Trans Nebula: a new approach to online quests


So, I really like logic games. Ever since I was a kind, my favorite video games genre was the adventures: solving puzzles and finding hidden clues that ultimately lead to the unveiling of a mystery - for me it was much bigger fun than platformers or FPS. Maybe it’s because solving puzzles associated with a form of intellectual activity in my mind and thus I didn’t feel like I’m wasting time playing - who knows? But I carried this passion till today.

So, being a huge fan of puzzles and brain games, I sometime struggle to find a decent one online. Thankfully, I have found Trans Nebula which seems to be a great place.

So, the website is centered on the online “quests” - a single quest is a whole game, comprised by small tasks, e.g. “break the code”. What makes it fun is diversity - tasks within the quests are very different in terms of mechanic.

Let me show you the “Medium” difficulty Quest. Careful, spoilers ahead!

Medium quest starts with this code:

It seems like a binary code for me, so what I do is I convert it to the text, using an online decoder. We get this:

  1. Now we have a link for the second step. Let’s go see what’s in there!

Well, that’s pretty self-explanatory. Let’s open the pic in big resolution. Try it yourself.

So after looking closely, I’ve noticed this:

Let’s zoom in

Does it look like Facebook logo? HM.
Trans Nebula seems to have FB account, as we can see in the menu:

  1. So let’s investigate Trans Nebula FB page.

At first, I was lost a bit. The page is pretty empty at the moment, but no hints seemed to be placed. Took me a while before I figured it out.
So, you need to check ‘about’ section. Then you discover this:

So, that’s an account name! But account from there? I’m a seasoned Telegram user, so for me it was obvious that it refers to the Telegram account. However, I’m not sure how people unfamiliar with this messenger should proceed - it’s not that obvious, and they need to create an account in the messenger to proceed to the Telegram channel… I hope people behind Trans Nebula will take it into account for next quests.

  1. Anyway, let’s see what’s in the channel

Ok, so we got the link! But the page requires a password… Can it be somewhere in the TG channel, as it’s stated? I opened the channel profile picture and noticed this:

Scanning the QR led to the password!

  1. We get to the new page and there is a quiz:

I won’t be sharing each question, just let me state that IMO each of them is reasonable and, if you don’t know the answer, it can be easily googled.

The quiz is apparently the last step of the challenge. After we beat it, we get the winners page:

So, it was not that difficult!

Thoughts on the project:

I really like the idea of these quests, they are entertaining and at the same time can be educational as well - at least in the quiz part. They are also free! If you are a fan of mind games, Trans Nebula can be a good hit. BTW, they promise to make new quests each week at some point, so it can be not a one time adventure, but a regular sport.
I only wish they would introduce some kind of reward system for winners!


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