Don’t rush, and leave your inhibitions at the door
You caught our attention. You are special.
We’re looking for people who see the world in a slightly different way. People who notice things others don’t. And we think that might be you. We just need to, well, get to know you a little bit better. See where your strengths lie. You could be a great asset to us. And we could change your life.
The Department of Distractions, a clandestine organisation that claims its job is to plant stories in the world “to make life more interesting”, is on the search for new recruits… and they think YOU might be just what they need.
The Distraction Agents, by Third Angel is one of those games that just seemed to appear from no-where, and as such we knew less than nothing about it when it arrived through our postbox. Of course, the first thing I did was to do a little research on who ‘Third Angel’ are. As it turns out, they’re a theatre company and it looks like they’ve decided to change things up a bit (thanks Covid) and offer experiences for people at home to get involved with.
We received our package, disguised as a box from a glove maker called ‘Delphine Apollinaire’, and then a day later we received an email also from ‘Delphine Apollinaire’. The email was quite mysterious and only added to our curiosity about this experience. So we clicked the link, and were transported to the world of The Distraction Agents.
Trying to explain this game is really not simple. It’s not an escape room, and it’s not really like anything else we have played to date. It’s probably best to let Third Angel describe it:
Part puzzle, part game, part film, part real life, The Distraction Agents is an on and offline experience
There you go, does that make it clear? No? I didn’t think so. I would imagine that this is one of those games that you will either love, or you will hate. But, what is clear is that the more you put into this, the more you will get out of it.
I’ll be the first to admit that when we played we didn’t go for ‘full immersion’, and we just went through the videos and solved the puzzles. But if you really want to get the most from this game, then there is a lot more that you can do to make this a one of a kind experience, and you could make it last a week.
I don’t really want to give too much more away about how the game works, suffice to say that you will need the package, the internet, maybe a phone, and a sense of adventure. This games plays out through the website where you watch videos (in order) and meet different characters, and the box of goodies in front of you.
One thing is for sure though, this experience is top quality. The videos were all of a high production value and starred actors who felt compelling in their delivery of their story. Everything in the package was also quality, and the reward for completing the experience was a nice little keepsake (now added to our collection).
This is very much not an escape room experience, but there is some crossover. I’m a bit of a miserable bugger for the most part so don’t really get immersed in things like I should, if we had, this game would have taken us a lot longer than it did. It’s really designed to be played over a few days, where you take time to really think about the mission and how you could possibly interact with other agents.
Although The Distraction Agents was limited on puzzles, it did have some, and the ones it did were meater puzzles rather than quick wins. One was heavy on logic, another was about following directions, and there was even a choose-your-own adventure aspect too. The goal of all the puzzles was to obtain a single digit number which would then help you unlock the padlock that was contained in the box that had been received in the post.
We found that one of the puzzles relied a bit too heavily on assumptions in what was needed, and we had to reverse engineer it by ‘spinning’ the padlock to get the number and then looking at the puzzle again to see what we should have done. It wasn’t ideal, but it worked and we could see how they got the solution, it just felt like we had missed something.
The choose-your-own adventure ‘puzzle’ was a bit of a frustration for us as it went on for quite a long time and we still got to the wrong answer, which was interesting as we had played it as intended, as ‘us’, and the answer was wrong. The thought of having to go through it again to get the correct number was not a pleasing thought.
This game is all about immersion in the world of The Distraction Agents, so understandably there is no website you can simply go to to find the answer to your confusion. We may have missed it, but it seems like if you need any assistance then you’ll need to send an email to your agent and wait for a response.
It sounds like a slow way of playing, especially if you’re stuck, but this game really isn’t about quick wins. This is about thinking about things/the world differently and asking questions and thinking about how you can get others to answer them too.
If you’re looking for an escape room experience, then keep looking. If you’re looking to get immersed in what feels like an underground society, and experience something where the more you put in, the more you get out, then this is your game.
A puzzle that could have involved a phone was one we weren’t really comfortable doing (we’re introverts), and this reminded us of things we did as children. I’d imagine if you play, and you do this task, you will have a memorable experience that is guaranteed to be unique.
- Mailing Address
|Value for Money|
Team: 2 players
Time Taken: 1hour 19 minutes
*Disclaimer: we weren’t charged for this experience, but this has not influenced our review.