Isklander: Plymouth Point – The Cubed3 Experience

By Lilly K. 16.07.2021

Isklander: Plymouth Point – The Cubed3 Experience on Nintendo gaming news, videos and discussion
Online escape room type experiences have been making life more fun since the start of 2020 for obvious reasons. From the comfort of the own home, it is possible to solve puzzles with a group of friends within a given timeframe, and developers of this genre have come up with more and more ingenious ideas of how to make it more fun and interactive. The crew at Swamp Motel Productions have come up with three thrilling online group adventures as part of their Isklander series. Now, Cubed3 took part in the first one: Isklander: Plymouth Point.

Booking the adventure is simple, however it is important to keep in mind that only certain time slots are available to book, not unlike a normal escape room. A nice touch to this booking system is that players start by choosing the number or players and the time zone they are in, making complicated time mathematics redundant. The price is more than adequate for the experience, starting at £25 for 2 players and going up to £55 for 5 to 6 players, which is well worth it. After booking, the person in charge will be sent an initial email with the booking confirmation, a reminder email on the day of the game (very handy!), and finally the login details. This email will need to be forwarded to the rest of the group, as everybody will need to log in. Logging in is very simple and straightforward and is open 10 minutes before the game starts, which is very much appreciated. 

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Another big positive about this experience is that it is not necessary to figure out which video conference service to use, as this is provided through the game. Logging in allows each player access to a video conference experience hosted in the browser, and it works really quite well. It is necessary to allow the browser access to camera and microphone, but that isn't much of a problem. The connection is good, there are absolutely no issues here. Similar to what a Skype or MS Teams call would look like, players are able to see and speak to each other, mute themselves or turn cameras on or off, and there is also a chat function on the right. 

The game starts with someone, not part of the team, turning on their camera and telling the story about a missing neighbour. Here, it would have been nice to have a little bit more interaction. It is not clear whether this bit is live acted or not, because there is no interaction possible whatsoever, which is mildly disappointing. 

This game happens online, and big parts of it is searching for clues on Facebook, LinkedIn, on websites and through emails. This is a bit of a problem for those without Facebook or LinkedIn profiles, as it often means that these providers ask for a log in before viewing the profiles that need to be searched for clues. As long as one person in the group has access to these sites, they can share the screen, but it is a bit difficult to find clues through screen share, rather than everybody being able to have a look and search through info themselves. Profiles and websites with logins provide clues to passwords which have to be cracked to continue on, and generally this is really a lot of fun. Everybody is able to log into the different accounts once the group found the passwords and can do some snooping, but generally it is expected that one person shares their screen. It even goes so far as that a real phone number needs to be called at one point. Unfortunately, there is also no real interaction here, and sadly the password input required to get the next clue over the phone was not working at all for the Cubed3 team. The problem here was that it wasn't clear on how the password was meant to be put in, and after a good 20 minutes of trying to speak it into the phone, it occurred to the team to try and type it in, at which point the game could finally continue. This was because the phone is also operated by a computer, so it is not possible to have any real interaction with a person here, another hugely missed opportunity. 


 

Another problem here is that there is no help available. While the FAQs state that help is available if a team gets really stuck, this was not the case. After being stuck on the phone for a good 15 minutes, the team tried asking for help using the chat function, just as the FAQ stated, but to no avail. There was no response in the chat at all, not even after the fact.  

Luckily, the team finished with plenty of time left and on a cliff-hanger. It is great to not be too bothered by the time limit, 1 hour and 30 minutes, and feeling that players are given adequate time to finish everything. The ending seems almost a little bit too abrupt though, and it would have been nice to have a little bit more. Additionally, by reaching the end of the game, players suddenly get booted out of the group call to watch a video, which is surprising and a little shocking. It feels as though the team would not get the chance to chat about the ending using the video chat provided. This is not the case, as the team was back in the chat after the video finished, but a little indication about this would have been nice. 

Image for Isklander: Plymouth Point – The Cubed3 Experience


The story overall is very intriguing, with references to real life places and nicely worked out profiles and websites to work with. It is all truly all very well organised and searching for clues is a lot of fun.

Final Thoughts 

Isklander: Plymouth Point is definitely a wonderfully intriguing activity to do with a group of friends. It runs very well, is thought through and appears to be 'real' by using real world social media and history. The few minor downsides, mainly the interaction with the game characters, can easily be overlooked when keeping in mind the price and overall enjoyment of the game.

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