For those of you who want to get in on the ground floor of a new and exciting gaming experience, this might just be the thing you need. Thanks to a tip, ARGN has learned of an “online role-playing game” called Stranger Adventures that will launch on Sunday, February 19th with a pilot series that will last a week. Shortly after the pilot series concludes, the Stranger Adventures series will continue it’s first “season” in 10 installments, to be offered bi-weekly. For players in the United States, there is an added bonus to playing the game in the form of a cash prize for those lucky enough to crack a 10-digit code central to the story.
According to the tip we received, “The weeklong pilot, as well as the following series, will unfold Sunday through Saturday. Each episode will feature its own central character (the “Stranger”) and clues to a 10-digit code that the Stranger needs the players’ help to identify. The clues will not require any specialized expertise and will piece together like a puzzle. The first player to crack the code will win the grand prize of $25,000; the second prize of $10,000 will be divided among every viewer who breaks the code before time runs out. The value of the prizes will progress weekly as the audience grows.”
The site (which redirects to a sub-site of riddleproductions.com, the parent company) looks very slick and well designed. There are a few secrets that can already be found, such as a few interesting objects in the Flash content of the site. The entire series “is designed around first-person stories” that include clues, and the story will be presented through “graphic-enhanced text-e-mails and live-action video communications.” We’re told that there are quite a few Easter Eggs and Red Herrings that will be part of the email messages, so participants can watch out for those.
The interactivity of the Stranger Adventures series is similar to that of another ARG currently running, Find Araya. In that game, players are thrust into the game through interactive forums and real-time chat rooms, taking on roles to help a detective find a missing person. However, one has to wonder how much of a dedicated, active audience these types of games will attract, as the level of interaction is very high and integral to the game play.
This isn’t the first endeavor by Riddle Adventures, as it appears that there was a trial of the Stranger Adventures series in November of 2005. While this is the first we’ve experienced Stranger Adventures, we are most certain that it won’t be the last.