Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Into the Well

Loki Eliot, one of New Babbage’s long-time urchins and the creator of several interactive mysteries that take place within New Babbage under the umbrella title of the Babbage Chronicles, has a new eerie adventure called The Well: Sollicitus. It is a sequel to The Well from 2012.

In the original adventure,
The idea is that a boy fell down a well, a rescue team was sent down rescue the boy but have not been heard of since. You then must go down and find out what has happened. You find a walkie talkie and communicate with a lone survivor of the rescue team who sort of guides you through the tunnels.
This time,
The story is that a year after the events of last 2012, a team of scientific investigators are sent down the well to understand the caves strange geology and maybe find a clue to why the rescue team and a young boy disappeared with no trace. You arrive a day later than the rest of the team to find the make shift lab abandoned.
You explore the caves, encountering what may be the spirit of the young boy, who provides you with information. Your role is to find three monsters, “defeating” each of them by choosing the correct image out of three offered. Choose correctly, and you find yourself teleported closer to your goal; choose incorrectly, and you find yourself back at the top of the well.

The Well 001

The tunnels are tight and claustrophobic, containing branches on each level. Adding to the atmosphere, the tunnels contain small, shadowy creatures. Avoid them, as touching one flashes an unsettling image on your display and reduces your level of “sanity.” Run out of sanity, and you restart the game.

The experience requires a HUD for the modest sum of $L100. The HUD serves several functions: providing narration at key points, teleporting you to different points in the tunnels, providing the choices the monsters offer, and monitoring the level of “sanity."

Through some good luck, it didn’t take me all that long to complete the game, so it’s not a huge commitment of time. I found it fairly creepy, and keeping an eye on the “sanity” level added to the tension. My one suggestion for the next adventure is that the choices be related to clues you pick up along the way. As it was, the choices seemed fairly arbitrary. That’s a small quibble, however, in what was an exciting game.

The adventure starts here.

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