Prepare to enter a magical realm
Arvior the wizard is once again in need of your help. He has been left in a powerless state after an evil curse was placed over the castle, trapping him inside a painting. Now the curse has been broken and the sorcerer who placed it seeks revenge .
We call on the brave and noble to embark on a dangerous journey and help protect the realm
As lockdown seems to be gradually easing it’s nice to see the companies are still releasing new online games, a trend that we hope continues. It’s also nice to see that companies like Hysteria are still pushing their boundaries and creating experiences that are different to their earlier ones. We’ve played Bank Job and Operation Blue Book which were primarily more real-world stories created in a Google Forms environment, yet this game was certainly not that.
The Forgotten Realm II is a continuation of the story from one of Hysteria’s physical escape rooms (The Forgotten Realm), which unfortunately we never got to play before it was replaced. Saying that you don’t need to have played that game prior to playing this one; if you have then you will likely get a bit more of a nostalgia trip about some of the characters in this game.
We played this on two devices and had no issues with the connection. It’s worth noting that although you can play simultaneously with friends, your connections are separate so make sure that you communicate with each other on what you have solved as it is possible to leave people behind!
I was trying to think of the feeling that this game gave us while playing it, and I think the best I can come up with is like a hybrid between Lord of the Rings and The Chronicles of Narnia, think mythical creatures and talking lions and you’ll have the right idea.
The game was set up in a linear manner so you progressed through the story in one direction and there was no chance of deviation. The game is built as part of the main Hysteria webpage which caused us a few issues as the dropdown menu at the top of the page kept on getting in the way, probably not a big issue if you’re using a larger screen, but as we were on 13” screens it took a good chunk of the screen up. Another tip, you may find it easier to open the images in a new window, we found it resized them to a good size and made it easier to see everything in one go.
I like what Hysteria did with this game. Taking it away from the ‘real world’ has given them more flexibility to develop characters and build the world as they want it. I don’t want to say the imagery was beautiful as, are Trolls beautiful? But the imagery was beautifully done and helped suck you into the world of The Forgotten Realm, especially when you played the game alongside the soundtrack that was provided.
One thing we hate in online games is when we can’t see what we are entering in the password field – we like to know if we have got the wrong solution or just entered it incorrectly (damn fat fingers). Hysteria have taken away that uncertainty and you can now view what you have typed into the answer box – Thank you!
The puzzles were all created to fit the theme perfectly, and nothing felt out of place. There was a mixture of puzzle styles which generally involved observation, audio, maths, and deduction, and it was nice to be able to physically manipulate one of them. There was no need for any outside knowledge in the realm as everything you needed was contained in your trusty Grimoire.
They have included one type of puzzle which I can only imagine you will love or hate, it stumped us for a few minutes until it finally clicked (with me at least), and when it did I thought it was a great puzzle.
We struggled on a couple of puzzles, but this was down to our own stupidity and not realising how we needed to use The Grimoire. Once we solved that we moved through the puzzles much more seamlessly.
While most puzzles resulted in some form of data entry into a text box, they did find a way to include different input measures which kept the game feeling fresh all the way through.
We find that the clue system can really make or break a game, and in The Forgotten Realm was a mixed bag. Our preferred clue system is one that offers gradual hints to help point you back in the right direction, and ultimately culminates in the solution should you need it. This system works well as you can still progress through the game even if you’re stuck. Unfortunately here you get one clue per puzzle and that is it, so if you really are stuck then you may struggle to progress without contacting Hysteria on social media.
Although you were limited on how many clues you could get per puzzle, the way you got the clues was good and was a nice way to make them feel a bit more integrated with the story. Even if you don’t need a clue when you play this game, just have a look at them to see.
Ignoring some questionable accents, this was a fun game and arguably the best online game we’ve played by Hysteria so far. I could easily see this game being a family favourite thanks to the characters and the level of detail they have gone to in The Forgotten Realm
- Computer with Internet Connection
- Notepad and Pen (for notes)
|Value for Money|
Team: 2 players
Time Taken: 56 minutes
*Disclaimer: we weren’t charged for this experience, but this has not influenced our review.