Sunday, October 18, 2009

Prototype161 new hunt "The Cardinal Case"

On Oct. 17, 2009 at 6:30pm I showed up at Mustang Harry's restaurant on 7av & 30st. That is where everyone gathered for Prototype161's latest puzzle hunt called “The Cardinal Case.” The plot was this: “Your fellow agents have uncovered the spy Selma's plan: Potential buyers of the mysterious red attache will follow Selma on pub crawl style quest to earn the right to bid. Your assignment is to pose as a buyer, investigate Selma, and recover the case.”

A short video of Selmas torso and hands closing a red attache case was shown with opening statements.

After a couple drinks I was on a team with David Slone, Ryan and Danielle (who both work on Late night with David Letterman). 70 people were in attendance. We were given plastic cubes with puzzle pieces inside. All teams had to combine their pieces to assemble a picture puzzle that yielded the words: Red Square. In the meantime there was a puzzle on the bar involving the 12 Zodiac signs taped to liquor bottles. When arranged into chronological order, the number of their position was the 3rd letter in the liquor name. All 12 letters together revealed “Herald ?” We didn't need the other word. We were off to meet a guy in Herald Square wearing red.

He gave us a challenge against another team of 4. Run to specific corners and read the instructions there. After 3 locations, we were told to get a peppermint patty from a store and bring it back to the red hooded guy. Then he told us to go to the Bikini Bar on 8ave and see Dynamite.

After more drinks we watched an odd clock that would reveal addresses as it spun (it looked like a + sign). At the addresses we found pages of Shakespeare's play “A Mid Summer Nights Dream.” There were riddles in the pages that yielded the address to the Houndstooth Pub.

We got text messages from the Puppetmasters at 41411 when to move on to the next location.

At the Houndstooth Pub we found the briefcase on a table, awaiting a 6 number combo input. Below it was a mathematical equation with pictures in it and calculators. The pictures translated into numbers on the calculator. After all the maths were done and the case was open...there were red envelopes with the final puzzle inside it.

There were 6 transparencies with different colored lines on them. We were to tape them to the cube from the first puzzle of the night and look at it certain ways to reveal a word. We didn't get this last one. 4 other teams had already cracked it!

Absolute blast. Much better than last years Halloween event “Mare Vitreum” for these reasons:
-More fun atmosphere (bar crawl elements)
-Less difficult (We could get hints every 20min)
-Not 8hrs long (teams were given texts when to move on)
-No pointless activities (physical challenges for red plastic rocks?!)

But not for these reasons:

-The actors broke character all the time. The guy who we were supposed to be getting the briefcase for was giving us hints for Selma's puzzles?!?
-The plot was complete nonsense and the experience design didn't serve it at all.
-Last year had awesome puzzles and covered a lot of ground- half of Roosevelt Island!

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

GPS / ARG Apps for iPhone.

Check these out for interactive fiction, GPS adventures and other goodness.

GPS Mission Pro