I was asked to take part in a remote escape adventure with The Escape Game in return for an honest review. This is just that. All opinions are, as ever, my own.
Although lockdown is slowly lifting, none of us particularly want to find ourselves locked in a room with six friends just yet. This obviously puts the kibosh on one of my favourite activities – an escape room.
Luckily, rather than let lockdown mess with our fun (and their business), some very clever sorts have used their technical know-how to make their escape rooms available online. One such place to have done this is US based The Escape Game, and this is how we found ourselves remotely locked in an art gallery with four friends of a Sunday evening.
Booking is straightforward, choose your date, time and remote adventure and then pay. 12 hours before your game a Zoom link will be sent to you, click on this 5 minutes before your game and you are good to go. Do remember that the times shown are in Central Standard Time so be sure to work out the time difference before you commit to your booking.
The Escape Game offers three remote adventures to choose from; Gold Rush, Ruins: Forbidden Treasure and The Heist.
The Escape Game – Heist Remote Adventure
Obviously, the first rule of a remote adventure is don’t talk about the remote adventure – so instead I’ll tell you how it works. We all joined our Zoom meeting where we met our game host who talked us through how the game would work. The host remains in the meeting and is on hand to offer hints and clues if they are required. The screen is split in two, one half shows the dashboard where you can watch your mission video, view the 360 scans of the room and see your inventory of items and clues, the other half shows members in the meeting room.
We have been dropped into a prestigious art gallery, where it is suspected that a recently stolen Monet is hidden in the office of the gallery’s egotistical curator, and we have one hour to enter the office and retrieve the stolen painting.
EEP – Let’s Escape!
Once we knew our mission a field agent joined the meeting as our eyes, ears, hands and feet throughout the game, and streams live from the room with a camera – seeing it exactly as we would. Working as a team we tell the agent where to look, what to pick up and where to go next.
Any items or clues are placed into the inventory on the dashboard where you can view them more closely and try to work out the solutions. As with a ‘real life’ escape room, talking to one another is vital during the remote adventure.
We were all a little unsure as to how a remote adventure would compare to doing an escape room in person but it was clear from the outset that a lot of time and effort has been put into the game to ensure that the experience is as realistic as possible. The field agent is brilliant at following instruction to the letter and doesn’t head off thinking for themselves.
If there were only one criticism it would be that in the real scenario you would possibly aimlessly look around the room while trying to work out your surroundings out and maybe notice something key. At no point would you consider asking another person to do that for you.
The remote adventure is every bit as exciting as an IRL room and we were pretty excited to escape with 10:57 minutes left. Everyone messaged after to say how much they enjoyed themselves.
The Escape Game remote adventures are for 3-7 players, cost $25 (around £20) per person and lasts an hour. The games are all in English and, due to the time difference, the earliest game you can book in the UK is 5pm. It really is a great way to hang out with friends remotely and makes a change from the endless Zoom quizzes we’ve all been enduring.
If recovering stolen art isn’t your thing why not look at one of the other remote adventures offered by The Escape Game :
Gold Rush gives you one hour to find the missing gold prospectors hidden stash before the mob arrives.
Ruins: Forbidden Treasure strands you at the foot of an ancient, mysterious temples ruins – giving you the chance to find the fabled treasure before it’s too late.
I could have gone into so much more details about the brilliance of this remote adventure and how bloody clever we all are but I don’t think the wonderful folk at The Escape Game would thank us for giving away the spoilers.