Point and click fun!
Time has passed since the cataclysm brought about by Project X. The reconstruction is almost complete and the world is fast returning to normal. The dark days of quarantine are over! People have returned to the streets, the parks have reopened, and children are once again back in the playgrounds.
Some scars remain, however. We are the victims of the attendant economic crisis. No-one has any money left for good, honest criminals like us to steal! Do you remember our first mission together? Back then we wanted to get our hands on Simon Dickson’s fortune, but we failed. It’s time to try again, and finally complete the mission. The Operator is waiting for you!
We’ve been mostly sticking with English online games lately, but after joining a German Escape Room Enthusiast group on Facebook we found out that they were doing a weekly competition where a number of teams would do the same room at the same time and see who was quickest (it’s all very friendly). The room selected for that weekend was ‘Back to the Congressman’ by Crime Runners who are based in Austria, yet this game was available in both English and German. Only having GCSE German under my belt, we wisely chose the English version.
Back to the Congressman is set up like a bit of an old-school point and click adventure game mixed in with an escape room. I must admit, when we started this game we wasted around five minutes just trying to work out what we were doing and how we were supposed to interact with the game.
The concept is actually pretty simple, you are exploring the house and grounds of a very sizable mansion and you have to solve puzzles in order to progress. The images are simple but well put together and everything was clear to read.
We played this over two devices simultaneously and were able to see the same screen and interact with it. We could independently control our own cursors although it’s worth noting that we couldn’t work independently and we both saw the same screen. We did find though that videos would only play on one device, but that could have been an issue our end.
When playing a game in English that was put together by non-native English speakers, there is always a concern that something may get lost in translation or it may be riddled with poor grammar and spelling, but this felt slick, and was flawlessly translated. The videos were easy to understand, the text looked like it had been checked meticulously, and the puzzles were clear.
The puzzles played out in a linear structure that guided you on your journey of exploration. There were the usual favourites that you would likely find in a physical room and some puzzles involved you entering codes in keypads to progress. You’ll also need to be observant to take in your surroundings and work out what you can and can’t interact with.
Sound plays a big part in this experience, both in adding atmosphere and in the puzzles so make sure you have your volume turned up to help you get fully immersed, and also so you can actually do some of the puzzles.
We found most of the puzzles to be quick wins but there were a couple of longer puzzles which certainly slowed us down. Generally though, all the puzzles were good and make sense – we didn’t need any clues which is a testament to how well built this game is.
The clue system for this game was detached from the actual experience which does lose some of the immersiveness that they had built, but all you need to do is have it open in another tab. If you do need clues you will find they’ve set it up in a very easy to follow way so you know which puzzle you’re on (none of that ‘Puzzle 7’ rubbish here!). The clues are hidden so you reveal as many or as few as you need, and if you’re really not getting it there is a solution so you are still able to continue.
We very much enjoyed this game and came away with the same type of buzz that we get when we complete a physical escape room. We were truly immersed in the story and were saddened when we reached the end. For now, we’ll just have to wait for the sequel.
Apparently this game links to the physical games at Crime Runners, but you don’t have to have played them to appreciate and enjoy this online game.
- Internet connection
- Pen and paper for notes (optional)
|Value for Money|
Team: 2 players
Time Taken: 47:31