HYSTERIA - THE FORGOTTEN REALM 2
An epic online adventure game, filled with magic and wizardry which all the family can enjoy! This sequel to a physical game certainly helps to scratch the escape room itch!
Firstly, the story. The wizard, Arvior, is in need of your help. He was left powerless after an evil curse was placed over his castle and he has been trapped inside a painting. Now the curse has been broken and the sorcerer who placed it seeks his revenge. You and your team must embark on a noble and dangerous adventure to help protect the realm.
You can hear the squeals of excitement from the witchcraft, wizardry and Harry Potter fans around the world, and rightfully so! The theme and story hit a home run. There is a simplicity to the story which allows younger guests to appreciate what they are trying to achieve, whilst giving enough depth for the adults to get their teeth in! The story has an epic feel as the journey around the realm develops, almost Lord of the Rings like. Filled with characters, each with personality, the theme and story are great (and that's coming from someone who isn't actually a Harry Potter fan!).
As with the other online games created by Hysteria in recent months, one key area where this experience excels is in its puzzle content - they are really strong and very well designed. In fact, a large number of the games were unlike anything I've done before, an achievement in itself! When faced with the first game, we did look at each other and think " I have no idea what I'm doing" but be persistent! The age old issue of overthinking the puzzle came into play and put us down the creek without a paddle. Sit back, think simple and don't get bogged down. Its a tricky start, but well worth the effort!
Without spoilers, the game play within this experience is very different to the other offerings from Hysteria. This game is all self-contained and doesn't require you to search through the internet to find facts and figures - everything is at hand either on screen or via a handy ancient book, known only as The Grimoire, which sits nicely on a separate web page. The game is vastly more interactive as well, which is a great touch. Some nice web page add ons bring this game to life - and whilst there are a huge number of puzzles within this game, given such variation, it keeps you very entertained.
Two honorary mentions in this game - firstly, animation. You are met with a handful of characters who help you on your journey, and some of these are animated and are a beautiful touch. In addition, there is an hour-long soundtrack which accompanies the game - and this, coupled with the characters, bring the game to life.
In terms of clue system, I wont give too much away, however I found this very inventive and enjoyable - in some cases I found myself getting clues even if I didn't need them! You can get one clue per puzzle using an online hints page. If you get stuck, the game doesn't provide answers, so you may have to rack your brains from time to time. You can always message the Hysteria team however who can give you an extra nudge in the right direction - they did for me!
Who would I suggest this game is aimed out?! Well, first and foremost, puzzle lovers - there are stacks of them and all very good. Families that have experience in escape room environments would certainly love this too - the interactive features, coupled with good in game character make this a strong contender for families - and although there are a few puzzles which would baffle the kids (and me!), its well worth cracking through these as the vast majority everyone can get involved in.
When all was said and done, we really enjoyed this one. A brilliantly appointed game, with a huge array of varied puzzles, cute use of animation and an epic accompanying soundtrack, plus strong theme. The realm may well be forgotten, but this game certainly isn't one to forget.
PADLOCK RATING; 5 - OUTSTANDING
To Purchase this experience, visit; https://hysteriaescaperooms.com/onlinegames/