Unboxing the Mind of a Cryptic Killer, Parallel Lab detected on Steam
Noir-styled, co-op timed escape mystery puzzlers coming in 2023 following browser-based developer launches
Remember when adventure games were almost exclusively single-player experiences? It wasn't that long ago, but increasingly we're seeing more co-op adventures released, including not one but two games in Eleven Puzzles's "Cryptic Killer" series, Unboxing the Mind of a Cryptic Killer and Parallel Lab.
In Unboxing the Mind of a Cryptic Killer, players control either Allison "Ally" Abernathy or Steve "Old Dog" Kowalski as they are each sent to "an old warehouse deep in the shipping district of their respective cities." Upon their arrival, they discover crime scenes that bear a striking similarity to those of the "Cryptic Killer," and it appears that they will be the lunatic's next victims if they're unable to solve the intricate series of puzzles left for them within ninety minutes. But each partner sees only half of a puzzle, with different items and clues, so communication will be key if they're to get out alive.
Parallel Lab follows the same formula as its predecessor. After foiling the deranged killer's plot in the first game (spoiler alert!), Ally and Old Dog find themselves "back on the case and hot on the heels of their twisted criminal nemesis." Their latest lead takes them to an "old laboratory on the edge of town," where another set of twisted traps await with limited time to solve them.
The two games share a stylish hand-drawn look "inspired by noir novels" and require a means of communicationg between players. By sharing what you see with your counterpart, together you'll need to "piece together torn documents to recover information across two screens," as well as fix broken wiring, crack codes, open padlocks, and perform a variety of other tasks that can only be accomplished by working together.
Both games were originally launched in browser-based form on their respective websites (Unboxing the Mind of a Cryptic Killer, Parallel Lab), where they can still be purchased and played. If you'd prefer to hold off and play them on Steam, however, there isn't much longer to wait, as the former is due out sometime in the first quarter of 2023, while the latter is scheduled to follow later in the year.
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