The hybrid game Finding Atlantis is the latest coup from German small publisher Hybr. The competitive exploration game with elements of deduction is aimed at up to four players. As a target group, Hybr aims primarily at families - but Finding Atlantis is on the threshold of a connoisseur's game.  

At Finding Atlantis, the name says it all. Up to four players - or one player in solo mode - take on the roles of submarine captains in a quest for the legendary lost city of Atlantis. Players trigger actions with their hand cards in order to decode the whereabouts step by step.

An app is at the center of the gameplay. It is available and indispensable for Android devices and now also Apple's iOS. The app always gives players the appropriate hints. The creators of Finding Atlantis bring difficulty into play through timing: at some point you have to show up. Only those who skilfully build this into the process can avoid revealing their secret research. The smart program can be used on a tablet or smartphone, the important thing is that the device needs a front camera.

Find Atlantis... again

Finding Atlantis, with its innovative, if still niche, playful approach, falls somewhere between a leisurely puzzle game and adventure. Two contrasts meet in Hybr's new game: modern technology and a mothball theme.

Nevertheless, the makers deliberately chose the classic as the basis for their game project, even if it is not the freshest on the market. "It's true: Atlantis isn't the most original idea you can have," admits Andreas Wilde, the game designer behind Finding Atlantis. "But it's a perfect example of a very classic, maybe even naïve, adventure. By adventure I mean the feeling you get when you watch an Indiana Jones movie or read a Jules Verne. This immersion, the uncertainty, the promise of being in a world that is guarding a lot of great secrets.”

And personal preferences also play a role. The "probably most important factor" for the choice of topic is, of all things, the "House of the Mouse".

"I'm a big fan of the Atlantis Disney film, but also of Anno 1800," explains Wilde. "They all have this time of departure together - sometime between 1800 and 1920 - in which researchers and other world travelers but also engineers conquer the world". Andreas Wilde is fascinated by this kind of adventure - it makes him a child again. "I hope our players feel the same way."

The technology presents itself quite differently from the topic. With the app support, Finding Atlantis not only has a unique selling point among the Atlantis adventure games, it can also be adapted in the future.

finding atlantis 3

Players use their hand cards to cancel actions. Photo: Volkman

Andreas Wilde explains why the application is actually useful: "The most elementary element that the app contributes is the secret". You interact with a card that can gradually reveal secrets that can also make things happen to the player. So in one place you'll find seamounts, in another you'll encounter a sea monster.

"And it wasn't by accident that your journey got you there, it was your navigation and possibly circumstances, and the actions of other players," says Wilde. So the app does a lot more in the background - completely unnoticed - than players realize when they scan their cards and plan moves. The idea of ​​using the app in this form is not entirely new for Hybr, but it has been fine-tuned.

"Technologically, it's very exciting that we're using image detection for the second time in Finding Atlantis, in an intuitive and fun way," explains the author. Maps allow players to navigate their submarines. Depending on the direction in which you play a card via the app, you can head for different cardinal points. "This is not only new, but also fairly easy to understand and expands the playing possibilities enormously," says Wilde. Because some cards have different actions with directions on the front and back, you can ultimately do eight different things with one card. "We will definitely be using this type of technology again soon," says Wilde, already looking to the future.

The gameplay in Finding Atlantis is easy to understand, but the title is not a simple card game. Nevertheless, Hybr wants to appeal to different types of players.

According to Andreas Wilde, the target group for Finding Atlantis is broad, but it is primarily aimed at everyone who has had a lot of fun with Search for Planet X, Cryptid, Alchemists or even Cluedo. Basically, the title is more of a family game than a connoisseur's game, but "definitely with a certain demand for concentration".

"But it's even more important to have a treasure hunter gene," says Wilde. "And revealing secrets inspires almost everyone". Fans of Sudoku or logic puzzles could "twist their cortex properly if necessary". At the latest in pirate mode, the game has a lot of interaction.

Skeptics hate this trick: the mobile phone is not a mobile phone at all!

All of this sounds like processes that are known from classic – “purely analog” – board games. For some enthusiasts, apps in parlor games are annoying, especially when they are mandatory. Expert players often prefer to do without this computer game-like feeling.

So the obvious question is: How can an app skeptic get excited about Finding Atlantis?

"Anyone who gets more out of analog games will find the best of both worlds in a hybrid experience," says author Andreas Wilde. "I promise you that you won't disappear behind big screens and won't talk to each other for half an hour".

The cell phone, as the author describes it, is not a cell phone at all during the game - "but a compass, a spaceship or a meat grinder with which you interact physically," Wilde explains, also looking back on the two previously published hybrid games Soviet Kitchen or Houston, we have a Dolphin!.

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The mobile phone gets a completely different function during the game, for example it becomes a compass. Photo: Hybr

"We love board games, too," says Wilde. "Ultimately, our games sometimes have completely new mechanisms that would be unimaginable without a cell phone."

The author sees another advantage in the ease of entry: You can make complex games much easier with tutorials and moderation. "I also believe that most board gamers don't resist the right music and sound effects for their board game," Andreas Wilde assumes. His simple tip: Just try out a hybrid game at the next big trade fair or with friends.

More information about Hybr and the games is available online at: hybrid.co.

 

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Last updated on 3.02.2023/XNUMX/XNUMX / Affiliate Links / Images from the Amazon Product Advertising API. * = Affiliate links. Images from Amazon PA API