• Ben Thompson

Impressions: Isklander

We here at FYVGaming were recently invited to play the interactive online mystery game, Isklander. Isklander pits you and teams of 2-6 players, in three parts: Part I: Plymouth Point, Part II: The Mermaid’s Tongue, and Part III: The Kindling Hour. Over each part you work together to work out the secrets of the overarching narrative leading to the thrilling finale.


Here are a few FYVG writers and some special guests thoughts on the series.


Lewis & Charlotte:

The Isklander series by Swamp Motel is an immersive trio of alternate reality games that we were invited to play with FYVG.


The at-home experience is a perfect lockdown adventure and transports you and up to five others into a whirlwind journey of conspiracies and espionage across a narrative that unfolds using the real world as a platform with the players in control of events.


Starting with Plymouth Point, the experience will have you and your team working together to piece together the disappearance of Ivy Isklander by using your collective detective work to uncover clues and solve puzzles like digital archaeologist that give way to a larger, intricate story which does a fantastic job of drawing upon real world legends, myths and stories for inspiration.


Having participated in numerous ARG’s before, what stands out about The Isklander series is the unique integration of a Zoom call format and a quality cast that participate thru-out, with a few faces you may be surprised to see. The theatrical element of the series had us so immersed in this thriller that at times we found it difficult to distinguish between real life and the events of the game.


With twists and turns at every corner the games make a fantastic individual experience but really shine when played as a series as the interconnecting stories come to a shocking climax that certainly had some of us on edge and completely immersed in the adventure.


Marion:


I had a lot of fun playing Isklander. The game puts you in the action in a clever and seamless way which makes it feel quite realistic. However, the puzzles are entertaining but a little simple in my opinion, but that could have been down to the great team we had.


Still, I really enjoyed the game and felt really involved in the story and it had some good shocks and twists throughout its course. I'm curious to see how Swamp Motel will go forward with further releases in within this medium.


Alberto:


Isklander has been an awesome adventure; featuring an intriguing mystery, a good level of difficulty and a well structured plot, this is a great experience that I would definitely recommend.

Avoiding the details about the plot, our objective is to find a missing girl. During our first steps in this adventure, we are guided by a series of videos and hidden information which will allow us to access the victim’s email in order to find out her latest meetings.

Things start getting darker and darker with other people involved, including an ancient cult.

Finding the right clues in order to continue playing is tricky but satisfying; there are a lot of things to keep in mind while proceeding with this game, that’s why playing as a team is not only better, but also an awesome way to spend a couple of hours with your friends.

To conclude, the experience was great and I can't wait to see what else comes of these Swamp Motel experiences in the future.


Ben:


I had great fun playing the Isklander series. Sitting down with some friends for a few hours at a time to just have some fun for a few hours is a rarity and Isklander definitely provided that fun.


The game is browser based and you're presented with this well laid out interactive plot with some great performances by the cast.


Throughout the series each clue or question we had to solve and answer was quite challenging at times, some with diversion tactics that made us lose some time in our race against the clock to get the mystery solved before we ran out of time.


The story is very well written and put together. It's no wonder that the writes to Isklander have been bought up to adapt it for television audiences.


I really do look forward to whatever comes of said TV series and any other future projects Swamp Motel have in the works because the Isklander series was top notch entertainment and it left me wanting to play more.