The Profoctor Predicament is a light puzzle hunt created by Oblivity, and set in the world of their podcast.
Style of Play: light puzzle hunt with many audio and video clips for the story
Required Equipment: computer with internet connection
Of note, the printer is optional, but some reviewers found having printed materials to be extremely helpful.
Recommended Team Size: 1-4
Play Time: The website says there is no time pressure and the game is about the experience, so it should be enjoyed over a couple of hours, with snacks. It’s probably about 60-90 minutes, more if you engage with all the audio and video material.
Booking: To get The Profoctor Predicament, go to their Ko-fi page, linked from their website, and give at least £5. You’ll receive an automated Ko-fi email receipt containing your 8-digit pass-code. Use your pass-code to start the game from the link on their website.
The game takes place within The Profoctor Predicament online game space, and players are advanced from one section to the next by entering numerical answers to puzzles. There is a “base journal” that contains all of the puzzles, and it may be printed or downloaded. Hints are received as audio, video, and written clues, all delivered in character by cartoon figures that represent the cast of the Oblivity podcast. There is no video chat interface for the team of players. We set up our own Google Meet, and then divided up the puzzles.
Hivemind Review Scale
Brett Kuehner’s Reaction
- + Good production value in the printed material, videos, and website
- + The art and writing are good and the voice acting is solid
- + The puzzles connect to the story being told by the videos (but don’t depend on the videos)
- + Good puzzle variety, and puzzles are generally well designed
- +/- The puzzles are on the easier side, and are better for less experienced puzzlers
- – One puzzle required close attention to detail in a way that wasn’t well clued
- +/- On several puzzles, we skipped part of the intended solution, but the answer was clear anyway
- + Hints and solutions are provided
If you are a fan of the podcast, this is probably a “recommend this game at any time” game, especially if you are a novice-to-intermediate puzzler.
Theresa W’s Reaction
The Profoctor Predicament was a video podcast-driven game that did a lot with the story, and not a lot with the puzzles. I personally have never listened to this podcast before, but for someone who has listened to the podcast, or is interested in the podcast– I’m sure this experience would be wonderful. The vibrant and goofy characters were prominent through a few hours of videos and audio clips. The puzzles seemed like a bit of a side thought to the game — they weren’t bad by any means, but they weren’t anything special.
Peih Gee Law’s Reaction
This game is the complete package – delightfully funny, great story, and fun puzzles. The cast of characters were all hilariously irreverent, with a suitably snide brat of an antagonist. This online escape room/ puzzle hunt was created by the writers of a sci-fi comedy podcast, and its provenance clearly shows in the narrative. The story line was really funny and engaging, with accompanying animated videos.
The puzzles are charmingly presented in a journal, and most of them are logical deduction puzzles, which were fun, but not too difficult. I am super impressed with The Profoctor Predicament as a whole package – very polished presentation. And you can’t beat the price of £5. I highly recommend you play this game if you are looking for a charming, story-forward game with puzzles that you can play at your own pace.
Matthew Stein’s Reaction
The Profoctor Predicament features a semi-interactive narrative, presented through text, video, and illustrations, plus a light puzzle hunt. I found that, at least for our team who hadn’t previously heard the podcast, the game suffered from a disconnect between the story and puzzles; it required fairly significant commitment to remain involved in the story (though it was wonderfully written!), and the story rarely provided information directly relevant for the puzzles. Broadly speaking, even if a narrative isn’t necessary to know how to solve connected puzzles, it can still help explain the context for exactly why you’re solving them, leading to a much more satisfyingly cohesive experience. I’d love to have seen this game lean more into its clear strength, audio-based sci-fi storytelling, and incorporate the puzzles more directly into that medium.
The puzzles themselves were fairly simple, adequately clued, and beginner-friendly, though the PDF through which most of the content was communicated was visually information-dense, at times falsely suggesting that puzzles had deeper layers, and content was often distributed throughout the document, leading to some less than satisfying searching-type puzzles. Overall this was a cute game which will appeal more to fans of the podcast and casual puzzlers than more seasoned puzzle enthusiasts.
The Profoctor Predicament delivered a fully developed story in a multimedia format. I appreciated the effort that went into the narrative, videos, and even custom songs included in this game, along with the polished presentation. However, I felt it was an overwhelming amount of information and I struggled to become invested in the characters.
There were some enjoyable puzzles alongside several that could benefit from refinement and stronger cluing, particularly near the end. The option to print the puzzles helped me a lot. I didn’t find the hint system particularly helpful.
The standout for me was the ending – both the format and the goofy dialogue. If you’re a fan of the Oblivity podcast, or simply want the opportunity to dive deep into a quirky sci-fi story, then check this one out.
Disclosure: Oblivity provided the Hivemind reviewers with a complimentary play.