikmin catches fire and begins to skitter and shriek, or when the skater tumbles down the flight of stairs, landing legs akimbo.
In most cases, however, the virtual cruelty is informal, a by-product of our failing to perform the actions required of us by the game's designer. The horror inflicted on a game's characters is merely the collateral damage of our incompetence. Wayward Manor takes a different approach. Here the cruelty is formalised: you play as a ghost, working in cahoots with a grumpy 1920s Gothic manor as you work to drive inhabitants from the premises.
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