Visually, a stunning game
A missing actress, a deserted theatre and whispers of a secret conspiracy dating back centuries.
Renowned actress Rita Vasconcellos is missing, vanished in the middle of an acclaimed run of performances at the Palm Street Theatre. Where has she gone? What does she know? Will the understudy finally get a chance to perform?
If you’re cunning enough you may be able to solve the mystery of Rita’s disappearance and escape the theatre before it’s too late!
First impressions really do count when it comes to online games, so when we were contacted by Dave about his new game, ‘Rita’s Cult Following’, of course the first thing we did was to go to his website and have a look for any insights into what his game may be like. First impressions were really rather good, the website is modern and well designed and the images we could see of the game made it look quite impressive.
Other than knowing that this game was created by Dave and it was set in a theatre, we really didn’t know what to expect. Our adventure into Rita’s Cult Following didn’t start too well, as our first mistake was that we didn’t read the instructions, so when Liz and I loaded up the game to give it a try, we realised our first mistake – this needs a minimum of three players!
After taking a step back to find additional team members, we recruited our friends, James and Charlie from Deadlocked Escape Rooms. Confident that we had now read all the instructions and had the right number of team members, we were ready to begin (again).
Another thing that is worth noting about this game, other than the three player minimum, is that it has a 60 minute time limit. I don’t know what happens if you don’t complete the game within 60 minutes, but I would imagine it isn’t good. The countdown timer is always displayed on the screen so there’s no escaping the impending doom!
Our mission for Rita’s Cult Following was two fold, one, we had to locate where Rita had gone and report this back, and two, we had to escape the theatre. Game on!
When you load into the game the first thing you find is a lobby/waiting area, this is where all your team members assemble and when they are all there (at least three players) you can hit start. Certain things are always displayed on your screen; the timer, a GPS button (needed for your mission), an exit button, a clue button, and the all important rubber duck.
The interface for this game was good, really good and one thing that you’ll instantly notice about this game is that it is very pretty, but there is more to this game to the cosmetics, the functionality was really well thought out. We could see each player’s cursor and what they were interacting with, even watch how they were interacting with puzzles. When a puzzle was solved, it was solved for everyone.
There was one puzzle which it was possible to see it being worked by teammates on without even clicking on it. This was a really small detail but I personally thought it was very clever and gave an element of realism to the game.
In-built in the game was a small inventory system, this ensured that you could pick up items that may become useful later. Of course, you may pick up items and not have a clue what they are for, just be prepared to think outside of the box for this one!
There were a variety of puzzle styles in this game, and I’m sure there is something for everyone. We encountered; searching, observation, pattern recognition, logic, and decoding. A couple of the puzzles even required teamwork, so there’s no chance one player can just run away solving everything before the rest of you can catch up.
Make sure you have your speakers turned on for this game, you will find that audio plays a part and is required. Not only that, you are encouraged to use Google for at least one puzzle, it took us a while to realise this, so don’t make the same mistake we did.
The puzzles were generally ok but we found ourselves increasingly frustrated with a number of them, particularly with red herrings. One of the red herrings was clearly signposted as such and it actually gave us a laugh, but the other was either put there to confuse people, or it was just poorly designed. There was signposting to point you from one item to where it needed to go, but after a frustrating ten minutes or so trying to solve it how we thought it should be solved, it turned out to be much simpler and left us annoyed – we actually had to resort to a clue on this one.
As I mentioned earlier, you really need some outside-the-box thinking for this game, if you have an item in your inventory and you don’t know what to do with it, try everything!
*Pro-tip, if you’re doing something in this game and are not sure what it is changing, spread your players out in different rooms.
There is a clue system in the game, and it is there to help you get back on track if you get stuck. Saying that, I can’t actually recall how good it was and how much detail it gave you. From what I do remember, I believe it was a bit light so don’t expect it to help you too much. If you play this game and use the clue question, do let us know if it gives enough information to get you going again.
A well structured and visually appealing game, but we found the puzzles were not up to the same standards. Is it still a decent game? Yes. Should you play it? Yes. I think if you are looking for something a bit different to everything else out there, then this could be the game for you.
- Computer and Browser
- Audio turned on
- Google (or search engine of your choice)
|Value for Money|
Team: 4 players
Time Taken: 41mins
*Disclaimer: we weren’t charged for this experience, but this has not influenced our review.