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Deadlocked – The Cyphstress

Deadlocked – The Cyphstress
Location:  Play at Home
Game Date:  14/06/2020
Team: Amy & Ian

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Theme:
Made in ‘collabeeration’ with our (genuinely) favourite brewery, Siren Craft Brew, ‘The Cyphstress‘ is our newest epic alternative reality virtual online narrative escape adventure set around the mythological Sirens.

Assemble your best team or play solo to navigate through the epic custom interfaces, using internet stalking across social media to hunt down our hero and join him in answering the Siren’s Call and brewing up a legendary beer, based upon an ancient recipe.”

A simple story, that is told beautifully through the games, with this all being made in house by Charlie & James from Deadlocked, this gives the game a charm and passion that is clear. There is a beautiful song that is etherial and haunting. You can tell this has been a real labour of love of its creators, it oozes through the screen!
Tthis game weaves the key beers from Siren Craft Brew into the story, which leads you down a rabbit hole of investigation, and then puzzles and interactive chats, culminating in a very well produced puzzle concept.
The design of this game is very complex and clever and produced to a high standard. It is as immersive as an online game can be, the addition of the chat AI and “extra- curricular” activities make this a realistic experience that is enjoyed from the comfort of your sofa!
Siren Craft Beer have kept up their side of the bargain by producing a special case of beers to drink whilst playing “The Cyphstress” – We’re not beer drinkers so I can’t speak for the beer, but the branding is on point!

Game Play:
The game started off with the usual call to action with a haunting melody and the first part of the game felt quite linear in its design, this part of the game was very search heavy, and called for us to go searching high and low all over the internet, and do a bit of internet stalking (and who doesn’t love a good old internet stalk!) – the clues & signposting hidden within the story and world was fantastic, this part of the game was balanced nicely by a few very clever puzzles that leant more into the word & logic side of things. The use of audio and visual clues in this part of the game was wonderful.
Part 2 is where things ramped up, A LOT. I would suggest, if you’re not a seasoned escapee to have the reccommended break in between parts 1 & 2. The Cyphstress is a hard mistress and tackling the whole game in one sitting is a major feat!
Part 2 took on a much more classic puzzle feel, still backed up by an incredibly strong story. Puzzles ranged from codebreaking, meta puzzles, logic, sound, word, communication and teamworks puzzles.
The multi-layerd nature of the puzzles was exsquiste, and led to  another dimension to the puzzles solving. However, this did ramp up the difficulty somewhat! It is a hard game, but perfectly fair in its logic. All the puzzles had wonderful ah-ha moments, and were incredibly satisfying to solve. The game came to what seemed a natural conclusion, but NO there was MORE! The amount of content placed into The Cyphstress is astounding and is certainly fantastic value for money.
This final puzzle was a fantastic communication style puzzle which was at the perfect leverl of difficulty with lots of reward when the steps were completed.
Overall this was an incredibly well designed game, with excellent logic in the puzzles (all of which were perfectly on theme) the signposting was good, subtle but once all the pieces were there it was very clear what was needed. Flow was excllent, and the only sticking points we had were when we were overthinking things (as normal).
A thoroughly enjoyable game, tackle it with you best thinking cap on!!

Clue System:
There were clues available on screen, and through the Chat.

Did we escape?
We completed the mission after about 2.5 hours, it kept us busy!!

Website: https://deadlockedrooms.com/reading/escapeathome.html
Price:
£10 stand alone
£35 with a case of beer!

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