There really is something brewing
You and your friends head to a coffeehouse before the celebration. You soon find out that something is brewing, and your evening takes a turn for the worse. What crucial decisions will your team need to make, and what major outcome will that lead to?
We’d so far (remotely) visited District 3 on three occasions firstly for The Cabin, followed by Haunted and then Interrogation Room, and all of those visits were enjoyable. Our next visit was planned to be a more sedate one, no cabins, haunted mansions, or interrogations here, this time we were simply visiting them for Something Brewing. Surely a sedate coffee shop couldn’t give us too many surprises, could it?
We assembled what seems to have become our default team for District 3, calling in the reinforcements of Amy and Ian from Brit of an Escape Habit to create the dream team now known as Brit of a Review Habit (like the Constructicons combining to form Devastator, yes, that’s a Transformers reference, I’ll see myself out).
At our allocated time, and with a coffee in hand (for Liz, not me, I don’t like coffee) we opened up Telescape, joined our Zoom chat and prepared ourselves for a nice visit to the Something Brewing coffee shop.
Something Brewing is another of District 3’s real life games that has been converted to work online, and I must say, it worked rather well, although again I think this game would have been even better in person. David, our host, explained how the game works differently in real life and it sounds like a truly wonderful room!
This game was rather unique compared to many other online avatar games we have played, in fact it was different to many real life games too. I won’t give away too much, but let’s just say that the decisions you make in this game will directly affect your game. Many games will have a decision that needs to be made right at the end that doesn’t really affect anything but the story, but if you play Something Brewing then your decision does have a genuine impact.
Like the other games by District 3, Something Brewing used both Zoom and Telescape. The Telescape interface worked perfectly as our inventory system and enabled us to get 360 degree views of the area(s) and also interact with items so we could manipulate and solve puzzles from thousands of miles away. All the items were added by our host so we could focus on solving puzzles rather.
District 3 have obviously done a lot of testing as there were a number of subtle design choices that they had made in the inventory that improved the gameplay no end. Housekeeping was also second-to-none, once a puzzle was solved and it was no longer needed in the inventory, it was moved to a ‘completed’ folder. Tidy!
District 3 class Something Brewing as their hardest game, and I think I’d agree with that. We spent probably the first five minutes in a state of confusion while we worked out what we needed to do. Of course it didn’t help that we got distracted by something we needed to solve later – we always do that!
Once we got over the hurdle of the first puzzle things seemed to come together much quicker with the other puzzles, and we found that as the game opened up more, we came into our element and found our rhythm.
There were a lot of puzzle types here, with some more interactive than others, but all satisfying. Maths, audio, logic, observation, wordplay and decoding were the puzzle types we encountered and everything we needed to solve them was in the game.
There was one nice touch which we appreciated and that was that at one point in the game, colours were used and they were labelled. Simply labelling the colours makes the game much more accessible for anyone who struggles to see colours and it really doesn’t detract from the experience at all. Well done to District 3 for including this.
Our host for this game was David, but of course it wasn’t David as David, but David in the character of Carta, a role that was played to perfection. We’ve had the pleasure of having David as our host numerous times now and each time it is a masterclass in hosting. Carta’s character came across as a bit unsure of everything around him and he shared the same shock and surprise that we did as our journey progressed.
We didn’t ask for any hints during the game as we found it very intuitive and the puzzles were clever and fair. However the lack of needing clues was also down to some wonderful hosting by Carta. He could sense when we were a bit stumped and would subtly leave the camera in one location or pan slowly enough in one direction for us to spot something we had missed – subtle nudging is the best kind of nudging.
Arguably the hardest of the games that we’ve played by District 3, but also one of the more satisfying ones. With clever puzzles, a wacky story, and a game-changing decision – this is a game to play if you’re looking for something challenging and different from the rest.
GOOD TO KNOW
- Number of connections: 2-8 Players
- Price: $27.00 (+tax) CAD per adult (Child Discounts available)
- Devices: Desktop/Laptop
- Platform: Zoom & Telescape
- Inventory: Yes
- 360º View: Yes
- Time Zone: CST (Regina, SK, Canada)
|Value for Money|
Team: 4 players
Time Taken: 51 minutes
*Disclaimer: we weren’t charged for this experience, but this has not influenced our review.