Travel to another world with Quest to the Decomp, a new board game from Applied Mechanics

-Brenda Hillegas

Welcome to PlaNet, a new imaginary community created by Applied Mechanics, an immersive theatre company here in Philadelphia. You and your friends can be a part of this community (which exists because of a failed human colony on the planet Dthlorp) through a new tabletop board game called Quest to the Decomp!

A bit of a backstory before you dive in- PlaNet just celebrated the 10,000th anniversary of their community agreements which were created in order to build a sustainable and flourishing planet. That didn’t work out. However, this celebration calls for the opening of the community time capsule, buried back in the year 100! All of the excitement comes to a halt when one of the documents inside the time capsule mentions a reference to a cicada. See, no one has ever heard of a cicada! Plex, which records all of PlaNet’s history, doesn’t even know about the cicada! Why? Something sketchy is going on and it’s up to a now formed “Cicada Committee” to figure out why all mention of a cicada is hidden from the community. With just a single piece of evidence believed to be connected to the mysterious cicadas, the committee must travel deep into PlaNet’s Decomp where they’re hopeful to find out what or who is responsible for the strange disappearance. Are you ready to be a part of it all?

If you like mystery and adventure games, Quest to the Decomp is a great addition to your shelf! Choose a character, look for clues on the map, visit different PlaNet locations, role play, challenge others, and solve puzzles to figure out the truth! Work together or even play the game by yourself! 

What’s really interesting about Quest to the Decomp is that it’s just a small part something called Other Orbits– a multi-year interactive experience that takes place in nine parts through various mediums. Prior to the release of Quest to the Decomp (part four), audiences were introduced to world through a radio play, a time capsule, and an activity book. Coming up, you’ll be able to enjoy a musical album, a magazine and a few other surprises…all leading up to a live performance in 2023. Full details can be found here.

Thorough instructions are included as well as helpful playbooks for each character. Everything is well thought out and well made. All you need is your own pen and paper for each player! Other Orbits’ PlaNet is seen on the board, designed by Applied Mechanics resident designer Maria Shaplin. And although the game is pretty good at explaining the world to you if you haven’t had a chance to check out Parts 1, 2 or 3 in the interactive experience, you can find a full glossary of PlaNet’s terms on the Applied Mechanics website.

Since this game is best for ages 9 and up, it’s perfect for a family game night. So grab your favorite crew, or just enjoy a quiet night alone (I love that there is a solo play option), and transform into aliens on a mission! A unique game, a local company, lots of fun- everyone wins with Quest to the Decomp!

All tickets and subscriptions for Other Orbits are offered on a sliding scale so everyone has the ability to access this world at a price they can afford! The ticket website will present you with up to three ticket prices, so please pay what you can. Higher ticket prices go towards subsidizing the lower ticket prices.

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