In our review of recent arcade obsession Land Sliders, we praised the game for being something bigger than just its spectacular gameplay and characters: it is a true adventure, packed with puzzles and secrets we were still trying to unravel. Now, we don’t feel so bad about being in the dark—turns out at least two of those secrets require teamwork on a global scale in order to solve.
Players who have spent enough time in the Land Sliders world have undoubtedly come across some strange stone architecture. Some of these objects have clear uses in-game, while others contained hints or puzzles with no apparent solution. Thanks to our friends over at Touch Arcade and their clever community, those solutions are finally being pieced together.
One of these mysterious objects is a stone tablet containing latitude and longitude coordinates, along with some sort of hint—such as “rock,” “pipe,” or “look up.” There are many different such tablets in the game, and stumbling across them—as well as which coordinates you receive—seems random. Players in the Touch Arcade forums (including some Land Sliders fans from Gamezebo) began sharing these coordinates and figuring out the real-world locations they represented, which ranged from cities in Australia to a park in San Francisco to a bridge in Istanbul. Meanwhile, other Land Sliders explorers were also making these connections, and trekking out to the coordinates they lived near.
The first results of these trips are being reported back on via Twitter and the TA forum thread, and they are exhilarating. Twitter user @lauraehall (or actually, her father) visited one set of coordinates and discovered a bag with a USB stick and a note from developer George Broussard. On the USB drive was a single image containing what appears to be a mash-up of Land Sliders characters into an abstract background, as well as a single symbol.
If you’ve been playing Land Sliders, that symbol may look familiar: it’s part of the other outstanding puzzle in the game, the “Restricted” keypad that appears if you stand on the sunbursts that occasionally pop up in-world. And, even better: shortly after @lauraehall’s discovery, forum user flenser found a similar USB stick containing a nearly identical image—except with a different sunburst symbol.
What this seems to mean, all taken together: developer Prettygreat devised an encrypted puzzle in-game that requires a complex code to solve. To solve this puzzle, they placed pieces of the solution on individual USB sticks and had developers and friends around the globe hide them in real world locations. They then created hints to finding those solutions and scattered them about the game world itself. The result is a massive, world-wide scavenger hunt that requires players to collaborate and share both in-game and real life experiences with each other.
We got butterflies just from typing that. Land Sliders is a true adventure, and now it’s a real one as well. If you’d like to take part, head over to Touch Arcade and share any coordinates you’ve found, or see if there’s one near you! We still don’t know just what all this madness will unlock in the end, but the trip is half the fun.