London, Puzzlehunt

Puzzlehunt – Dreamcatcher

From https://dreamcatcherpuzzle.xyz/

The machine thinks. We trained it using huge volumes of data, taken from scans of normal brain activity. But it’s too predictable, too rational; it lacks imagination, capriciousness, soul. For that we need data from a different, much more subtle source.

Team – Ster, Ni, Simon, Ellie

(Reviewed by Ster)

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Puzzlehunt

Full disclosure – We were given 4 complimentary tickets to play this game, though we’ve tried not to let this influence our opinion of the experience. 

As the game was a weekend long pop-up style event, we met our host at Torriano Meeting House in Kentish Town, which had some decoration, but the theme was mainly carried by our in-character host who greeted us enthusiastically and set up the story of the suspicious death of a professor running the AI dream experiment in which we were signed up be participants. After about a 15 minute introduction, we were given our first clues and sent on our way.

Dreamcatcher

The puzzle was a treasure hunt style game, facilitated by a variety of QR codes and a unique website log-in where we could enter our team’s answers as we progressed. There were 10 main puzzles, each located on the streets around Kentish town and marked by a laminated dreamcatcher logo, some on lampposts, some in shop windows and others attached to fences.

The variety of different puzzles in this game was great! The first puzzle that we encountered was a number puzzle that created a scannable QR code. It wasn’t overly difficult, more like a pen and paper version of minesweeper, but I did really enjoy that the solution created a QR code that we then used to progress the game. There was also a bit of VR, some word puzzles, a bit of chess knowledge and a little rope weaving quiz puzzle which was our favourite of the day.

It’s worth noting that the pre-game information warned of around 2 miles of walking but we logged over 5 miles across 2 hours! There was a lot of back and forth, we’d walk a mile in one direction and then have to walk all the way back for the next puzzle, which may just have been down to the random order in which we did things, but covering the same ground repeatedly did start to become a little irritating by the last few puzzles. We did appreciate the chance to refill water bottles after the fifth puzzle when we met another in-character host who set up the next section of the story, and also the fact that one puzzle was in an ice cream shop so we could stop and cool off for a few minutes as it was a very hot day!

Ellie – A fun but different adventure and a great way of exploring parts of London. Interesting puzzles which were be a little tricky at times.

Ni – A good variety of puzzles and a creative way of including the area we were walking through. I did enjoy the game but I do think the 2 mile route was a little optimistic! The unexpected extra miles and also going back over the same ground a number of times, did make the experience drag towards the end.

Score

Overall, we really enjoyed this experience! The variety of puzzles was great and the theme was well set-up by our enthusiastic hosts. A couple of the puzzles seemed overly long and we found ourselves doing a lot of unnecessary walking around, but I’d definitely be interested to see what this team come up with next as we did have a lot of fun.

Pre-game atmosphere

3/5

Difficulty

2.5/5

Variety of puzzles

4/5

Originality of puzzles

4/5

Overall

3/5

 

 

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