A distinctively different type of gamebook experience, Omniverse: Book 1 – Prologue by Leona Rose is a unique puzzle adventure that combines interactive fiction with the immersive mechanics of RPGs, video games and escape rooms – all wrapped up in a wonderfully gloomy dystopian narrative. Its non-linear emergent gameplay is presented in a format that will test your skill, perception and perseverance.
You are plunged into the world after The Great Cull, in which 90% of the population was wiped out. All the rest are enslaved – except 1%…
An epic adventure in which you must escape from this world through wilderness, wastelands, docklands and other treacherous terrain.
Trace your steps and draw your map. Piece together your discoveries and demystify the conspiracy by exploring your surroundings, resolving puzzles and enigmas, and defeating ill-intending characters you will cross. You must ultimately discover whose side you are on, what you are fighting for and why you must leave!
In Omniverse you EXPLORE your environment (look left, look right, move forward) and INTERACT (pick up, put down, combine, use), finding clues, solving challenging puzzles and obtaining keys as you move through the game’s different levels. Every scene contains a description or illustration of the view directly in front of you, or describes the action you undertake. Some scenes may also contain a puzzle or a narrative linked to the wider story, or even reward you with loot. Solving a puzzle unlocks new scenes, levels and items, which ultimately allow you to complete your adventure.
Just like a regular gamebook, Omniverse describes your surroundings and provides options for further progress, yet here the unfolding narrative additionally influences the puzzles that you locate, subsequently unlocking new information, objects or levels. Each action provided is the equivalent of a choice typically found in a standard gamebook, with the interactive puzzles (those using items in your inventory or features from scenes) then determining which storyline the branching narrative now follows.
Each page in Omniverse reveals either a section of story, a puzzle or the results of your actions, or a mix of all three, and depending on which way you assemble these components – much like a tangram – you’ll compose a different viewpoint of the game that’s being played.
You can begin playing Omniverse from any point – so pick a page and start moving. The implication of this unique format is that you will need to make different choices to break out of a room than if you were trying to break in to that same room. Ultimately, there is one main objective, however, the appreciation of the storyline is wholly dependent on what information you have and when you gained it. Two different Omniverse players will have completely different adventures simply because they walked disparate paths, undertook their actions differently, and received information at differing moments.
Omniverse: Book 1 – Prologue is the first of at least six books set within this intriguing universe. Each book chronicles one part of the journey that the player must take to reach the Safelands created to save humanity, and is set around a main theme: for example, the innovations undertaken in an attempt to save planet earth; the ensuing quest for a new home; the discovery of new lifeforms and technologies, and ultimately access to other universes and subsequent implications; and the effects of humanity beyond the frontiers of planet earth.
Omniverse is a 400+ page, A5 softcover, which can also be purchased as a limited edition version. You can download and view a quick start guide and page previews of the book at the Omniverse Kickstarter campaign, which will conclude on July 11th.