An old-school text adventure game that sucks you into its world!
Brought to you under lockdown in London during the COVID19 outbreak, Modern Fables Escape Rooms brings you MEDOGAN. This episodic adventure is set in the forgotten town of MEDOGAN, the epicentre of the Modern Fables universe. Stay tuned for further instalments!
In need of a break from the glorious UK sunshine one sunny Saturday, Gord and I had a browse through Escape the Review’s rather comprehensive list of Free Online Escape Rooms and came across Medogan, from Modern Fables in London. Intrigued by the reviews and the concept, we settled in and began our adventure.
Medogan is less of an escape game and more of a narrative-driven text-based adventure game, although there are some images, unlike the games I recall playing on my 1980-something beast of a first computer. With a few open-ended options, it also had elements of the choose your own adventure books of my youth as well. Due to the design of the game, players will find that there is a lot of reading, which could become a love/hate affair. But with the story drawing you in, and the atmospheric soundtrack, the game was surprisingly immersive.
Medogan is an episodic adventure, and at the time of writing, both episodes One and Two are available. The audio is essential for tasks in both episodes, however, the platform that Medogan runs on has a known issue with Safari, and even implementing the fix described on Modern Fables’ website didn’t correct this issue; as such, we struggled a fair amount in Episode One. With Episode Two we switched our browser to Chrome and encountered no problems with the audio, so I suggest playing in either Chrome or Firefox from the outset where possible.
Given how integral the audio is to the immersion, and the vast amount of text to read through, Medogan lends itself more to being played as a solo venture, rather than a team game. We did play it as a team of two sitting on the couch together, and it could easily be played simultaneously with a friend in another location, but in my opinion, that’s not where its strengths lie.
Perhaps “puzzle” isn’t quite the right term here, as there were very few of what I would call puzzles throughout the game. There was no decoding,
Unlike other online games we’ve come across, any tasks that took us outside of the game environment were a bit cryptic, but still very clearly indicating and reinforcing that the task was exactly what we thought it should be. There is one task that will become apparent throughout the course of play, and, while not impossible, will be more difficult if you are based outside of the UK.
Clues are perhaps the one area where Medogan could stand to improve. Full credit for the manner in which they’ve been done, it certainly keeps the immersion with the clues coming in the guise of a history lesson from a teacher in town, and it’s wonderful that the help is there if necessary. But we found that the hints themselves were almost as cryptic as the actual task, and with no option to get additional help if you still are unable to progress, I can see a number of players being frustrated by the clue system. That being said, if you persevere, often things become clearer.
The text-adventure game design means that Medogan may not be for everyone, but I enjoyed the narrative-driven, imagination-invoking adventure, and will definitely be on the lookout for Chapter 3. If the strength of Modern Fables’ text game is anything to go on, then I can’t wait to finally make it out to their live games when the world restarts.
- Desktop or Laptop (Chrome or Firefox recommended)
|Value for Money|
Team: 2 players
Time Taken: 80:00 (approx 40mins per chapter)