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Description

The Black Watchmen is an alternate reality game or ARG, a form of a live action RPG experience which instead of stats and combat focus is moved on exploration and puzzle-solving, which is not confined to the table and can include the whole house or other real-life locations for players to to go to and explore. Fiction and reality are intertwined and use of existing sources such as books, newspapers, film or Internet sites might be required to advance through the challenges.

In this case, The Black Watchmen is a quasi-MMO puzzle-solving game. The player is recruited by the secret organization whose aim is to protect general public from dangerous technologies, secret societies, harmful occult rituals and similar threats that might be too outlandish for many to believe in. At first he is given a test of several somewhat simple puzzles, and after that he is put onto work on an ongoing case. There is a story arc that goes through the whole episode (the game is season-based) and later is continued in other seasons or DLC.

The major difference between The Black Watchmen and a typical adventure game is that most of the puzzles are solved outside of the game - by doing book research, searching the internet, maps, encyclopedias, deciphering an encoded message, or even working in a graphic or audio editor program. Sometimes, even the knowledge of foreign languages might come in handy. The majority of the puzzles are different from each other and require a new approach.

The application itself is just a tool that mostly provides players with a mission briefing, evidence and case files, and has a text input field, where you need to put the right answer. There's a number of web-sites and social network pages that has been created specifically for the game. Also there's a number of "secret" answers that could be found during investigations and used to unlock additional missions.

And probably the most unique feature (though seen in earlier games as EA's Majestic) is a participation level. Where you can choose how much of the game you want in your life: it could be limited to game only, you could receive e-mail, phone calls, or even the actual packages. At the later levels (that has to be approved with the studio) players might be chosen to participate at real life events directed by the developers, which is essentially a live-action role play experience.

The MMO-aspect comes down to forums and also the ability to converse with other agents in-game, call or give help with your current case using a built-in mini-chat window.

Screenshots

The Black Watchmen Windows Mission screen info.
The Black Watchmen Windows Yet another mission window
The Black Watchmen Windows You can communicate with other players in this way.
The Black Watchmen Windows Select from available missions.

Promo Images

The Black Watchmen Screenshot
The Black Watchmen Screenshot
The Black Watchmen Screenshot
The Black Watchmen Screenshot

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Critic Reviews

Adventure Gamers Windows Nov 04, 2015 4.5 Stars4.5 Stars4.5 Stars4.5 Stars4.5 Stars 90

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Contributed to by Virgil (8569)