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MOTAS: The Mystery of Time and Space

Point & Click adventure games have been around for a very long time; indeed, some of the earliest big titles were of this genre. We’ve had the Monkey Island franchise, Grim Fandango, Broken Sword – And then we had the Mystery of Time & Space (MOTAS). Recently on our Discord channel, I got into a conversation with Jason from VidyaSauce, who was live streaming himself playing Elea – A new game that identifies itself as an Indie Adventure game. When I saw the sci-fi theme of the game, I was immediately brought back to MOTAS – A game that I and my family loved to bits.

I’m not saying this game will blow your mind, especially as the game was first released on its own website, all the way back in 2001. I’ve been unsuccessful in getting the website to launch the game, but thankfully I was able to find the game on Albino Blacksheep, a classic website for Flash based video games and animations. Albino Blacksheep, in its day, was one of the larger websites that dealt with Flash; usually, if someone wasn’t on Newgrounds, they would have been on Albino Blacksheep instead. If you’re at all interested in how Flash games and animations were portrayed back in the early 00’s, then I would heavily recommend you check this site out.

MOTAS was a really tricky and really quite unique game for its time. It didn’t created a subgenre unto itself, but it certainly was one of the games that brought the genre to a new audience. It was definitely one of those genres that never really took off – But there were the occasional front-runner. The subgenre I’m talking about is the Escape Room genre, where you typically are locked or stuck somewhere – and you have to get your way out of it. Think of it like going to one of those physical Escape Room places – But in video game form. Honestly, they were great back in the day and indeed, there are some amazing ones being developed for Android and iOS, so look out for them!

What made MOTAS so unique was the puzzles – They weren’t too complex, but each and every level/map had a puzzle in it – and it wouldn’t tell you about it. One such puzzle I remember very clearly is pictured above – IntelliServe I believe the name was. It wasn’t even a hard puzzle, instead it was a memory puzzle (or at least, a puzzle that you had to write your successes and failures down on). Each time you progressed, if you pressed and incorrect one, you’d be put back, sometimes up to 3 screens. I remember when me and my family first beat this damn puzzle, the rest of the family wanted to learn the secrets.

The game was developed over many years – There were several points where we had all caught up with the most recent room. I remember the developer would often sort of have a stop point, an end as it were, where it tells you that you’ll have to wait for the next update. So there were times we’d forget all about it and come back to it years later. Honestly, MOTAS was one of those games you had to try for yourself – And I’d heavily recommend you give it a go. Whether or not it’s my browser playing up, rather than the website itself, I hope you can play MOTAS on Albino Blacksheep for years to come.

Next year, I’m going to be going to my very first Escape Room, which I’m looking forward to. I have my experience of games like MOTAS and also Monkey Island to thank, if there’s anything I can give my team. I’ll be sure to let you all know how that goes! Have you ever played an Escape Room style game? Have you ever been to a real world Escape Room? Share your thoughts and your experiences in the comments below, or over on Facebook and Twitter.

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