Get Lost Escape Rooms: Operation Paranormal Research Anomaly Taskforce

By | July 20, 2020

Online, Jun 2020

Rated 3.5 out of 5
Toby says:

Get Lost have also been running their Krevokar game as a remote avatar experience, but Operation PRAT (Paranormal Research Anomaly Team) is their first online digital game.
I found it a curious one to play, in that my initial impression of it was quite different to how the majority of the game turned out.
It’s often a good idea for a game to throw the players a quick win or two early on. That not only helps nervous players get into it, it also helps establish how the game works; the first puzzle can become unintentionally harder because the players are not just solving that puzzle but also figuring out the game style, and (with an online game) the interface. Some physical games start players off in a smaller area with less to look at, and once they’ve solved that small section the game opens up and present them with much more to look at.
Operation PRAT seemed to do the opposite – the point where we had the most information to juggle (and the least clarity about the format of the answer) was right at the start, and the game got more constrained as it went on. In fact I initially thought it was going to have a quite unbounded, exploratory style, whereas actually it uses a well-defined linear structure. I thought that made it quite a hard game to get into, and would benefit from putting the more constrained, self-contained puzzles earlier on.
It is of course a ghost story, though a thoroughly non-frightening one, with in fact surprisingly little emphasis on the paranormal elements. A group can log in with the same code from different locations, as long as they use a video call or similar to keep in sync. Structurally it’s a linear game based around images and text, with some video and audio mostly used for story progression. It has some external resources to explore, but doesn’t send you off to third party sites for research on Wikipedia or social media sites. Once the game gets going it has a difficulty level that most enthusiasts will probably find not too stretching. And if the game’s PRAT acronym made you smile, you’ll find plenty more along the same lines in the game itself, little puns and in-jokes that suggest the creators had a lot of fun building it. If you’re aiming for speed you could skip over much of the game’s text, but the game would be poorer for it.
It also benefits from, for example, clear instructions for how to enter each answer, avoiding an obvious pitfall. We took almost exactly an hour to complete it, and if you get less stuck at the beginning you’d likely finish in rather less time. Though a little uneven to begin with, it settled into something much more approachable, with an irreverent sense of humour; not the trickiest of games but an entertaining quick blast of puzzles. 3.5 / 5
Pris rated this:3.5 / 5
Disclaimer: We played this game on a complementary basis. This does not influence the review or rating.

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