A Game of Two Halves
It all begins with a beautiful old chest that you find in the attic of your new house. A chest full of memories. It piques your curiosity; what do all these objects mean? To whom does this chest belong? Is that something you can find out…?
At the start of the global Coronavirus pandemic, fellow bloggers, Escape the Review, spent a great deal of time and effort playing and compiling a list of free play at home games that had been developed by Escape Room companies. It was from this list that we found A Lost Memory from Creators United, but with the potential to take anywhere between three and ten hours from start to finish, we knew that we would need to find more than two hours to set aside to play it.
In actuality, we ended up playing for nearly three and a half hours over the course of two Saturdays (One hour and 45 minutes the first, and one hour and 40 minutes the second). There is a lot of content to wade through, but if you’re willing to put in the time, it is well worth the effort.
A Lost Memory is the brainchild of 18 (yes, you read that right, 18) different escape room creators, hence the name, Creators United. With that many contributors, it’s natural that the style will vary from section to section, and it did, but the game still managed to maintain integrity, with fluidity as you followed the narrative through to its conclusion. And I have to say, the narrative was a strong one, with one of the sweetest stories we’ve come across in an escape room, live or digital.
The game is indeed a game of two halves, with the first half presented in a relatively basic point and click structure, allowing you to explore the memories contained within that dusty old chest in the attic. The puzzles in the first half are completely non-linear and can be worked through in any order, as you gather all of the information needed for the final metapuzzle. As the game is free (although Creators United are able to accept donations if you’re able to donate), players from multiple households can all access the game platform, but you will need to ensure you share the information amongst the team if you decide to split up to tackle different tasks. Be warned though, several of the puzzles require a great deal of outside information, so be prepared to leave the game environment to brush up on your World War II knowledge, and a bit more.
The game provides an opportunity for a much-needed break (make sure you bookmark the URL to return to the same point in the game if you do decide a rest is needed) and picks up again with the second half of the story. Part two of A Lost Memory continues the point and click style at first, with the opening presenting multiple starting points, but as you progress through, the game changes slightly in style. One thing to note, where part one of A Lost Memory was entirely digital, part two presents one task that will be infinitely easier to complete if you print one page. It’s not necessary, but it will make things much simpler to see (we used Photoshop to manipulate it).
Given the collaboration behind the creation of A Lost Memory, it should come as no surprise that the puzzles throughout the game are incredibly varied. After all, it’s only natural that each puzzle would be completely different to the next given that the game is a collaboration between so many designers. The puzzles presented an array of styles including decoding, logic, pattern recognition, wordplay, Google Map hunts, and more.
For the most part, the puzzles were well thought out, and very satisfying. Many were quite complex, with multiple layers that needed to be explored, and others were quick wins. But, there were one or two that felt a little weak, requiring one or two logic leaps that I was unlikely to have ever made without taking a hint.
A game that is expected to last anywhere between three and ten hours absolutely NEEDS a clue system, just in case the brains of the players begin to melt. Luckily, most of the puzzles in A Lost Memory have one or two cryptic hints built into the bottom of the web page that can be revealed simply by hovering over them. This would likely be enough to get you back on track, but if you’re still stuck, Creators United do have a help forum, with a few more helpful hints that are a bit less cryptic, and culminate in the solution. In theory, if players still need help even after reading the information that is already provided in the forum, they can even write their question in the forum, but it doesn’t look like this is monitored regularly.
A Lost Memory was a perfect rainy day activity, that could be spread out for hours (or days) of entertainment. It’s on the more challenging side, but it’s perfect for people that love puzzles.
- Device with an Internet connection
- Printer and one sheet of paper (optional)
|Value for Money|
Team: 2 players
Time Taken: 3hrs 25mins