WITHIN’s new reading-activated adventure offers a fresh take on the haunted house experience.
Arriving just in time for the Halloween season, Willowcrest Manor — the sixth and latest AR storybook experience available on WITHIN’s Wonderscope app, takes readers on a spooky adventure during which they’ll play the role of a not-so-friendly ghost tasked with scaring a pair of young intruders away from a mysterious treasure hidden within a haunted manor.
Under the guidance of a mischievous ghost butler named Godfrey, kids will learn the ins and outs of becoming a terrifying spirit. Like all Wonderscope AR experiences, the only way a user can progress through the story is by reading dialogue presented to them on-screen into the microphone of their device. This, in turn, creates the illusion that they’re actually communicating with the digital characters.
During their ghostly training with Godfrey, kids will learn how to interact with their environment by tapping on certain objects. Tapping on a cobweb, for instance, will send a cluster of creepy spiders scurrying across the walls, while applying a “ghostly touch” to an ancient suit of armor will trigger some “Thriller”-style dance moves.
When two sisters named Skylar and Margaret sneak their way onto the ghoulish property, however, users will need to put their newly-acquired skills to the test in order to scare the curious pair away from the mysterious treasure of the manors late-owner, Lady Willowcrest.
“We crafted this story with the intention of creating a narrative that was not just seasonal and fun, but highly participatory and fully immersive, incorporating the most exciting elements of AR,” said Thor Benitez, Lead Creative and Technical Artist at WITHIN and lead writer of Willowcrest Manor, in an official release. “This meant building a dollhouse-sized manor where kids play the house ghost and use their device to explore, tap and talk their way through the adventure. And, like all Wonderscope stories, there are unexpected twists along the way. We couldn’t be more excited to share it this trick or treat season.”
Whereas earlier Wonderscope stories, such as Little Red the Inventor and A Brief History of Stunts by Astounding People, incorporated the physical world fairly heavily into their respective experiences, Willowcrest Manor, on the other hand, offers users a fully-fleshed out digital environment in which to explore. The characters, the building, and the objects are represented as miniatures, allowing kids to back up and view the scene from a top-down perspective, or move in closer for a more cinematic experience; only in this film, they’re the ones in control of the camera. Much like how Benitez describes the experience in the statement provided above, it’s almost like looking down at the world’s creepiest dollhouse.
Developed by award-winning VR studio 3dar, Willowcrest Manor serves as a perfect follow-up to Wonderscope’s fifth release, Clio’s Cosmic Quest, which offered a larger, more expansive visual experience set in the vastness of outer space. By creating a more condensed detailed environment and filling it with various interactive elements in which to discover, WITHIN offers Wonderscope users yet another fresh take on their constantly-evolving AR storybook formula.
Wonderscope’s catalog of AR storybook experiences currently includes A Brief History of Stunts by Astounding People, Little Red the Inventor, Wonder’s Land Ringmaster Wanted, Clio’s Cosmic Quest, Lauren and the Three Bears, and Willowcrest Manor.
Willowcrest Manor is available now via the Wonderscope app, free on devices running iOS 11 and up; this includes the iPhone 6S and newer, the 2017 iPad or newer, and the iPad Pro. The AR storybook Wonder’s Land Ringmaster Wanted comes pre-loaded with the app at no additional cost. Individual stories, including Willowcrest Manor, are available for $4.99 apiece.
Feature Image Credit: WITHIN