A worthy sequel
When you discover that a member of the Clueminati has infiltrated the gang of notorious criminal Danny Badd – you’ll need to go undercover to find the truth. Join the criminal underworld as you work out the identity of the Clueminati member in Clue HQ’s 3rd mission: Orpheus.
Clue HQ’s previous games in their Hunt for the Clueminati series, Astra and Chronicle, impressed us, with their multi-user platform, varied puzzles, and non-linear gameplay, so of course, when we saw that the company had not one, but two additional games in the works, we were excited. Finally, release day for Part 3 of The Hunt for the Clueminati arrived, and while we missed out on a slot for release day due to some indecision on our part, we did manage to snag a place for later that weekend to play Orpheus.
I can’t quite put my finger on why, especially as it didn’t actually take us much longer to complete than either of the earlier Clue HQ games, but Orpheus felt more challenging than either Astra or Chronicle. The puzzles weren’t unfair (quite the opposite really), so this could possibly be due to Gord and I working independently on puzzles that were just not to our strengths; in fact, there were numerous points where I passed the puzzle I was working on over to Gord, and vice versa, because it just wasn’t clicking, which seemed to resolve the issue, and we were able to progress with our undercover operation to find the Clueminati.
Like the previous games in Clue HQ’s Hunt for the Clueminati series, Orpheus is entirely browser-based and self-contained, with everything you need to know located within the game, so don’t expect any epic Google Map scavenger hunts, or to be crawling through a stranger’s social media accounts. They’ve also done well to keep the game like a live escape game, with no outside knowledge required. And even more like a live escape game, you must book a specific time slot for your game, with peak times often selling out, but time slots to span a 12-hour period.
The platform that Orpheus is built on allows four devices to be signed in to the same game simultaneously and is supported across multiple platforms including tablets and mobiles. You can even test the compatibility of your device on Clue HQ’s website prior to purchasing, so you will know immediately which device is most suitable (but I highly recommend using whichever device will give you the largest screen to work with). With a game that supports up to four players, one of the most impressive things about the game, though less impressive if you’ve played the Clue HQ games that came before, is the multi-linear structure. We’ve seen a number of other companies that have been able to create a non-linear digital game since we played Astra (the first in the Clueminati series) but few have managed to make the experience as smooth as Clue HQ.
At its core, Orpheus is a massive whodunnit game, with the end goal of identifying the Clueminati mole, so expect a hefty amount of combing through evidence, and a bit of logical deduction based on your observation, but that’s not the entirety of it.
Orpheus felt as though there was a bit more emphasis on integrating the story into the puzzles – you’ve infiltrated the criminal underground in search of the Clueminati, rather than the Clueminati infiltrating the organisation you work for, C.L.U.E. – and as such, the puzzles revolve around the jobs that the gang of criminals you’ve infiltrated are involved with. While they’re each very different, they still manage to be thematic and incorporate a variety of skills, including basic maths, pattern recognition, and of course, more of the escape room standbys of logic and observation.
Orpheus also raised the bar from its predecessors with the level of interactivity with the puzzles. Astra primarily presented a series of images and videos with puzzles, Chronicle introduced a click and drag element, and Orpheus is venturing into point and click territory. It’s not quite a point and click game, but with many more elements that were able to be manipulated by the team, Orpheus was leagues apart from Astra.
Clues in Orpheus operate exactly as they do in Clue HQ’s other digital games, which means if you’ve played the games in order of their release, you can probably just skip ahead, as this will all be familiar to you. If you haven’t had the pleasure of playing either Astra or Chronicle, then keep reading… If you’re actually interested I mean.
Clues are always available for each puzzle, in a separate tab, so you know exactly what you’re looking for, and these are delivered in a gradual and granular manner – hopefully, to give you just the right level of assistance. There is one exception to this; I have yet to see any clues to assist with the final do-or-die identification of the member of the Clueminati, in any of the series (but I also may not have been paying attention). This doesn’t detract from the game, as there are so many indicators, both subtle and overt, that most people should be able to correctly identify the badie.
Orpheus is the third in The Hunt for the Clueminati series from Clue HQ, and while they can be played in any order, Clue HQ suggest playing them in order of release, and I agree. Fans of Astra and Chronicle won’t be disappointed by the latest offering from Clue HQ, and if you’re looking for a digital multiplayer experience that also manages to be non-linear, look no further.
- Device with an internet connection
- Items for notetaking
|Value for Money|
Team: 2 players
Time Taken: 1hr 12mins