To cleanse our collective palattes from the scourge of Blue Imp, I decided to write a review of a more old-fashioned playground. This one is build sturdy, not of steel and plastic, but of solid wood and children's tears. You may have a hard time finding it on a map, but the Croft Manor playground has a timeless charm to it.

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It's a little on the small side, sure, but the craftsmanship is impeccable. Each piece of wood sanded to a perfect soft edge, each rope tied with a subtle personal touch, and the gentle intrusion of some living flora adds a splash of colour. They just don't make 'em like this any more.

This ramp serves as the "entrance," though there are many ways onto the main structure. The incline isn't quite steep enough for my tastes, and the rope supports on either side are pretty useless, since no one would ever be pathetic enough to use them. Still, it's nice to have some sort of slanted footing, and the platform at the top gives a perfect view of the larger playground area...

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...as pictured here. I know I would personally make a beeline for the rope tunnel, though the balance beam serves as an equally valid means of ingress. Bonus points for the shorter platform built of hand-picked logs. It's so wonderfully naturalistic that it starts to look unreal. Not that this is a fictional playground or anything; I'd have to be fucking insane to make a thread for that.

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To facitate immediate access to the rope tunnel , or let you easily win a game of grounders, the architect also included these ladders. They exist in a few other places, and work as a fun "harder" way on, compared to the ramp entrance. The ropes themselves are serviceable, thick enough to allow running or climbing through the tunnel. However, they were severely lacking in bounce factor. I could hardly jostle them more than a few inches. It's probably some sort of safety limitation, but I'm still disappointed to walk on ropes and barely feel them quake beneath my feet.

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Across the balance beam is this platform, where some cretinous youth has left a red wagon. You can't even use a wagon on a playground why the fuck is it here? That aside, the log steps are absolutely gorgeous. You can tell whoever bankrolled this place spared no expense. After crossing the balance beam, you can shimmy across a rope and end up at the other end of the rope tunnel. There's also a ladder leading to the same place, presumably for failures who couldn't manage the rope. Normally, I'd praise the multitude of different entryways, but I almost think it hurts the overall design. Everything is too wide; there's no place that you can't easily access from ground level. I would've liked to see a bit more verticality, especially considering how short the whole structure is. I barely felt the cold chill of death breathing down my neck as I shimmied the rope, and I'm extremely frail.

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Okay I lied earlier, part of this playground is actually built out of plastic. Around the corner from the log steps is this plastic tunnel, surrounded by a stack of rocks. It goes pretty deep underground, and the lowest points start to get dark. If you trapped a kid in there for a while, they'd definitely start crying. There's a decent amount of room in there. too. This baby llama I've included for size could comfortably journey through the tunnel, though she did not deign to today. On the left you can also see one of the platforms is a hollowed out stump, with room to pass underneath. Not sure what purpose that serves, but it's still pretty sweet.

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Here's a view from underneath one of the other platforms. The rock wall seems to suggest an old-timey castle, though I got the impression that the playground was pirate ship themed. Some child picked up on the confused theming as well, drawing a queen and her knight on the complimentary chalk board. You apparently have to bring your own chalk, so I couldn't draw dicks all over the board. Guess I'll have to come back another day.

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I know what you fucks are thinking already, but I'm deeming this NOT a meme wheel. The surrounding props are clearly ship-themed, with a crow's nest behind and the rough shape of a bow around the wheel. The fucker spins beautifully too. It must've been oiled recently. On the right, there's a green slide serving as the playground's "exit".

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This was a neat gimmick I haven't seen before. The crow's nest is held up by a counter-weight, so you can actually lower it by adding enough weight. I assume you're meant to throw shit in it to bring it down, though if I was on this park as a kid I would've just climbed up and sat in there.

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Shot from the bottom of the slide. You can also see the other end of the plastic tunnel here. I wasn't too thrilled with the slide experience; the top was flat and rough, and it ends just as it's getting good. Maybe in wintertime, the snow and ice would add enough danger to make it exciting, but there just wasn't enough going on for me to enjoy my ride.

That's pretty much the whole structure, minus a few repeat attractions like extra ladders or under-platform hangouts. I hate to be so critical, but I'm giving the Croft Manor playground...

Verdict: 6/10

Incredible construction work aside, there just isn't enough to do here. Sure, you have a variety of ways in and around the structure, but it's pretty light on shit to climb, rotate or swing from. Even the slide was lacking pizazz. I imagine the first few tours of the playground would be incredible, but the routine would wear thin pretty quick. The whole thing just screams style over substance.

That's all I've got for this review, but be sure to come back next time when special guest Ada Wong and I try to survive a horrible park.
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kek. good thread idea

>You can't even use a wagon on a playground why the fuck is it here?


actually a pretty rad virtual playground. blue imp, take notes. i especially enjoy the crow's nest and how you get into it. very clever
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