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Top Right Corner - "The Atlas Mystery: A VR Puzzle Game"

Updated: Apr 24


Photo above is property of Top Right Corner

Company: Top Right Corner

Game: The Mystery Atlas: A VR Puzzle Game

Country: USA 🇺🇸

Language: English

Type of Game: VR Game 📱

Genre: Mystery, Noir

Date Played: June 3, 2022

Difficulty (based on 1 player): 6/10

Size of Team: 1 Player

Time: Approx. 2.5 Hrs.

Price: $14.99

* Requires one of the following virtual reality headsets: HTC Vive, Oculus Rift, or Valve Index.


🆃🅷🅴 🆂🆃🅾🆁🆈

The Atlas is a historic theater with a dark secret. Years ago, the owner Oliver Westin, was murdered and thereafter the theatre fell into disrepair. As the new manager, your first job is to explore the theatre and locate the murder weapon, which was never recovered. Along the way, you discover the motive behind the murder and learn more about the backstories of the principal players in the drama.

Video above is property of Top Right Corner


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Visually, this is a beautiful game, very much capturing the look and feel of a classic mid-20th century theater. The music also fits the noir genre. The sense of scale worked well in that open areas really gave a sense of space around me and smaller ones were claustrophobic in a good way. There are a variety of decorations and the larger ones are quite impressive.

Photos above are property of Top Right Corner


🆃🅷🅴 🅶🅰🅼🅴 🅿🅻🅰🆈

I played "The Atlas Mystery: A VR Puzzle Game" on the Oculus Quest 2. Moving was by standard slow-walking or short distance teleport. Sometimes, object interaction was a bit awkward - I found myself picking things up with one hand and then transferring them to my other hand so I could use them properly. There's a backpack for storing items that you can bring with you as you explore the theater. I get queasy from about 1-in-4 VR games and found myself needing to take breaks, even though I wanted to keep exploring. There are some adjustments to adjust the speed and such but they didn't seem to make a big difference.


The game has some classic escape room elements, where you are exploring spaces, discovering items and clues, and figuring out how to combine items or information to progress. The fact that it is virtual, allows you to explore larger spaces and interact with objects at scales or in ways that might not be practical in real life.


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The puzzles ranged from standard number locks to large-scale physical manipulations, all incorporated into the atmospheric decor. There were a number of items with which I could interact with that didn’t seem to serve any purpose in progressing the game, but may have been there more as mini-games for entertainment. I didn't find any easter eggs that could be unlocked by using them unconventionally, which seems like an opportunity for further development. The lack of a hint system also led to some periods of being stuck.


While the puzzles themselves were well-grounded in the theater setting, I didn't necessarily find them to be integrated into the story itself or serve to move the story forward. It felt like they ran in parallel - solve a puzzle and learn some information before moving on. I would've loved for the story pieces to be more tightly tied to the solves. It was a bit anticlimactic at times; I think more could be done to signal key happenings after solving the bigger puzzles in particular.


The larger scale physical manipulation puzzles that leaned heavily on the decor were by far my favorite components of this game! They provided that familiar sensation of working towards a solution, with each step giving a satisfying mini-payoff.

Photos above are properties of Top Right Corner

🅲🅻🅾🆂🅸🅽🅶 🆃🅷🅾🆄🅶🅷🆃🆂

This is a fun experience that lasts for about 2-3 hours. Fans of hunting for objects and manipulating the environment will likely find this more satisfying than hard-core complex puzzle hounds; there were a few times when I was overthinking the solution, looking for more information in the collateral when it wasn't needed. The world of VR Puzzle experiences is still evolving and while "The Atlas Mystery" didn't provide quite the sense of satisfaction that I'd hoped for in the conclusion, it definitely provided a beautiful and engrossing environment with more than enough 'wow, cool!' moments along the way to make it worth exploring on a dark and stormy night.

 


(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 Top Right Corner for providing us with a sample of the game. Although a complimentary experience was generously provided, it does not impact our opinion on the review whatsoever.


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