Posts Tagged ‘The Bleeding Edges’

Wot I Think: Ahnayro – The Dream World

After an early access release gave us just a few puzzles from the first two of four “tables”, a full version of Alice & Smith’s Ahnayro: The Dream World is now out, and I really rather like it. Which isn’t going to stop me from complaining about it too. Read the rest of this entry »

The Bleeding Edges: Ahnayro – The Dream World

The Bleeding Edges are a series of articles on games that blur reality and fiction.

Oh it feels like home. So many spin-offs deep it must be getting dizzy, Ahnayro: The Dream World [official site] is a spin-off from The Black Watchmen, itself a spin-off from The Secret World. But, importantly, you need have heard of neither – let alone played them – to fully embrace this research-based puzzle game. (Of course, you should play both games, as they’re great, and most especially Watchmen if you’re into mystery games.) This early alpha version of Ahnayro takes a slightly different tack, stripping away the fiction of playing an agent in a conspiratorial organisation, and instead presenting far more overt puzzles in a dream-logic world. Within minutes of starting (and I’m not exaggerating how quickly I encountered all this), I was learning about the life of Virginia Woolf, the origins of Great Ormond Street, how to read electronic diagrams, 18th century gardeners and the role of thimbles in Peter Pan.

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The Bleeding Edges: The Stone Retrospective

The Bleeding Edges are a series of articles on games that blur reality and fiction.

In 1997, when the world wide web was barely spun, a game came along that was unlike anything else before it, and with few bold enough to follow it since. It was called The Stone [tribute site], and – incredibly for the time – played exclusively through a web browser. Even more peculiarly, your access to the game was made possible by purchasing a real-world black pendant, emblazoned with six symbols – a pattern of symbols only you, and one other person in the world, had. With this code, you could reach a diagram of a three-dimensional cube, each segment containing a white dot, each dot representing a puzzle.

And each puzzle opened your eyes to something you never knew before, sending you off on a journey of research. On returning to the game, I got hold of one of its original creators, Rod Bruinooge, to find out a little more, and once again sunk into its peculiar puzzling.

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The Bleeding Edges: The Black Watchmen

The Bleeding Edges are a series of articles on games that blur reality and fiction.

There was once a wonderful thing on the internet: The Stone. It was when we were all tiny babies (1997), and Wikipedia was still a twinkle in Jimmy Wales’s twinkly eye. You got access to it by buying a physical object, a small stone pendant, and with the code imprinted upon it delved into a creepy online world of conspiracy and truth. The game was ostensibly a puzzle game, but you played it via search engines, and even real life actual research. It was wonderful while it lived, and slightly clumsily lives on here. I constantly seek something else like it. The Black Watchmen [official site] – a tangential spin-off from The Secret World – while delivered more in the style of the more recent ARGs, certainly picks up some of its themes.

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The Bleeding Edges: Extrasolar

The Bleeding Edges is a series of articles on alternative reality gaming – games that blur the line between reality and fiction, smudge the edges of the frame and let the game bleed over into your real life.

When I reviewed The Temporal Invasion last week, I lamented that it fell short of the reality-augmenting pleasure* that I’d found in 2003’s In Memoriam, and wished there were more games that could blur reality and fantasy in such interesting ways. People told me about some. I’ve been playing them. And goodness me, if I’m not rather enjoying playing Extrasolar [official site].

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