Another solid game in the ClueHQ arsenal
After months of surveillance the C.L.U. have finally uncovered the secret hideout of the Clueminati Order. Inside you find evidence to help you track down the highest-ranking members of the Clueminati including their mysterious leader.
Roughly five months since the release of Orpheus, Clue HQ are finally back with the fourth instalment of their Hunt for the Clueminati series: Genesis. The strangest thing about playing the digital Clue HQ games is the need to book a 12-hour slot in which to play, but this time we managed to snag a slot on release day (they do this to stop the server getting overloaded).
Clue HQ released their first game at a time when digital escape games were just beginning to emerge, and the multi-user interface that allowed players to move about and investigate whatever they wished without impacting their teammates, and to tackle challenges in any order was a breath of fresh air, and exactly what the market was crying out for. Over the last six months, the competition for a great at home escape game has become quite fierce, but that doesn’t change the fact that The Hunt for the Clueminati series is one of my go-to recommendations for newcomers to the genre, particularly those that are playing with teammates scattered to the far reaches, and Genesis is as equally pleasing as the games that came before it, even for the hardened puzzle enthusiast.
While the games in The Hunt for the Clueminati series can be played in any order it makes sense to me to play them in release order: Astra, Chronicle, Orpheus, and finally Genesis. If you’ve followed the logical pattern, and have played any of the other games in the series, you’re unlikely to be surprised by the mechanics of the game. Like its siblings, Genesis utilises the same online portal that allows for up to four devices to connect to the game and synch play so that if one person solves a puzzle, the game progresses for everyone. The browser-based game is also compatible with a number of devices and even provides an opportunity to test your device before commencing play.
Genesis, like the other games in the series, had two missions: one involved solving the puzzles to track down and apprehend the members of the Clueminati, and the second was the dramatic “Do or Die” identification of their mysterious leader we’ve become accustomed to throughout the series. While the first mission is quite straightforward, and the puzzles that support it fit into the theme, the second mission is all part of the underlying narrative, driven by the series of messages, emails, and information that is revealed throughout the course of the game. And there is a fair amount of information to sift through, although it’s never particularly overwhelming, with some of the most minuscule things carrying quite a bit of importance to the finale.
Logic, observation, maths, wordplay, codes, cyphers: you name it, Genesis had it. The structure of the game allows for puzzles to either be tackled in tandem or independently, so if something isn’t clicking, chances are, it may click for someone else on the team. I mentioned earlier that the open structure means that it’s possible for teams to either work together or separately, but Genesis has introduced a new element to the already multi-layered puzzles: teamwork. Yes, every puzzle can be solved individually, but there are several puzzles that are made infinitely easier by tackling them in pairs.
Furthermore, where Astra presented the puzzles in simple video or static images, Genesis has utilised the interactivity that was introduced in Chronicle, making it part of the challenge to not just solve the puzzle, but also to figure out how. Luckily, C.L.U.E have provided some resources to help with some of this… if you know where to look.
Each puzzle has an integrated tab to allow players to request help as required. And like the previous games in the series, these are presented in the same granular fashion that dominates the vast majority of play-at-home experiences. In a way, it’s a shame you can’t request help by interacting with a bot to keep some immersion, but quite frankly, this works, so why change it? We also found that the puzzles were intuitive enough that we never needed to request any hints, and were able to ignore that tab, making it a moot point anyway.
Genesis is another solid offering from Clue HQ, presented in the same format as the earlier games in the series. If you’re on the lookout for something that can be played remotely with ease, you can’t go wrong with any of games in The Hunt for the Clueminati series.
- Device with an internet connection
- Items for notetaking
|Value for Money|
Team: 2 players
Time Taken: 1hr 17mins