Do you love a murder mystery? Are you an artist in the escape room? Or maybe you’re a demon in the arcade?
This past year has obviously forced us to kiss a temporary goodbye to such in-the-flesh thrills – but thankfully, designers are stepping up to plug the gaps by pivoting to digital experiences that are equally interactive, challenging and fun. We’ve rounded up a few of the pioneers we think are doing it best.
Founded by two alumni from immersive theatre legends Punchdrunk, Swamp Motel boasted a pretty impressive pedigree even before the rave reviews rolled in. Their two murder mystery shows – Plymouth Point and Mermaid’s Tongue – cater for audiences from 2 to 6 people and require participants to scour the internet for clues, giving things a much-needed organic feel. Mermaid’s Tongue even begins as a digital life drawing class – another activity that exploded during lockdown. Both have set run times as there’s always someone listening in to help in case things come unstuck, helping to provide a real sense of occasion.
Buck Buck Games
Buck Buck has been going since all the way back in 2014. Their offerings are organised around the founding principle that “play is healthy” and that games with live human interaction can help us to both collaborate and communicate better. Games include a spoof of Dragon’s Den and a free-wheeling quiz, described as Cards Against Humanity meets Cranium meets Shooting Stars. Their digital games also reflect their aim of creating “pop-up experiences that leave no trace”, as the carbon footprint of a digital get-together is a fraction of an in-person one.
Buy tickets for Buck Buck’s current games here
This one’s for the nostalgia fiends. Anyone who grew up watching Knightmare, the children’s adventure gaming show broadcast between 1987 and 1994, will be especially fond of its digital counterpart Knightmare: The Online Quest. The experience predates Covid and pitches itself primarily towards colleagues working remotely from each other as an alternative team-building exercise.
Buy tickets for Knightmare: The Online Quest here
OK, so Unbound technically hasn’t launched yet, but we’re still pretty excited about them. Head to their website to play the demo of their forthcoming game, Sidekick, which promises to be a thrilling and at times unsettling adventure set within a tech company. We can’t wait to see where Unbound is headed, particularly with regards to their aim of blending digital and live performance.
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