【Game Review】 Taipei/Taiwan – CONE- An innovative game applying VR and AR technic

Location: Taipei, Taiwan
Team size: 6-10
Duration: 90 minutes
Price:
* For 6 players group:  3,600 NTD/Weekday;  4,200 NTD/Weekends
* For 7-8 players group:  4,400 NTD/Weekday;  5,200 NTD/Weekends
* For 9-10 players group: 5,000 NTD/Weekday;  6,000 NTD/Weekends

poster.jpg

Story

Upon receiving the invitation of ISAAC corporation, you arrived at the laboratory to conduct the experimental surgery of “Memory Elimination”. Wearing the electronic helmet for the surgery, ready to eliminate the worst part of memory in your life. Is that the relief of redemption or an even nastier nightmare that will embrace you in the end?

Game design

In the story, players are experiencing a high-tech memory elimination surgery of ISSAC corporation. Thus, the VR and AR equipment make the experience much more immersive.

Players wear VR helmet to eliminate memory. It successively created an atmosphere of high-tech brain surgery with VR. As for the AR application, it was mainly used for “scanning memories” to discover the hidden clues in the laboratory of ISSAC. You could tell from the game poster that LEGO was an important element. LEGO were massively used to display “Memory Sample” in the game. Players have to scan the LEGO to get clues.

Given these settings of background story, it wouldn’t be abrupt to apply the new technic in solving puzzles. In the progress of unveiling the hidden clues with AR and operating cleverly designed digital props, the players could learn more about the story in a fresh way. At last, only when fully uncover the truth of ISSAC’s experiment, will you successfully escape from the lab.

Standouts

The highlight of this game is to put VR and AR in use for the first time in room escape game. Now, let us discuss what kind of special effect that VR and AR bring to the game respectively.

It has always been difficult to design an opening of a game for it is quite a challenge to lead players into the story. For that, CONE had a major breakthrough to exploit the characteristics of VR, leading the players into the context of a memory elimination experiment at the beginning of the game.

After immersing into the story, the rest of the game relied on AR to provide clues. Facilitated by many automated props, the effect of AR is rather fascinating instead of a weird existence in the game. It was a very novel experience.

Though, the settings and puzzles may not be enough to make an entry-level player feel “WOW!”, it is definitely worthwhile for escape room players who might get tired of old cliché and desire for something new.

For a room escape game that first put new technology into application, the performance of CONE was fairly satisfying. One might expect it to be farfetched to include AR and VR in a room escape game. But actually, it was reasonable to apply those technologies provided the story context of the game.

We could learn that when applying new technology in a game, it should provide an experience which is coherent to a reasonable background story. Otherwise, the game will be limited instead, it will be a neither fish nor fowl.

>> Official Website: http://www.wisdomhunter.me/cone
>> Official Trailer: https://www.facebook.com/WH.Zone/videos/1815297402054979/

 

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