Doctor Who’s Hidden Treasure Hunt #FindTheDoctor

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Welcome to a mystery across space and time. Work together to solve the hiDden clues and reveal a password below. #FindTheDoctor

Last week Doctor Who launched a brand new trailer for Series 13. You know, the usual aliens and monsters and heartfelt moments between The Doctor and her companions. But eagle-eyed fans spotted something else hidden inside the trailer: a cryptic clue that read only:

/mystery

On this page only more mysteries await, from here many fans spotted further unusual clues on the page – from a hidden word ‘FRED’ written in white text, to possible Morse Code in the latest poster, to unusual hints in the page’s source code itself.

Would-be treasure hunters have set up unofficial Discords to try to crack the case, working around the clock. At this stage it is unknown what will happen when the code is cracked, but it seems like BBC have been planning this for a while – with hidden typos and cryptic clues dotted all around their website and social media pages these past weeks.

Whatever we’re looking for… It begins: 13:13.13.

What We Know About #FindTheDoctor

For a little in-depth analysis of all the clues that have been compiled so far by Twitter user @updates_who, read on. Or if you choose to discover them yourself, you can head to /mystery here

  • The D is capitalised in hiDden
  • FRED can be found by highlighting white text on the page
  • By looking in the page source you can find ‘X4G6H66TZ114Z33H19K6’. If you decrypt it using Arcfour, it reveals ‘Z’
    • Interestingly, ‘X4G6H66TZ114Z33H19K6’ contains the exact number of letters as the Time Lady’s real name.
  • John Bishop posted something with ‘a d’ in it but it should say ‘and’. ‘N’ is the missing letter
  • A spectrogram of the page’s image reveals high frequencies around the ‘OR’ in ‘DOCTOR WHO’
  • Mandip Gill posted something with ‘T.AR.D.I.S’. ‘It should say ‘T.A.R.D.I.S’

Fan Theories About #FindTheDoctor So Far…

  • Twitter user @BBCWilliamWho pointed out that another article confirmed ‘universes’ and speculates if #FindTheDoctor will introduce more universes to the show
  • Twitter user @updates_who theorised that 13:13.13 could be a timecode for a video or a time of day/year. It could also lead to Apollo 13 in 1970 – their rocket was launched at 13:13pm
  • Twitter user @DampPuddle pointed out that Romana’s first episode (connected to the word FRED) references 116 parsecs at 13 minutes – the co-ordinates of the Planet Ribos.
  • Many users have pointed out that some passwords get an ‘incorrect password’, and others take you to a page that says “You have not cracked the code this time.”, indicating that a password can only be input at a certain time.

Credit: BBC

Doctor Who returns to BBC 1 later this year, but if you can’t wait that long you can book your own Doctor Who adventure at Escape Hunt.

Swamp Motel: Panic, The Experience | Review

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Popular varsity athlete Noah Kaplan has gone missing from the town of Carp, Texas. You must crack codes and hack websites to figure out where he’s gone, why he’s vanished and why the cops are interested in strange graffiti that’s started to appear all over town. 

Is Noah in danger? Or is the worst yet to come? Work together to follow Noah’s online footsteps before the trail goes cold. Every second counts. Let the game begin. Let the panic set in.

Ratings

Theming: 3/5
Puzzles: 2/5
Online Interface: 5/5
Fun Factor: 4/5
Difficulty: 3/5
Overall:3.5/5

You may have seen Amazon Prime’s new offering, Panic, or at least watched the trailer and been intrigued to find out more. To help promote this new thriller series, Swamp Motel has created an immersive game throwing you into the world of Panic, available for a very limited run and totally FREE!

We love any opportunity to play an escape room so of course we were on this like a moth to a lightbulb- especially after having played the Swamp Motel trilogy in quick succession earlier this spring and loving the unique, atmospheric and creative digital games they had created. So we booked in to play straight away.

The Story

We know from previous offerings from Swamp Motel that storyline is key to their games, making the overall experience one that sticks with you more for the fun of the production than for the puzzles themselves (this is certainly not a bad thing in our opinions- Swamp Motel’s games are MEMORABLE because they’re so different).

So the story starts before you even join the game- the email providing the link to join your game is from Kelly, girlfriend of the missing Noah Kaplan, who is anxious to track down his whereabouts… Our job is to join their High School’s community crisis meeting to help out with trying to find out where Noah is and what has happened to him.

When we join the High School’s online platform, there are rumours flying about that Noah has been involved in the underground viral challenge Panic. Not wishing to tarnish the school’s reputation, the faculty do their best to quash this gossip. However, Panic is definitely the lead we need to take if we want to actually find Noah rather than just…talk about finding him.

This lead sends us off into the online underworld surrounding this challenge competition, finding out that OF COURSE Noah is involved in Panic and actually has been doing pretty well, up until he’s disappeared that is. It’s up to us to find out what’s gone down! Given that this is a competition, you can bet that his ranking and competitors are key clues to narrowing down his whereabouts… Who are Noah’s friends? Foes? Who should we trust?!

The Game

Rather than with some of your more traditional escape room games, think more along the lines of using the internet as your main tool for Swamp Motel’s game. As well as the High School platform, which acts as your means of communication with teammates (and Kelly who is EAGERLY awaiting news of her boyf), the world wide web is your oyster! Lots of the puzzling relies on sourcing out the right information from social media and other websites and using this to decrypt passwords and hack into online databases- virtual ‘trespassing’ is required to reach the information on Noah’s most recent location. Well how do you expect us to track down a missing person without knowing what the police know?! 

We enjoyed the fun of this, and while we generally knew where we needed to look to find the target info, we did sometimes go off on a tangent, enjoying the fun incidental info that makes up a Gen Z high school teen’s social media channels (although it did make us at the sprightly age of 26 feel OLLLDDD!!)

The game culminates with an exciting final sequence and the BIG REVEAL SHOCK TWIST… which we did kind of see coming, but didn’t take away from the excitement. It definitely had the PLL/Gossip Girl/ teen mystery drama vibes which we do always enjoy!

Some high praise indeed for our efforts… to be fair we think being a Panic judge would be more fun than being a participant after seeing what happened to Noah…

Overall

Panic, the experience was a great online experience, much like the previous offerings from Swamp Motel! We had a great time and enjoyed the regular ‘interaction’ with Kelly, which kept the story moving forward and nudged us towards the next stage of our info-gathering mission. As a free game, this had very high production values and had plenty to it, making for a fun evening!

Of course, as a promotional game, a trailer for Amazon Prime’s Panic plays upon completion, and while the series focuses on different characters than who we came to know in the game, it looks like it has the same intensity and excitement we enjoyed from the game. We haven’t yet given the show a go but the trailer did look very much like something that would be up our street, so it has been added to our ever-expanding watchlist for us to binge at some point! 

Not sure how rats were decided as our fear…but look out for us, we’re shady as hell!!! In case you couldn’t tell, we did NOT know a pic was being taken or we would’ve smiled haha!

Panic was available to play for free for a limited time from 2nd-13th June from Swamp Motel

Top Escape Rooms: The Dentist (Online) | Review

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Neville has gone missing he was last seen at the dentist. Many rumours are going around about this new Dentist and none of them good. Can you help Elise find Neville? Time to make a visit at the dentist.

Rating: Unsettling!
Completion Time: 45:36
Date Played: 14th April 2021
Party Size: 4
Recommended For: Anyone who wants to play this IRL room, but online!

In the marketing / advertising world (also known as my ‘real life’ day job), they say you need to be served an ad approximately 7 times before you make the purchase. The Dentist is a great example of this, because I’ve seen this room recommended by AT LEAST 7 people in various blogs, Facebook groups, and so on… So what did I do? I made the purchase! Teamed up with Escaping the Closet, we sat down to tackle the *shudders* Dentist online, playing along via Telescape from different corners of the UK.

I usually avoid the dentist like the plague. Seriously – kinda glad that they were shut here in the UK during lockdown as it gave me an excuse not to go. But from April 12th they’re back open. A moment’s silence for my teeth please. Thankfully, The Dentist is nothing like going to the actual dentists. For starters, there’s puzzles, and for seconds there’s blood everywhere… Wait what? You heard that right. Creepy!

The Story

You receive a mysterious phone call from a friend called Elise. A mutual friend – Neville – went off that morning for a dentist appointment and *gasp* never came back. Elise pleadingly asks you if you can go and check in on the dentist surgery. Did Neville make it? Can you find any clues as to what happened?

So, off you pop to the dentists to discover a very normal looking waiting area where there’s nobody to be found. The only thing you can find are many adverts for Invisaline (was this room SPONSORED by Invisaline?! Just kidding, these aren’t part of the experience but wow there were a lot!). Perhaps if you check the computer records to see if Neville checked in… But you’ll have to hurry! Even though there’s nobody here now, someone could return at any moment.

From here, it’s classic escape room – find clues to unlock computers, find keys to unlock doors, and slowly unravel the ‘truth’ as to what happened.

The Experience

The Dentist is a real life escape room in Top Escape Room’s site in Worcester that, due to lockdown, they’ve converted into an online experience via a programme called Telescape. I definitely feel like some of the ‘magic’ of playing this room is person is lost in a Telescape experience, but on the flip side this game is suddenly so much more accessible to anyone who wants to play it from anywhere in the world!

The idea is simple, you’ve got a 360 degree view of the room and you can click on anything that looks interesting to get a closet look. Unlike other Telescape games, the inventory system is quite different. For example, all your keys will be stored in one place, all your jars of teeth (don’t ask haha), all your puzzle pieces. To use them you enter the ‘area’ of your inventory, click on it to ‘use’ and must then find that part of the room to actually then drag and drop the items.

For this reason, it takes a little getting used to the controls, and playing with a smaller group (else lots of people will be clicking) is probably preferable too!

To help you out in the experience, there are a few video breaks to set the scene and provide context. At one point in the game the plot takes a dramatic turn *gasp* and presumably where the GM in real life would interrupt, instead you get a video providing a helpful 1v1 with Elise.

Also worth mentioning is that there are sound effects when cool stuff happens, and as with all Telescape games you can see where all other teammates’ mouse are on the screen, making collaboration on puzzles pretty fun too.

The Puzzles

In terms of a puzzling experience, The Dentist is your pretty classic escape room! And it makes sense, it literally is a real life escape room. As such there are a lot of puzzles which revolve around you finding things. There’s also a very high number of locks in this game, I count at least 10 – but they’re all super varied in how you find the codes or keys. Think 3, 4, digit locks, colour locks, directional, date locks, lockers, doors, swipe keys and so on.

Another very cool thing about the puzzles is that they make great use of the setting. As it’s a dentist’s waiting area it’s got all the usual things you’d expect – some magazines and books for kids, plant pots, weird posters up on the walls, a couple of toys too. But unlike a real dentist… *waves magic wand*… All of this is now puzzles!

Take nothing for granted and look at everything twice in this game! If you can click on it, you probably need it.

One of my favourite puzzles was towards the end and involved teeth in jars. I don’t want to give any spoilers, but it’s a great example of a multi-step puzzle that unlocked a cool area!

Overall

I enjoyed this! The creators have done a good job converting their escape room to Telescape. It’s not my favourite room (*shudders at the theme*) but it was just perfect for a light-hearted escape room get-together with a group of 4 on a Wednesday evening.

We ‘escaped’ in 45 minutes, meaning I’d probably pitch this game on the ‘harder’ level in terms of difficulty. The truth is, there’s a lot to do! A lot of different areas to explore and a lot of individual puzzles to be solved. But the best part of playing it on Telescape means that there is no time limit. Tackle this one at your leisure, and enjoy!

The Dentist Online can be booked for £20 per team on Top Escape Rooms’ website here.