Online, Jun 2020
The World War II theming of this venue’s games follow its location, which it seems was active during the war as an air base and training centre, and had we been there in person I’d have been interested to see the old base. The game itself was set in occupied France, which had the odd result that in the game world we were communicating with Europe from Canada, whereas in reality it was the other way round.
The mission is to find a particular set of schematics let behind in an Allied spy’s workshop, and then not just escape but destroy everything behind you, striding away in slow motion wearing shades and trenchcoat – okay, I made that last bit up. The game area is fairly simple but appropriate to the setting, with gameplay primarily driven by working out codes to open a variety of padlock types.
With quite a number of items to investigate, the game’s inventory system was a welcome help. This was accessed in a browser tab, displaying a list of photos of items and of the game area, each of which we could click for a close-up version. New items were added to the page for us, and items removed when no longer needed, though we needed to refresh the page to get an updated version. Having an item in the inventory didn’t necessarily mean that item had a use in the game – I suspect some will consider that a type of red herring, and others will welcome the realism of sometimes not being sure what’s usable and what’s purely decorative.
With a fairly classic puzzle style I suspect we’d have ploughed through the game significantly faster in real life. As it was it flowed nicely, with an avatar who struck a good balance between pretended lack of knowledge of what we needed to do and unnecessarily dragging her heels. We did in fact jump ahead a couple of times, solving puzzles for which we hadn’t yet found all the information, but she gave no sign of that and fortunately that didn’t particularly cause confusion later on.
I found it a solidly enjoyable game adapted well for remote play, good clean puzzle-solving fun with plenty of escape room tropes but enough creative ideas to not feel stale.