Steve Peters is a guest writer for ARGNet and founder of No Mimes Media.
A few weeks back, I was able to head to Hollywood to take part in Accomplice: Hollywood, a new interactive experience produced by Neil Patrick Harris, Tom Salamon and Betsy Salamon-Sufott, that takes place entirely on foot throughout Hollywood Boulevard and its neighboring streets. While the website bills the experience as a â€œluscious blendâ€ of one part Scavenger Hunt, one part Interactive Theater, and one part Walking Tour, (with all the good parts left intact and all of the bad parts sifted out), Iâ€™d add one part Alternate Reality Game into the recipe, for sure (câ€™mon Neil, get with the lingo). What was it like? Iâ€™ll do my best to explain without spoiling the fun. Was it any good? Read on and see.
After reading a blurb about Accomplice: Hollywood on some vanity blog, I said to myself, â€œHey! I live near Hollywood!â€ and promptly bought tickets for the missus and myself, along with cajoling a couple more friends to come along for the fun. We booked 2pm on Sunday, September 27th, and were told that weâ€™d be contacted the day before the event to be given instructions, including where to meet. In the meantime, we were told to visit NikkiDesmond.com to find out more. Go there now and watch the video (which is pretty funny, I must say). Iâ€™ll waitâ€¦
Back? Yeah, Neal Patrick Harris and Mary Hartâ€™s legs do a much better job at setting this up than I ever could. Somethingâ€™s up with Nikki Desmond, starlet wanting a comeback, but we donâ€™t know quite what. Fast-forward to Sept. 26thâ€¦
In true ARG fashion, I got a call from Nikkiâ€™s perky personal assistant (PPA), giving me the lowdown, asking for help, swearing me to secrecy, and giving me a specific location to meet her the following day at 2pm. I dutifully took notes, although I was sad that Iâ€™d missed the call and had to just hear her message on voicemail.
The next day, we showed up at the appointed time, and what followed was, well, something we were sworn to secrecy about. While I wonâ€™t ruin the fun by telling you all the details, we spent the next 2.5 hours running (ok, walking, sometimes briskly) up and down Hollywood Blvd. solving puzzles, revealing clues and interacting with sometimes very unexpected characters. We got to see some famous and not-so-famous Hollywood landmarks, and were treated to humor, mental challenges, refreshments and most importantly a LOT of fun along the way. Â In the end, we completed our quest, the mystery was solved, and the ending was very satisfying.
While I realize this is about as non-informative as a review can get, I want to suggest (nay, urge!) that if youâ€™re ever in Hollywood to set aside $65 for an afternoon you wonâ€™t soon forget. Accomplice: Hollywood is a must-see experience for a number of reasons. Was it worth the money? Absolutely! The writing (sometimes hilarious), experience design and acting were all top-notch, and while the pacing seemed to lag a little in the middle, it was most likely a result of my not-so-young body starting to protest from all the activity. I canâ€™t wait to go again, taking some new friends along (ARG Party, anyone?).
Hopefully, the producers will be able to bring this experience to additional cities (itâ€™s also in New York, its original venue), as itâ€™s just plain great. Â Itâ€™s good for groups of up to twelve, but ours was only four, which made for a more intimate, fast-on-our-feet experience. Plus, Nikki had a crush on me, I could tell (call me!)â€¦
Click Here for tickets and info.