Online, Jul 2020
The gradual increase of escape experiences that are based on official IP franchises is I guess a welcome sign of how increasingly well-known and mainstream the hobby is, and the lack of geographic restrictions makes plY-from-home games even better suited as promotional vehicles than are physical rooms. The Escape Game’s newest digital game is based on the Amazon Prime series Hanna, and since it’s entirely free that’s presumably a sponsorship arrangement for marketing purposes.
I’ve never seen the show, but it appears to involve CIA conspiracies and teenagers with supernatural martial arts abilities. It’s set between the first and second season – be warned that it contains some spoilers for the plot up to that point – and you take on the role of the evil agency hunting down the protagonist.
The Escape Game’s previous games used a swish custom interface that mimicked a high tech console, providing you with documents and video and a place to enter your answers. That’s a natural fit for Hanna’s setting, with secretive globe-trotting government agencies, and Hanna Unlocked uses a similar structure. Some of the puzzles revolve around the final scenes of the show’s first season, reconstructing events in a way that might be easier if you’ve seen it.
If Hanna won me over a little less than did The Escape Game’s two paid-for digital games, that wasn’t for any lack of polish. The extensive use of clips from the high-budget show give it a very professional sheen, and the underlying game system is I think even more polished here than in their previous two. For me the gameplay was held back a little by the feeling of dropping into a story midway, full of unfamiliar characters in whom I had no particular investment. That is to say, it seems best suited to players who are already fans – but is entirely playable whether or not you’ve seen the show that it ties into.