Conundrum (Desktop, Console -Nintendo Switch, Xbox One, PlayStation 4) - Tyler Rotheram (18) Liverpool City
“A thrillingly comedic interactive adventure game with escape-room puzzles; whose story is influenced by items.”
Conundrum is a first-person, interactive adventure game with escape-room puzzles in which the player tries to escape a hotel they have been trapped inside. The player is put in the shoes of 16-year-old Sasser, who has been abducted and held in a hotel where he is made to complete trials based upon the seven cardinal sins. The game revolves around 8 diverse characters based on the Enneagram of Personality and their escape from the hotel. To escape the hotel, the abductees will be made to complete trials to unlock new pieces of information.
Conundrum is divided into two segments, exploration and trials. The exploration sections allow the player to explore the hotel – and its many floors – to find possible methods of escape, and talk to other characters. Trials in this game are a hybrid between escape-the-room style puzzles and platforming. The games’ direction is influenced by the way in which the player uses items they find throughout the game – both in solving puzzles and through character interactions. These decisions will result in one of eight branching storylines, each with three unique endings (totalling 24 possible outcomes). Each ending includes information vital to discovering the truth behind their abduction.
The player must explore the hotel to find items which they can use to solve puzzles and unlock new rooms. The order in which they unlock rooms is completely up to the player, and how they choose to use their items. While game progression is achieved through completing the trials on each floor, plot progression is achieved through the different ways items are used will influence the development of characters in the game. For example, if a player finds an item (e.g. an apple), they could choose to give it to, or not give it to, a hungry character. This could change the relationships between the characters. Items can also be combined (such as red paint and blue paint) to create a new item (purple paint), which can be used to solve puzzles.
The target audience for this game is players aged 14 and upwards - whilst the game will be PEGI 12 - the game’s puzzles may prove too difficult for some. Conundrum will be made for a primary audience of puzzle-lovers who want to be challenged, and story-lovers who wish to be immersed.