SNAP Review: Shaky Manor
Also known as Panic Mansion outside the United States, Shaky Manor is a race for 2-4 players to shake and shimmy their box “house” to get items into the right room.
There are two modes to play, and both are controlled by a deck of double-sided cards. One side of each card represents a room, and the other side pictures several items.
In the simpler mode of play, everyone starts with the treasure hunter meeple, three “treasure chests” (golden cubes), and one ghost meeple. Reveal a new room card and race to get the three chests and the treasure hunter (and nothing else) into that room. When a player wins, they add another item to their house.
We love the built-in handicap with this mode of play. We’ve also tried adding extra items to our boxes to level the playing field from the start.
The second way to play Shaky Manor is more complex. Use both sides of the cards: one shows a set of items, and the other will show the room.
Race to get exactly that set of items into the pictured room.
This variation allows for more variety and challenge, since you know neither the room nor the items before the round starts. Unfortunately, this also makes it more difficult to handicap for skilled players.
For even more challenge, try variation 2b: get all the items NOT pictured into the room!
The pieces all move in different ways, which makes it a more challenging game than it looks.
It’s easy to see why Shaky Manor was a nominee for the 2018 Kinderspiel des Jahres (Children’s Game of the Year).
We have found that most kids enjoy Shaky Manor a lot and adults like it as a quick filler game. Kids on the young end of the suggested age range (7-9) may get frustrated if they can’t keep up with older players. Handicap the adults and encourage them to keep working on their fine and gross motor skills!
Video: Watch our family play Shaky Manor live on Facebook.
The Family Gamers received a review copy of Shaky Manor from Blue Orange Games.