The Dungeons of Despair!

A corner of the page showing "Cheat Your Ow..." and part of the text of the game.
Cheat Your Own Adventure image courtesy of Shane Mclean.

Tonight we also played a session of Cheat Your Own Adventure by Shane Mclean. We start on a flight to Zoomtopia, a video conferencing conference, when we discover that the sessions we intend to attend are at the same time as the Snoop Dogg performance. We decide to reserve a spot at all sessions at that time, but when we arrive we learn that the only session that had space for us is one called “The Dungeons of Despair!” As we’re trying to sneak into the concert venue, an event guide shows up and escorts us into the venue’s basement where we enter a dark room with a roaring fire in a center pit. Throwing caution to the wind, we jump into the pit and find ourselves in an empty space, greeted by a man who says, “My name is Despair. Welcome to my dungeons.” He leads us past prisoners chained to the walls and tombs with the names of the interred. We’re unable to find Tupac’s tomb but do get a glimpse Biggie’s; of course, this is an East coast conference. Finally, we’re taken to a clean room in which sits a man in a business suit. He introduces himself as the Zoom CTO and starts a presentation about his block-chain pyramid scheme, which quickly puts us to sleep. When we wake, the CTO has been replaced by Zoom’s CEO who shows us the headlines about Zoom’s conquest of the world through their Bitcoin scheme. Desperate to escape, we ask for a bathroom break (due to conference chili) and at the mention of bodily functions the germaphobic CEO goes squeamish, tells us to use the facilities through a nearby door, and quickly leaves the room to compose himself. Using the large torture chair we’d been sitting in to climb up and use the novelty throwing star from the conference swag bag, we pry open the ventilation grating. A hand drops down which we pull on, pulling down a hideous monster by it’s proboscis that looks like a human arm. We use the stunned monster as a weapon to attack and knock out the returning CEO and crawl away into the ventilation system. By following the sounds of music, we find our way to Snoop Dogg’s performance and come out on stage, joining in with the backup dancers to our favorite song.

Notable wrong turns:

  • Throwing the novelty weapon, which boomeranged back, knocked us over, and caused us to pull the torture chair down on top of and crushing us.
  • Accepting the hand offered from the grate, so being eaten by the hideous monster at the other end.
  • Stopping in the ventilation shaft to take a selfie, and watching the tunnel python strike us.