MindQuest Entertainment today announced an ambitious new online game designed to appeal to mystery and spy game buffs called
TerraQuest. It’s designed to run on both Mac OS X and Windows Web browsers equipped with Macromedia’s Shockwave technology. What’s more, folks who participate are eligible to win a monthly cash prize of thousands of dollars — $250,000 is up for grabs in total.
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Split into six play periods, TerraQuest is an intriguing combination of a mystery and a scavenger hunt with some elements of reality television thrown in for good measure. Players use skill and intellect rather than reflexes in order to win. MindQuest founder and CEO Keith Griffin calls TerraQuest the kind of games “adults play when they grow up.”
Players are required to pay a one-time registration fee to play TerraQuest, and it starts out during the first month at $25. The registration fee is graded so that players who sign up later in the game pay a bit more than they would have during the previous month. And in case you were curious, MindQuest told MacCentral that the prize money for TerraQuest is not funded through registration revenues, so players who make it to the final round in each play period needn’t worry about getting short-changed.
Players search for clues using the Laboratory Assisted Research System (LARS). The LARS Console enables them to navigate and examine rooms and locations, looking for hot spot locations where clues might be found, listening for audio clues and more. Players user LARS to search items for fingerprints, for example, that will reveal the identity of characters they see, or performing chemical analyses to find out if a character has been poisoned. The clues that are compiled and stored in a “clue manager,” which players use to keep track of what they’re doing throughout the game period.
At the end of each game period a specific goal must be reached, and the first player to do so gets the $25,000 pot. What’s more, ten percent of all the registration fees collected from TerraQuest players go into a secret bank account.
In the fifth game period, the first ten players who discover and submit the first half of the secret bank account number become finalists to compete in the sixth game period for the grand prize — half of the money in the account. The grand prize winner must successfully determine the identity and location of the holder of the safe deposit box key that has the second half of the bank account.
What’s more, the other finalists get a five percent cut of the account, and players who don’t make it to the final round can also compete to for a five percent cut too.
MindQuest told MacCentral that the game has been developed to run specifically on Mac OS X and Windows PCs using the most current versions of Internet Explorer and Macromedia’s Shockwave technology. It also leverages Apple’s QuickTime software. Despite the media-rich format, TerraQuest has been optimized to run on both broadband and dial-up connections, as MindQuest anticipates that more than half of TerraQuest’s anticipated users will still be using dial-up service to play.
More details, as well as a trailer and downloadable demo are available from the TerraQuest Web site.