In 2018 or 2019, I streamed a (live action) series (I only saw one season) which was probably made in 2010 or later, set in a California city in the present or near future.

There was some kind of an augmented reality game with many levels, with some huge reward (owning the game company maybe?) to the person who first completed all the puzzles. I think the creator of the game died or went missing (or crazy). The first two levels involved solving puzzles that had to do with stars or airplanes in the night sky, and with deciphering some graffiti on steps.

There is some kind of community area where gamers hang out or live, and most of the people there are trying to solve the same game. There is some pecking order based on what level each person has solved.

Eventually the main character winds up in a house on a hill, and there is a creepy tree outside the house. People can leave by climbing down the tree (maybe?) or a tunnel under the house that leads to a sewer, or a passage that empties out onto some street. There's a double-staircase entry, but every time you go up a staircase, you (might?) wind up in a different room or hallway.

And you always see that creepy tree, oddly illuminated or casting shadows on the house.

Sorry, that's all I have. Any ideas?

  • This plot summary sounds eerily similar to Ready Player One...
    – steenbergh
    Commented Sep 18, 2020 at 8:22

1 Answer 1


If you are indeed looking for a TV show then the show is The OA, season 2, to be precise. It is a Netflix show.

The second season follows the OA as she traverses to another dimension and ends up in San Francisco to continue her search for her former captor Hap and her fellow captives. Prairie crosses paths with private eye Karim Washington and assists in his investigation of the surreal disappearance of a missing girl that involves an abandoned house with a supernatural history and an online puzzle game.

Per the requested additional information: Some of the plot of the second season of The OA revolves around a mobile/virtual reality game. This game is a puzzle, where people win prizes every level that they advance. In the first two episodes, a new character, who is a detective, is investigating the disappearance of a young woman. This young woman, ran away from home, and plays the game. The detective finds that the young woman lives in a building with many other players of the game, who have given up their lives in hopes of winning this game. Which if won entirely, by finishing all the levels, will award a grand prize. In the first two levels, staircases and a daily flight that passes overhead of the stairs and can be seen from this vantage point are part of the clues to pass on to the third level.

  • 1
    That's absolutely it, thanks. Season 2 was so different from season 1 that I didn't even consider checking The OA.
    – Davo
    Commented Sep 17, 2020 at 19:08

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