Online, Aug 2020
Does that which happens in Vegas still stay in Vegas if the participants are remotely connected from a different continent? In Escapology’s game we were (collectively?) FBI agent Alex Vargas, who in proper Hollywood lone wolf style is breaking into the apartment of a suspected mastermind of electronic theft. Alas, as we discovered in the briefing video, it was all a cunning trap, and we had an hour to thwart the bad guy’s digital shenanigans and avoid being framed as the culprit.
First impressions of Escapology were lightly marred by them being very insistent about all players signing their lengthy digital waiver in advance, but then not providing us with a connection link until the very last moment – but once connected, the chirpy welcome smoothed that over.
This is a modern day setting and the decor was that of a modern day apartment. That translates to plenty of drawers and padlocked boxes, though with good differentiation between different types of locks, and with some more electronic elements.
It worked well as a livestream game, with a good in-character avatar. One exception was the use of QR codes, which seemed like an element that would be better swapped out for the remote version, since our host had to tell us to not scan them until we found something in the room itself capable of doing so. I also found myself scribbling down columns of numbers and other details as we went, to save time going back through the relevant clue items once we needed them, in a way that would have been less fiddly if played in-person.
With a well-defined narrative, it deserved a dramatic ending; it was a little anti-climatic to finish simply by unlocking the exit door back to the lobby. But quibbles aside it had solid puzzles and a decent flow, if a little on the easy side for experienced players.