Online, May 2020
Project Bluebook is based around UFO investigations. Whereas in The Bank Job the puzzles followed the narrative sequence of a bank heist, Bluebook is a bit more abstract, though builds up to a denouement of sorts.
Bluebook uses the same Google Forms system as Hysteria’s first online game, but specific puzzles use technology in more ambitious ways. One of those was almost a problem since the expected approach wasn’t immediately supported on either of the smartphones we were using, but fortunately we managed to find an alternative tool to do the same thing.
Fittingly for the theme, the game also makes some clever investigative use of real world resources – in a couple of places you’re allowed and expected to look for information beyond the immediate game window.
My impression of Bluebook’s puzzles is that there are several potential ‘gotchas’ which could become frustrating dead ends – at least, until you resort to the hints. However, in practice we got through it without hints, as did I think most of the other enthusiasts groups from whom I’ve heard feedback. So perhaps it’s fairer than I initially thought.
Of the two online games released by Hysteria so far, I’d probably give this one the edge, though only narrowly. Fundamentally they’re similar sorts of game, and how well you like one will be a reliable guide to whether you should try the other.