Even better than the first Clue HQ online game!
Join the Collective League of United Explorers (C.L.U.E.) as they search for treasure left behind by the famous Sir Archibald Hanes. But when the key to discovering the location of his treasure is stolen by a member of the Clueminati, it’ll be up to you to uncover their identity before it’s too late.
Clue HQ’s live rooms have always struck me as enjoyable enough, particularly if the franchise owner is passionate about their business, but the company has never been my immediate go-to if I’m looking for a live game to play. The complete opposite is true of their new digital games, however. When we played Astra, I was struck by how clever the platform was, and marvelled at the way Gord and I could look at different things at the same time. Really, apart from a few minor complaints, Astra was very nearly perfect. Chronicle is even better.
A truly non-linear, multiplayer, purely online escape experience seemed like a mythical beast when companies started releasing play at home games, and yet, Clue HQ have somehow managed to find a unicorn in creating a game that is exactly that. And not just once, but twice! (With even more games soon to come.) One could argue that Chronicle is actually semi-linear, as there are certain things that must be completed in a specific order, but doing this then unlocks more information to explore – almost like in a live room when you complete everything in one room, only to then unlock a secret room with multiple puzzle paths.
Clue HQ’s Hunt for the Cluminati series can be played in any order but for the best experience they recommend playing in the order they were released. If you’ve already played Astra, you’ll be familiar with the setup which allows up to four devices to be logged in at the same time. There are other games that replicate this, but Clue HQ’s interface is unique in that it will allow each player to view and interact with separate things, rather than everyone only being able to view and interact with the same page.
Clue HQ have taken what was great about Astra and replicated it, and then they improved upon it. For example, my one frustration with Astra was a puzzle that involved having exceptional spatial relation skills, but you were unable to interact with the pieces, so those of us that are not so good at visualising things were a little bit stuck. In Chronicle, click and drag has been introduced – eliminating this problem entirely. With a user-friendly interface that allowed us to navigate between pages in the game easily and engaging puzzles, the hour or so we spent playing the game was enjoyable from start to the finish, which provided a clear round up of all the evidence that pointed to the member of the Cluminati for the grand finale.
Astra was brilliant as players could look at different things simultaneously, but rarely did you need information for a puzzle that wasn’t contained in that specific section, so players didn’t really need to come together as a team until the end. Chronicle has plenty of tasks for players to solve on their own, without the input of the entire team, but the game has also introduced a few tasks that are made much easier with teamwork and communication.
The puzzles in Chronicle, in general, felt much more involved than those of its predecessor, with even more information presented from the outset, a few multistep challenges, and more emphasis on teamwork and communication. Of course the game still had the overarching goal of identifying the Cluminati mole, so observational skills will need to be on point to pick up on some of the very subtle, and not so subtle, clues, as you work your way through the decoding, translating, and more on your treasure hunt.
Each puzzle has a separate tab with a series of hints available to you if you’re struggling, and using this format, there’s no chance of you getting a spoiler for another puzzle. This time we did actually have a quick look at them for research purposes, and as expected, Clue HQ have used the standard format of gradual revealing increasingly more obvious clues, so you can choose how much assistance you actually need.
Chronicle took the strengths of Astra, and improved on any weaknesses. If you haven’t played any of The Hunt for the Cluminati series yet, you’re missing out. We’ve played some great games, but not even many of the remote play live avatar games have come as close to replicating the feeling of being in an escape room that the Clue HQ games have.
- Internet Connection
- Pen and Paper for taking notes
- Communication platform (Zoom?) (remote play only)
|Value for Money|
Team: 2 players
Time Taken: 66 mins