• Cici Cao

ASPMC - "The Mysterious Moodus Markings", "The Missing Files Dr. T Mandrakeseeker"


Photos provided by ASPMC

Company: ASPMC (American Society for the Protection of Magical Creatures)

Country: USA πŸ‡ΊπŸ‡Έ

Language: English

Type of Game: Digital Puzzle Game πŸ’»

Genre: Fantasy

Date Played: 1/23/2020

Price: $30.00

Game: Help Emerson Bradley Investigate the Mysterious Moodus Markings

Difficulty (based on 3 players): 6.5/10

Size of Team: Unlimited

Time: 2.5 hrs (Suggested)


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Strange markings have been appearing in the woodland areas of Northeastern US for centuries. Today, you'll be teaming up with Emerson Bradley (a board member of ASPMC) to figure out the meanings behind these symbols...


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After purchasing the game, you'll receive a link to download a PDF which will give you access to a website and a password to log in. Make sure you play the game within 24 hours of downloading or else it'll expire. If you play the game over Zoom with friends, they'll be able to access the game using the same login.


Once you log in, you'll be at a main hub where players can choose to work together as a team or divide and conquer. There are 4 characters each with a tale to tell. Each character also has their own puzzle that you'll need to solve. Once you enter the right code for a character, that character's polaroid will no longer be accessible. You'll also receive a clue piece from each character that'll help you solve the meta puzzle with Emerson. A final video will give you a conclusion for your discoveries.

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We played this game as a team of 3 over zoom and split up the workload right away. Even though the teammates were able to use the same login to enter the game, the game is not synced. Each player will have to enter the solution on their own device to unlock parts of the game. In a way this was great as it gave players who haven't seen the puzzles a chance to see how it worked before proceeding with the group. If you do decide to play this game over Zoom, I would suggest playing it together as a team rather than splitting up so everyone can see how each puzzle worked rather than have to rush through with the other teammates.


These are not your typical easy one step puzzles. You'll encounter some multi-step deduction, association and ciphers. I did feel like one or two of them seemed like a "breather" but even those are harder than typical online games we've played. If you just started your puzzling adventure, definitely don't be shy with the hint system. We did have to use a little nudge for the meta puzzle. It was definitely satisfying once we solved it though.

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I really enjoyed the fun video introductions from various characters (especially when you recognize one or two familiar faces😜). It was a nice way to build the backstory and puzzles. It made the story seem more real. These characters all had their own theories on what the strange symbols mean. I have to say, translating them was probably the part that took the longest. I now have a new appreciation level for those archeologists who deciphers ancient languages!

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Koen D.


+ The video's are a big plus, the different characters really pull you into the story.

+ The way you receive clues and input answers works great from a technical standpoint.

+ The graphics and visual appearance is very good

- The last puzzle was a bit tedious because solving it required a lot of the same decoding.

Game: Investigate the Missing Files of Dr. T. Mandrakeseeker

Difficulty (based on 5 players): 9/10

Size of Team: Unlimited

Time: 4 Hours (Suggested)

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Jesse, an intern at ASMPC, discovered a notebook that might be the research notes of Dr. Makdrakeseeker back in the 70s! If we're able to help her figure out the clues in the book, we might be able to discover the undiscovered magical creature!


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After purchasing the game, you'll receive a link to download a PDF which will give you access to a website and a password to log in. Make sure you play the game within 24 hours of downloading or else it'll expire. If you play the game over Zoom with friends, they'll be able to access the game using the same login.


This game played a bit different than the one above. You'll reach a main hub once you login with your team. There are 4 segments that you'll need to complete but you won't be able to work on them separately as you'll need to solve one to unlock the next. Once again the game is not synced so each player will need to enter the solution into their own device. After you solve one segment, you'll be rewarded with a video from Jesse. That's a good time to take a break as you'll need it for the puzzles to follow.

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If you thought the game above was hard, it was merely a warm up for this one. Playing these games back to back actually worked in our advantage since one of the puzzles had a similar concept. The first puzzle took us awhile but having teammates definitely helped. You better hope you have good eyesight! The solution was quite difficult to associate with what we found though. We had to use the hint system to bypass that one. Moving forward there were some intricate Math problems, video/audio puzzles and another that will need some good eyesight again! I think people that are color blind might find this puzzle to be even more difficult. This one definitely took our team the longest to solve. It became too a bit too repetitive and tedious especially towards the end. Be prepared to use the hint system.


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The parts that we enjoyed about this game was the journey that it took us on while solving the puzzles. This game was more like a treasure hunt. During the hunt, we were taken to

various historical sites and museums. We didn't even know some of them had virtual tours so that was cool to discover. The first website was a bit finicky with the controls but the others were easy to maneuver. If you enjoy "finding waldo" type of puzzle hunt while discovering some fun facts along the way, you might want to explore the world of ASPMC. Oh, did I mention, for every game you complete, you'll receive a magical creature card? It's like collecting PokΓ©mon! Gotta catch 'em all!

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RJ G.


Pros

  • Use of real data and anatomical structures

  • A variety of interesting external websites

  • The site design was simple and easy to use

  • Some stages of the puzzles were unique

  • There was a wide variety of puzzle types

Cons

  • Some components of the puzzles have no directions

  • Our group begrudgingly checked the hint section many times only to learn that the correct course of action was not apparent from the available evidence in any way

  • Some components of the puzzles were so heavily veiled I'm not sure even the most experienced solvers could have reasonably solved them without the hints

  • The "where's Waldo" concept does not feel like a puzzle

  • The final puzzle is extremely tedious

Most of the core puzzles of this game are really cool, using real data for puzzles is always a good component of a game that other creators overlook. Most of the core puzzle designs were well thought out and fun to solve. Unfortunately, the game is designed to be "difficult" and that difficulty comes from artificially inflating those core puzzle ideas with added steps that ranged from obscure references to downright tedium. The final puzzle in particular is extremely long for no coherent reason, making solving it a true test of fortitude.

(If you do decide to try this game, give us a shoutout or tag us on social media so we know you heard it from "ESCAPETHEROOMers"!)


Disclosure: We thank ASPMC (American Society for the Protection of Magical Creatures) for providing us with a sample of their game. Although a complimentary experience was generously provided, it does not impact our opinion on the review whatsoever.


#escapetheroomers #escaperoom #ASPMC #AmericanSocietyfortheProtectionofMagicalCreatures #moodusmarkings #emersonbradley #missing files #drtmandrakeseeker #fantasy #harrypotter #fantasticbeasts #greendoorlabs #mystery #onlinegames #digitalgames #mystical #animals #beasts

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β€œESCAPETHEROOMers” was created in late 2018 by Cici Cao & Brandon Chow.  They are a couple who loves to travel around the world to find new adventures!  Since their first escape room in 2018, the addiction never stopped. β€œESCAPETHEROOMers” was born with the idea of providing reviews for escape room enthusiasts but also as a portal for game creators to have an outlet to showcase their talents and products. They are currently the ONLY review
site that provides consistent content in blog and vlog formats.

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