While the production of the Canadian series “Endgame” was shortlived (though has found popularity online at Hulu and has been rumoured to be brought back from the dead), the show’s online feature, an immersive interactive game, lives on. Personally, I could never get into the series, but the game gives a great tour around what a typical episodic experience is like.
The series is about a chess master who lives in a hotel and solves crimes with an ability not unlike Patrick Jane in “The Mentalist.”
The “interactive episode” is shot as “you as the protagonist” in a first-person style, and you interact with the cast in order to solve the mystery involving one of your friends. There’s really cool Facebook integration, so photos of you and your friends are pulled into the game, which adds a fun twist to the genre. Within the game are also mini-games, which the site has also pulled out as stand-alone games themselves.
I’m not surprised to see that the game was made by Shaw and “Secret Location,” a Toronto-based company who also built the very slick “Rookie Blue” interactive feature. The game has earned several awards, including a 2012 International Emmy Award nomination, a Gemini Award for best cross-platform (fiction) in 2011, an Atomic award for broadcast engagement in 2011, FWA’s “site of the day,” and more.
Hands down, this game is awesome, and a great effort by all involved. It highlights the mechanics of the episode, engages the player, and looks amazing. Not every program can pull something like this off, but for a procedural mystery, this works. It’s something that could be unveiled season after season with new mysteries, but what I think could be really cool, is to create something like this using an existing episode, and allowing gamers to uncover evidence and clues that the show didn’t, making it possible for a gamer to reveal an outcome different than that the original narrative.