How to play The Game

The video game that you are about to play is a simulation of The Game.   As in The Game, the object is to find all the clues as quickly as possible.  The Game is played on a 40x40 grid, with some number of walls between the cells.  The team playing The Game is depicted by a red minivan, which will start in the upper left corner of the grid.  Also present at the beginning is the first clue, depicted by a blue envelope.

----- The team

----- The clue

The minivan takes keyboard input to move it around the grid.  Pressing the arrows will move the van left, up, right, and down respectively.  Once a direction is pressed, the van will move in that direction until it no longer can or until another direction is pressed. To stop the van from moving, any button other than the arrow keys and those mentioned below can be pressed.

The Game starts at 10:00am, shown by the clock in the upper right.  The clock will move forward as time goes on - 4 minutes every few seconds.  When a clue is retrieved, the team takes some amount of time to "solve" the clue before the next clue shows up.  The text below the clock shows how many clues have been solved.

The team has energy and inspiration shown by progress bars in the lower right.  These values start high (100 and 80 respectively) but get depleted as time goes on. Neither energy nor inspiration can go above 100, and both can sink no lower than 40. The lower the energy, the slower the team moves (i.e. the less likely it is that the team will move in its current direction at any particular turn).  The lower the inspiration, the longer it takes to solve the clue. Energy gets depleted even more than usual during the night, but the team gets a burst of 15 energy points at sunrise (6am).  The team also gets a burst of inspiration (5 points) at 4:20pm and 4:20am.  In addition, there are bonus items randomly floating around the grid that can increase these values.  Red Bull cans add 10 energy points, and marijuana leaves add 10 inspiration points.  These objects can go through walls. When energy or inspiration sinks dangerously low, the progress bar will turn red.

----- 10 energy points

----- 10 inspiration points

The final two objects are doughnuts and cops. Doughnuts float randomly around the grid.  They are scooped up as you go over them, and the doughnut count, which starts at 2, is shown in the lower right corner.  Cops show up randomly near clues during The Game.  They will stay near the clue, but if a player comes within sight (4 squares in any direction), the cop will move towards the player. If the cop gets next to a player, the player is detained for about 20 minutes (game time).  The good news is that cops like doughnuts more than anything else.  If a doughnut comes within sight, the cop will drop everything and go eat the doughnut.  Eating will detain the cop for 20 minutes.  In order to lure away cops, the team can drop a doughnut by pressing 'd' as long as the doughnut count is above zero. Cops will disappear when there are no more doughnuts, teams, or clues in sight, and they will also get bored and disappear if no player shows up at the clue for too long. Doughnuts are also reserve energy. The team can eat any excess doughnuts not needed for luring away cops, gaining 5 energy points. This is accomplished by pressing 'e'.

----- Doughnut

----- Cop

----- Supercop

There are 20 clues to solve, and there are also two levels of play.  If the first level is finished fast enough, the team qualifies to play in level 2. The second level is more difficult because there are more walls.  The score is calculated based on the time it takes to finish the level.  Forty hours is the longest a team can take for a level before the game ends; therefore, 40 hours gives a score of 0, and anything faster will give a positive score. The score is the number of minutes faster than 40 hours that the level was finished in, multiplied by the level number. For, if a team finishes level 1 in 24 hours, the score will be (60 * 16) * 1, or 960.  If level 2 is finished in 29 hours, the score for that level is (60 * 11) * 2, or 1320.  A score of 1100 is needed to qualify for level 2.  A total score of 3100 wins the video game, allowing the team to submit its application for the 420 Game. The level and current score are shown on the right panel below the time. The game can be paused by pressing the Escape key. It can be restarted by pressing the Escape key again.

High scores will be kept, and scores will be considered when choosing the teams for The Game. Check back often to see how the other teams are doing.  Can you get the highest score?  Good luck!


See the high scores here