⏲️TIME LIMIT: 90 Minutes To 3 Hours (Average Game Time)
💬 DIFFICULTY: N/A (Official) | Medium (Mattster)
👨👩👧👦 CAPACITY: None Specified
💰 PRICING: £10.00 (GBP)
► FORMAT & SPECIFICATIONS ◄
🖱️ DISTRIBUTION ROUTE: Online, By Purchase, Access Anytime
🎧 PRODUCT TYPE: Online Puzzle
► PREMISE & OBJECTIVES ◄
Official Premise (from Escape From Home): Our online game takes place in the past and the present. Ever thought you'd like to alter history? History Re-written Inc. are looking for people like you.
A curious START
You're not given very much prior to purchasing "History Re-written" online. You kinda know time traveling is involved, but that's about it.
After payment, you download/receive a letter from Tristan Clearwater, Head of Operation at History Re-Written Inc, letting you know that you've been chosen among numerous applicants!
Hurray! You did it! But... for what?
You soon find out that you will participate in a program that aims to alter the course of history--to transverse across space and time, and to erase some catastrophic events from ever happening, benefiting mankind in the long run.
FAMILIAR FORMAT RETURNS
Beside the intriguing premise, having already finished this company's 3 free games, I recognized the overall presentation of this escape game. While this is convenient for returning users to jump right into this new installment, I was a little disappointed to see that the overall visuals did not receive an aesthetics upgrade.
Certainly not a deal breaker, rest assured, because I am here to solve puzzles.
There was, however, a deliberate removal of all hints from the puzzle web pages; all help related contents had been consolidated into one single self-paced reference guide. Very convenient and easy to use, so bravo on this choice.
TIME TRAVEL POWERED BY PUZZLES
To truly begin this web based adventure, you'll need to solve Puzzle #1 from Clearwater's letter to even obtain the actual game web address. A final admission test, eh?
Unfortunately, the very first puzzle lacked an obvious tie to the overall theme, besides perhaps "science, just because". A certain questionable wording also hindered a smooth takeoff.
The bulk of this time machine ride, thankfully, was quite delightful.
While some puzzles may not be strong contenders for being the most interesting or memorable, some I found to be clear winners with younger kids! This is most definitely still a family oriented game, and I find joy in knowing there are developers out there who cater to this age group.
There was certainly a big variety of challenges from start to finish, and if I need to name one strong pro for this title, it would be the wide array of new activities appearing in this new title that have not yet made their debuts in the company's previous online games.
Details detection, paper craft (printer & scissors required), logic riddle, cipher decoding, and even a rather peculiar crossword puzzle, you really got a lot to deal within in the next hour.
Regrettably, my experience ended up on a sour note, as the last puzzle suddenly became unnecessarily convoluted. It was impossible for me to solve, and I seriously doubt the average puzzle enthusiast, let alone one at a young age, would find this doable.
Even after careful examination of all the hints, it still took tremendous effort and close to a full 10 minutes for me to fully comprehend the solution.
So, in the spirits of positivity, and not to detract from all the other great features the game did manage to provide, I'd just pretend the last puzzle never happened!
On a side note, there were a couple of humorous moments that I wish to see more of in the future. Puzzle lovers not only love a good challenge--we appreciate a good laugh, too.
ROOM FOR IMPROVEMENTS
This game has the best concept of the four online games I've reviewed for Escape From Home, though actual execution can be further perfected!
As mentioned, some puzzles could stand a revision or two.
More graphics, audio files, or videos could liven things up, rendering the experience more immersive.
Game play wise, there were several points in the game that I got super confused as to what exactly I was looking for. The most extreme example was: here's a paragraph of text, here's where you enter the password, GO! (Uhhhh... where do I start?)
Though the point of writing a puzzle is mystify and stimulate, it should never frustrate the audience. Minor tweaking with a quick couple of lines of text would eliminate much of the potential confusion. Solution input format can be further standardized as well.
Lastly, since the mission involves correcting tragedies that occurred in actual history, why not take this opportunity to educate as well? A convenient link to each event's Wikipedia page could provide a quick reference point, should the player choose to learn more.
All in all, there were highs and lows, but I enjoyed a large chunk of my short stint at History Re-Written Inc. Given the low price point, it's a great way for locals to support a small business, and also a decent enough option for those overseas to consider.
As mentioned in a previous blog post, Escape From Home has 3 great options for children starting at age 8 to enjoy, completely free of charge. A desert expedition? Sail with the pirates? Or a global world tour? Which mysterious path will you or your little one embark on?
Whether you choose a paid or a free title, either way, grab the young ones in your household, gather around a computer, and have an leisurely impromptu family game night. Afterwards, make sure to drop the owner a thank you note for his contribution!
► DISCLAIMERS ◄
We at "Escape Mattster" appreciate this company's hospitality and the opportunity to publish an honest review. Though game access was complimentary, we aim to provide *only* genuine & unbiased opinions.
All official media are provided by or credited to respective contents owners, and are used with proper permission for the purpose of this post.