Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Sanity Falls

I'm not usually a fan of hunts, but this one, from MadPea Productions, caught my attention. Part hunt, part game, Sanity Falls places the hunter in the middle of a narrative. (See the two-minute trailer here.)

You play the part of Alexander Blackwell, a psychologist on vacation with his wife, Livea. The Blackwells decide to recharge their mental batteries with a trip to the town of Sanity Falls. (Why on God's earth would anyone want to spend a vacation here? No accounting for tastes, I suppose.) Alexander finds himself alone and relates:

“I’m waking up with metallic taste of blood tainting my mouth. I look at my clothes and see blood everywhere, but I don’t feel any pain or see any wounds. It probably isn’t my blood. I try to think but realize that I have no memory of the last 24 hours. The last thing I remember is coming to Sanity Falls with my wife. I feel dizzy, someone must have drugged me.

Groggy and confused, I stagger onto my feet and call out for Livea. When silence answers me back, I become aware of my surroundings. I am on the edge of a bridge overlooking the Sanity River. In the puddle of blood beside me lays a phone. It starts ringing..”

Livea has been kidnapped and held for ransom. Alexander must raise a million dollars to get his wife back - which he does, somewhat confusingly, by calling the number of each of the 50 "Missing Person" posters scattered through the town. The number leads to a SLURL which contains a prize, as well as part of the ransom.

The game requires purchasing a HUD for L100. This keeps track of the posters found, the SLURLs, provides hints for locating the prizes, and tracks the progress of the ransom.

Sanity Falls 001

The bridge to town

Sanity Falls 002

Welcome to the Sanity Inn

Sanity Falls 003

Cold beer, anyone?

I found about 45 of the 50 telephone numbers in fairly short order. Descriptions of the game say there are dream sequences that explain more of the story, though I have yet to activate any. As usual, I'm hopeless at finding the prizes, even with hints, so I haven't made much progress there. (Also, I got sidetracked with another project.) We're promised a resolution of the story, presumably once all the prizes are found and Livea is ransomed.

The game is a good use of the free-form nature of Second Life, the sort of thing that I wish was more common.


Kiana Writer said...

You can definitely do it! :) If you get stuck we have help available in MadPeas group 24/7. Definitely worth finishing this. :D

Kathy Jameson said...

Thank you for the encouragement! I haven't quite finished yet, but I'm making progress - the end is near!