For Educators - Hints on Playing the Game

Game Basics

Hints on Playing the Game

The vast majority of your students are very experienced gamers. They understand the mechanics of digital game play. And figuring out how to play a new game is a big part of a game's fun for them. So we're pretty confident that they're going to have few if any problems with the game play of Lure of the Labyrinth.

You, on the other hand, might not be a gamer. And if that's the case, you might feel a little worried about using Lure of the Labyrinth with your students. What if your students can't figure out how to play Lure of the Labyrinth? You could be concerned about your ability to help them ...

Well, the first thing you should do is to read this. It will reassure you that you don't have to know every detail of Lure of the Labyrinth in order to use it with your kids. In fact, your primary role in relation to Lure of the Labyrinth won't involve game play at all; your primary role will be to help your students connect the math in the game with the math you teach them in your classroom. And just as we're confident that your kids will figure out how to play Lure of the Labyrinth, we're utterly confident that you'll be able to teach them the math.

Still, if you want to know more about the game play of Lure of the Labyrinth (maybe because you want to play it!), we've provided a handbook here of the major game elements. As some context for this handbook, remember that the basic movement of Lure of the Labyrinth is that players navigate their way through the Tasti Pet Factory solving puzzles, eliminating puzzle rooms and accumulating game tokens that they use to buy items and release captured pets. That said, the descriptions in this handbook might not make a lot of sense until you actually get some experience with Lure of the Labyrinth. So the handbook will probably be most valuable to you while or after you play the game.

Players' avatars are their representatives in the world of Lure of the Labyrinth. Players customize (and disguise) their avatars at the beginning of game play by choosing their masks, uniform colors and aliases. Avatars also have distinctive smells that are part of their disguises (these smells, unlike the other avatar characteristics, can change during the course of a game). Players move their avatars by clicking on the part of the screen where they'd like them to go; when players click, the avatar follows.

Players enter the foyer of the Tasti Pet Factory after they've figured out how to get out of the waiting room. The foyer contains the doors that lead to the four wings of the factory. The foyer also includes the Tasti Pet Factory SHOP.

Global User Interface
The global user interface helps players know where they are - in terms of location and progress - in the world of Lure of the Labyrinth. When players are in puzzle rooms, the global user interface includes the token counter, round counter, room name, replay button, done button and TPC button. When players are anywhere other than the puzzle rooms, the global user interface includes the token counter, pets-freed counter and TPC button.

Graphic-Novel Sequences
Lure of the Labyrinth's graphic-novel sequences are shown to players when they first enter and exit puzzle rooms and at other points during their game play. These sequences give players context and directions and tell the story of the Tasti Pet Factory and its denizens.

HR Room
Players are told to go to the Tasti Pet Factory's HR (Horrible Resources) room after exiting any level of the Cafeteria (Lure of the Labyrinth's first puzzle room). When players enter the HR room, they see a graphic-novel sequence that tells part of the game story.

Magic Beans
Whenever a player successfully solves a round of a puzzle, a magic bean is planted and begins to sprout into a vine. Once a player has solved three rounds of the puzzle, the vine takes over the room, and the room is "eliminated."

Olfactory Rooms
Olfactory rooms are scattered throughout the wings of Lure of the Labyrinth. Each olfactory room relates to one of the smells that avatars use as part of their disguise to fit in with the monsters. When a player clicks on an olfactory room that matches its own smell, the player enteres that room and meets a monster that is then added to his/her TPC. A player's current smell is always listed in the profile section of his/her TPC.

Puzzle Rooms
Each puzzle room contains one puzzle level (e.g., Cafeteria Level 1 or Assembly Line Level 2). Players must solve a puzzle level three times in order to "eliminate" that room. Once a puzzle room has been eliminated, it's shown in the overhead "wing" view as covered with vines, and players can no longer re-enter the room. Players can then move on to the next level of that puzzle or look in their TPC for other open puzzle rooms.

Releasing Pets
Caves containing captured pets are scattered throughout the corridors in each wing of Lure of the Labyrinth. Players can release the pets by using items that they've bought in the Tasti Pet SHOP (these items are stored in the inventory section of their TPC). Players click on a cave to enter it and then choose the item they think will release the pets from their cages. If they pick correctly, the pets are released and players see a short graphic-novel sequence showing the pets scampering to freedom.

Room Direction Maps
Players receive room direction maps in their TPCs when a new puzzle room becomes available to them. The maps contain visual and/or text clues that players can use to find the room. The rooms in each wing of Lure of the Labyrinth are organized according to the pre-algebra content of that wing. For instance, the rows of rooms in the Proportions wing are all proportionate to one another (if the room numbers in Row A are 1, 2, 3 and so on, the room numbers in Row B might be 2, 4, 6, etc. and the room numbers in Row C might be 3, 6, 9, etc.). The room maps always use each wing's content as the basis for their clues: a map for a room in the Proportions wing will engage players to work with proportions in order to find the room.

The Tasti Pet SHOP is located in the foyer of the factory. Players can buy items here with the tokens they've earned in the puzzle rooms. Many of the SHOP items can be used to help players release pets, while others can be bought just for fun. The items that players purchase are stored in their TPC until they use them.

Players earn tokens for their work in the Tasti Pet puzzle rooms. They collect 100 tokens when they solve a round of a puzzle and fewer tokens when they work through an entire round but don't solve it. Other tokens may be awarded at various stages of the game. Players' token totals are always displayed in the global user interface. Players use tokens in the Tasti Pet SHOP to buy objects that can be used to release pets.

See information below

The vines are seen on the doors of eliminated rooms when players are in the overhead "wing" view. Some of these vines contain smell pods that players can click on if they want to change their avatar's smell (smell is part of a player's disguise in the Tasti Pet Factory).

Waiting Room
After selecting their pet and avatar and reading the introductory graphic-novel sequences, players are led to the Tasti Pet Factory waiting room. Through trial and error, players learn how to escape the waiting room and move forward to the Tasti Pet foyer. Players' time in the waiting room is excellent preparation for the rest of their game experience - they learn how to move their avatars, and they learn that the best way to succeed in Lure of the Labyrinth is to explore everything.

Wings (and Corridors)
Upon leaving the foyer, players enter one of the wings of the Tasti Pet Factory. The wings each contain a collection of puzzle rooms that relate to a specific pre-algebra topic area and are always presented from an overhead view highlighting the many corridors leading to the rooms.

Lure of the Labyrinth's TPC (Tasti Pet Communicator) is such an integral (and complex) element of Lure of the Labyrinth that we've given it a chart of its own. The TPC has many purposes within the game (as you'll see below), but its primary ones are to enable communication among players and their teammates and to receive information and directions that help players progress through the world of Lure of the Labyrinth. Players can access the TPC at any point in the game by clicking the [image] symbol at the top right of the game screen. And they can exit the TPC by clicking this symbol [image].

Home Screen
The home screen contains icons for the seven main sections of the TPC.

The rooms section lists all the puzzle rooms that a player has been given access to via the graphic-novel sequences. This includes rooms that a player has yet to visit; those that he/she has visited; and those that he/she has successfully "eliminated." Rooms that haven't yet been visited are always listed with room direction maps that contain clues to help players find the room. Once a player has found a particular puzzle room, he/she can later return to the room by "teleporting" there; that is, they can just click on the name of the room in this section of the TPC.

The inventory section of the TPC stores all the items a player has purchased at the Tasti Pet Factory SHOP. It includes item images and descriptions providing potential hints as to how the item can be used to release pets.

The story section contains all the graphic-novel sequences that a player has seen so far in the game. Players can click the thumbnail for each sequence to see it again presented full-screen.

The messages section includes all of a player's game messages. These messages are broken up into "General" messages and "Room" messages. The General messages are generated by the game itself and contain clues that a player can use to advance in the game. The Rooms messages relate to particular puzzle rooms and are sent among teammates. Players use these messages to brainstorm strategies for solving the puzzles in Lure of the Labyrinth, although they can't share actual answers. When players are in a puzzle room and click on their TPC icon, they are immediately brought to the Rooms messages for that puzzle room. Players are also periodically notified when they've received a new message.

The bestiary includes information on the monsters a player has encountered so far in the game: the monsters' names; their images; and short text bios. They also can see images of their teammates in their avatar disguises. .

The profile section shows information about a player's avatar and game status. It includes a player's avatar name; image; pet; text bio; employee ID number; current smell; number of tokens available; number of released pets; and the avatar names of their teammates.

The options section allows players to turn the audio narration of the graphic-novel sequences and the game music on and off.

Back to Game Basics