Sunday, June 23, 2019

The Game is Afoot [ABBE]

This week, the new game "Harry Potter: Wizards Unite" took the gaming world by storm.  I'm going to admit right up front that I don't know much about this game, but it seems a lot like "Pokemon Go," an Augmented Reality game for your phone.  I remember when Pokemon Go was big, you'd see people wandering around neighborhoods trying to catch Pokemon and interacting with other game players. But what does this have to do with Sherlock Holmes?

Everything!  Because it's time to reveal the next big AR game: "Sherlock Holmes: Detectives Unite"  (Or we could go with "Sherlock Holmes Stop (the Criminals) if you prefer a play on the Pokemon title.)

First things first.  What is Augmented Reality?  I don't really know.

But my cousin does!  Jeremy Monken works for Trigger, a Mixed Reality company.  So he knows what he's talking about:

"Wizards Unite and Pokemon Go are mobile games that use a combination of GPS location data and augmented reality gameplay to let players interact with a virtual world superimposed over the real world.  Using real-time data, users can interact with each other and the world."

So, now that we know what AR is, how would a Sherlock Holmes AR game work?

60 Cases, 60 levels.  To pass each level, you would have to collect clues that would be superimposed on your screen as you move through a neighborhood.  Let's take A Scandal in Bohemia as Level 1.

Here are some things you'd have to accomplish to solve Case 1:

  • Meet with Count Von Kramm and convince him to take his mask off, revealing that he is the King of Bohemia
  • Listen to the King's story, collect information and payment
  • Select a disguise and then travel to Serpentine Mews to find out about Irene Adler
  • Follow two carriages to the Church of St. Monica
  • Participate in a wedding ceremony and collect a sovereign
  • Return to Baker Street and plan the next step with Watson.  Do you...
    • Break in to Irene Adler's house and try to locate the missing picture
    • Interrogate Godfrey Norton
    • Trick Irene Adler into showing you where the picture is hidden
  • We all know that choice 3 is the correct answer.  If you pick choices 1 or 2, you'll run though whatever steps that would be included, but ultimately fail.  You would have to do the mission over again starting from the beginning
  • After you've chosen option 3, select a disguise and head to Irene Adler's house
  • Get in a fake fight when her carriage pulls up
  • Convince her to take you in to her house
  • Call out "Fire! Fire!" when Watson throws a smoke bomb through the window
  • After Irene has shown you where the picture is hidden and the false alarm is realized, make another choice
    • Try and grab the hidden picture while she is out of the room
    • Return to Baker Street and try to burgle Irene Adler's house later that night
    • Return to Baker Street and tell the King to meet you in the morning
  • If the mission is completed correctly, you are awarded a photograph of Irene Adler and you move on to Case 2

Obviously, most of the cases are short stories and can be played as individual levels, but what about the 4 novels?  Well, I guess those would have to be boss levels and have to take a little more time.  We can cut out the backstory stuff in A Study in Scarlet, The Sign of Four, and The Valley of Fear, but they will still obviously take a little longer.

So, 14 standard cases followed by one boss level.  These 15 cases could be grouped as "The Adventures," "The Memoirs," "The Return," and "The Case-Book."  We'd have to make some slight changes to some of the stories (no introduction of Watson and Holmes in STUD, Holmes isn't retired in LION or LAST, etc.) and the order that they appear, but off the top of my head the first batch of levels could look like this:

The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes

  • A Scandal in Bohemia: See above
  • The Red-headed League 
    • Turn your street into Jabez Wilson's neighborhood, looking for clues on the street and question Vincent Spaulding
    • Will you stake out Wilson's shop, hunt down Duncan Ross, or convince the bank manager to let you into his vault? 
  • A Case of Identity
    • Find the cab that Hosmer Angel slipped out of
    • Confront James Windibank and make him confess
  • The Boscombe Valley Mystery
    • Turn over rocks on your phone to find the murder weapon
    • Race against Lestrade before he can collect enough evidence to convict McCarthy
  • The Five Orange Pips
    • Visit John Openshaw at his estate.  How are the orange seeds and locked box connected?
    • Track down information on American sailing vessels.  Can you make it back to Openshaw before the KKK gets to him?
  • The Man with the Twisted Lip
    • Turn your neighborhood into The Bar of Gold and the Thames River to collect evidence
    • What items will you take with you to the jail to unmask Hugh Boone?
  • The Adventure of the Blue Carbuncle
    • What can you deduce from Henry Baker's hat?
    • Follow the trail to the Alpha Inn
    • Make James Ryder confess; do you let him go or not?
  • The Adventure of the Speckled Band
    • Face off against Grimesby Roylott as he bends steel pokers with his bare hands
    • Avoid the cheetah and baboon as you make your way to Stoke Moran
    • Can you stop the snake in time before it makes it down the rope?
  • The Adventure of Wisteria Lodge
    • Investigate voodoo items at Wisteria Lodge and question John Eccles
    • Search nearby houses for people who could be connected to the case
  • The Adventure of the Engineer's Thumb
    • You've just missed Victor Hatherly, so follow him to a country house
    • Help him escape from the hydraulic press!
    • The house is on fire!  You can stop the counterfeiters from escaping or rescue Hatherly as he hangs from the window, which will you choose?
  • The Adventure of the Noble Bachelor
    • Find the missing wedding dress and veil
    • Will you question the lady who interrupted the reception or track down the mysterious man from the front pew?
  • The Adventure of the Beryl Coronet
    • Follow the tracks in the snow 
    • Fight George Burnwell to find out what you need to know
    • Use your clues to track down the lost crown
  • The Adventure of the Cardboard Box
    • Travel with Lestrade and hear his story about the severed ears
    • Track down Jim Browner before he escapes on a boat
  • The Adventure of the Copper Beeches
    • Investigate in The Copper Beeches but don't let Carlo catch your scent!
    • Can you make it to Alice Rucastle before her father does?
  • Boss Level: A Study in Scarlet
    • Collect evidence at Lauriston Gardens
    • Set a trap and chase the old lady through London's streets
    • Follow the clues to Madame Charpentier's Boarding House
    • How will you test the poison found at the boarding house?
    • Dispatch the Baker Street Irregulars and travel with them through London's cab yards
    • Fight Jefferson Hope to keep him from escaping through a window!
And this is just the first 15 cases!  Meet brother Mycroft in "The Memoirs," stop The Hound of the Baskervilles in "The Return," and go face-to-face with Moriarty in "The Case-Book!"  Can't you just see all of the folks wandering around staring at their phones when this game comes out?  

Well, they already are, but this time it will be for Sherlock Holmes!  And come on, you already know the ads will end with "The Game's Afoot"!

1 comment:

  1. Since Sherlockians already know how the stories work out, wouldn't doing the original stories be rather boring and tedious?