It was through a strange puzzle that I came across Grandpa's VCR. I'm not sure how "they" got my address or my name, or knew somehow that I couldn't resist being drawn into a good mystery. But "they" did.
I received an encrypted postcard with a diagram of a VCR and some mysterious writing. I'm still not sure how I got it, but once it was decoded, I was lead to Grandpa's VCR and things didn't un-weirden after that.
Apparently, someone is fond of games and is creating an Internet-wide scavenger hunt promising mysterious and difficult puzzles. And of course, a cash prize. I reached out to the creator to see what this is all about and to see if he wanted to tell the IndieWatch audience about it. He responded with this brief article which I am now posting because, well...
I think you're gonna like it...
We are currently OBSESSED with the 1980s.
Think about it: The book “Ready Player One” blew up book sales on Amazon and is now knocking down bank in the theaters. “The Goldbergs” is one of the hottest shows on TV. “Rosanne” is back on the air, for God’s sake. And most telling of all: video games have returned to their pixel roots such as the awesome Shovel Knight. Hell, even clothing is heading that way. Anyone who says the 80s is gone is clearly denying the obvious.
And now (TR-808 drum roll please), may I present: Grandpa’s VCR - a retro-awesome game like none other.
Grandpa’s VCR is the mobile gateway to a digital scavenger hunt of Goonies proportions! The game embraces the amazing world of the 1980’s and early 1990’s like no other game has. Imagine actually being Parzival in Ready Player One--playing the game as it evolves first-hand against an army of competitors (albeit in 2D rather than the 3D Oasis.) That is what Grandpa’s VCR is all about.
The game starts simply enough on your mobile phone. Using your ever-reliable TIMEX digital watch, you have to set the current time on Grandpa’s VCR (sadly, a hopeless task for Grandpa-- as is working the answering machine, the microwave, the car radio and so much more…sigh.)
Once the time is set, players enter the larger game and ransack the digital realm for solutions to wickedly complex puzzles. The game will traverse the entire digital realm from websites and apps to e-books and software. Players are free to play solo or in teams to tackle the challenges laid out before them.
Earn badges as you slice through levels like Jack T. Colton and Joan Wilder did through the Colombian jungle.
And while your prize will sadly NOT be a plane full of pot, it will be much better…A POT FULL OF CASH MONEY!
How many video games have a cash prize for the winner? And more importantly, how much prize money are we talking?
Currently, there is an Indiegogo campaign in its final week raising money for just that. The pot is at $500, but it is swiftly moving to the next stretch goal to put it at $1000. There are great perks to help you in the game such as credits for hints, early access to walled off levels and gnarly stickers you can slap on your Trapper Keeper!
The more people get into the game, the more the pot grows.
So, what are you waiting for?! My friends, it’s time to peg your jeans, dust off that Members Only jacket, pause that eighth viewing “Ice Pirates” and bounce to your next bodacious good time: Grandpa’s VCR. Naturally, the game releases on the upcoming epic geek holiday: 5/4/18
May the Fourth Be With You As You Conquer Grandpa’s VCR!
(For the intrepid, there are already easter eggs already present in the website, the Indiegogo campaign and now here:
About the Creator:
I have been playing games my whole life starting with “Tennis” on my RCA Studio II, to “Hunt the Wumpus” on my TI-99, to everything under the sun on the Atari 2600.
From this education, my goal has always been to develop games that seek to entertain with great gameplay and humor. My latest effort, Grandpa’s VCR, is an idea I began over 13 years ago while working at Crude Games, a microscopic iPhone app company.
Through the years, the game has evolved and grown with new ideas and puzzles, all of which reference my childhood in the 1980’s and 90’s, a pivotal time of tech and pop culture for me. I hope you enjoy it!