In July 2000 we found ourselves glued to our screens as series one of UK’s
There is so much potential for this to do well
Several Broadway Baby reviewers teamed up for a very special, and very camp, edition.
The premise of the ‘online immersive digital experience’ is not dissimilar to an online murder mystery night. Gather your friends (virtually – of course) and book your preferred timeslot. You will then be invited to select your character, dress up and get ready for some fun. There are two game options to choose from, one version for four to six players and lasting just an hour. The other is better suited to larger groups, with up to 12 participants, lasting two hours.
You become bizarre but somewhat familiar housemates and there can only be one winner. Introduce yourself to your fellow players and try your best to complete each day’s secret objectives. Each day lasts five minutes in real-time, so you have to be quick in getting your character’s voice heard whilst trying hard to not become the next ‘evictee’.
There is no cast as such, just one unseen host that guides you through the process and lets you know important information. There is also a pre-recorded Davina-esque voice for the eviction nights, etc. Reviewing this as a normal show becomes tricky because I would generally be throwing shade, or the occasional compliment, on my fellow Broadway Baby brethren, but it is a fact that you must come with a team of people willing to get stuck in, make fools of themselves and have a jolly good time.
As long as you all participate fully, you will have an enjoyable experience. Therefore, I will review the setup and delivery of this experience. Before the game begins, do check your emails. You will have been sent your character information pack, which gives you some insights into who you will be on the night, as well as costume ideas. You will also be sent your secret objectives which should not be opened until the game begins and you will be instructed when to read these, and when to proceed to the next page. All these elements were well put-together, designed with each character’s style in mind and easy-to-follow. The game also was well conceived with players ‘arriving’ one by one as they were introduced and asked to turn their cameras and microphones on and giving us all a great time to marvel and laugh at each other’s outfit choices. Then each five minutes we were presented with a new ‘day’ in the house. There were very few commands given to us by the in-game host so we generally had to follow our instructions and hoped the others had similar directions on theirs.
The time it took for each day felt about right. Everyone was able to contribute to the events without it becoming stale, but some of the challenges felt a bit like a business’s away-day rather than a Big Brother task. My understanding is that a lot of this is rectified in the larger version of the event where breakout rooms and more secretive tasks come into play. For my little team, however, it all just felt a tad like forced entertainment rather than mission-based objectives.
That being said, the progression of each character is well balanced with everyone having a real moment in the spotlight and you definitely feel you get to know each other’s personalities well in the short time you spend with them.
Objective Entertainment have now released a special VIP version of the event which includes cocktails from Little Nan’s Bar being delivered to your door and a grand appearance from the winner of Big Brother 7 – Pete Bennett.
Our version of the show ended with a highlights reel of reality TV from Big Brother right through to Gogglebox, which added to the nostalgic atmosphere set up in each day’s introduction. Although this was a nice addition it made you realise how much further Objective Entertainment could have gone with the show by including some more entertaining daily missions, but all in all a good time was had by everyone. There can, of course, only be one winner and it is only fair that it goes to the most dynamic and charismatic player involved! Yours truly enjoyed giving his victory speech immensely.
This is Reality 2000 is now booking right through until Spring 2022 and there are two time-slots available each evening as well as matinees at weekends. There is so much potential for this to do well but personally I can see it evolving from behind our screens into a real-life Big Brother experience once the restrictions are fully lifted, and I hope it is able to make the leap.