Union of Recorded Lives: we posses the secrets of eternal life. Solve our series of puzzles and you will be welcomed into the URL community. Prove your worth. Join us.
Completion Time: 1hr 30 mins
Date Played: 2nd August 2021
Party Size: 4
Recommended For: Solo Players who want a creative ARG
Union of Recorded Lives was not at all what we expected! After previously playing Science Splice, Union of Recorded Lives came onto our radar as an earlier game by the same student society but one generally accepted to be a real hidden gem. But to be sure, it is nothing like Science Splice. This game blurs the boundaries of what is real and what is fiction, pushing players to question the very fabric of reality around them as they play. To say it’s impressive would be an understatement, but here’s why you should check it out.
An Escape Room on TikTok, Facebook and Twitter
Union of Recorded Lives is tricky to find. Put simply, your adventure begins on an unassuming Facebook page and a cryptic Facebook post with a list of rules:
- Use a computer and make sure you have access to the internet
- Don’t be afraid to ask for hints – the puzzles are hard
- You may work in groups
- When taking the personality test, only two traits need to be developed
- There’s no time limit
- Follow the spiders
We decided to play in a group of 4 and once all of us had found the ‘start page’, the adventure began like a big online scavenger hunt looking for spiders appropriately on the world wide web. This led us down a rabbit hole of more Facebook pages, Twitter profiles, TikTok videos, and WordPress blogs – combining the best of what each social media platform does.
I chime in “Haven’t you people ever heard of…”
One of the things we rarely comment on in our reviews is the question of “how appropriate is this game for it’s target audience?”. Union of Recorded Lives is created by a group of Gen Z students aged around 18 – 21. I think they’ve nailed their target audience perfectly with a mix of sound and technology puzzles that’ll feel second nature to those in their peer group.
That said, even for less digital-native players, the team have woven in some ‘alternatives’. Aren’t familiar with all these mobile apps? You should be able to find a YouTube link with all the required audio/visual content.
Being in our mid-20s, we were very pleased to encounter a Panic! At the Disco song as an integral part of one of the puzzles and yes, I’ve got it stuck in my head now. So there’s a little something in there for us millennials too. Hah!
Overall, there were more than enough puzzles in the game to suit all different types of players, it just felt like a refreshingly unique use of technology to deliver them! In particular, audio puzzles combined with meta data puzzles, hidden things in long paragraphs of writing, and needing to interact with chat bots was particularly fun.
The puzzles largely were quite difficult, with a fair few really stumping us. In the end we used a couple of hints and due to a difficulty with a US mobile number, used one answer too.
The Personality Test
Let’s talk about my favourite moment in the game: the personality test!
Towards the end of the game each player took part in a personality test. From this point, the game splits into two different directions which I assume leads to a different ending. I have to assume as amazingly, all four of us had the exact same result, making it easier to collaborate remotely.
But this isn’t your grandma’s personality test – it’s a live RPG game in which your little hero has a choice of objects to pick up and directions to travel in. The designers went all out on this section of the experience with a brilliant browser-based video game sequence including slider puzzles, snake games, and maps to explore.
Here are my results:
Skillful Adaptability Score: 107.5
Creative Logistician Score: 65.5
Those who possess strong skillful adaptability tackle challenges head on, compete against the timer, and have a competitive nature. This type of person might be interested in buffing their creativity and logical analysis skills to progress further in their journey.
Escape SC – The Student Escape Room Club out of USC
Escape SC as a team are a really interesting group of people. I had the pleasure of chatting to them in an interview for Telescape and found out that they’re a student group dedicated to creating escape rooms on the USC campus. At the time of writing there are more than 15 in this student society – although membership is by application only, to keep the group intimate.
Union of Recorded Lives was created back in April 2020, so the team is not exactly the same as the Science Splice team, but one thing is incredibly clear – this group has buckets of creativity! Someone needs to go hire each and every one of these talented students.
We had a lot of fun playing Union of Recorded Lives. Once again, Escape SC have made something really unique and the best part? It’s completely free. For at least an hour (more like two hours) worth of fun, you can step into the wacky and wonderful world of the Union of Recorded Lives and see if you too can uncover the secret to immortality.
I look forward to seeing whatever this team come up with next, and have no doubt it’ll be just as special as this game!
Union of Recorded Lives is free to play. Simply head to this link to get started.