|Game experience: ENTERTAINING|
|The musical and light immersion.
Some original puzzles with cool manipulations.
|Some simple decors.
A couple of ambiguous puzzles.
Esc4pe is an independent escape game company whose games are all unified by a “spy” theme. The Gauntlet is your recruitment test, The Minimalist will be your first assignment, and finally their most recent scenario, The Investigator, features your most important mission – the one we played:
“The stakes are higher than they’ve ever been before. There’s a dark cloud on the horizon. P.I.T.O.N.’s top adversary, the Dark Cloud, has created a dangerous weapon that could transform the world as we know it. You and 3-7 of your fellow agents must infiltrate the Dark Cloud’s base and work your way past its innocent facade. In here, nothing is as it seems and you will need sharp eyes to find the hidden messages all around you. Uncover the Dark Cloud’s plan, decipher their secret clues, and try to escape with your life.” (Es4pe)
The immersion started already before the game with a funny video telling you the basic rules. You then start the game outside the Dark Cloud’s base, where you will need to find a way to enter. Inside the dimly lit base, you will have to figure out Dark Cloud’s plans and fight them. Some light and musical effects enhance the immersion, though some spaces could have more elaborate decorations.
The game had a sequential puzzle structure, with some interestingly original puzzles, several of which involved satisfying manipulations on hi-tech devices, perfectly on theme. A couple of puzzles were a bit ambiguous though.
Our gamemaster was the super-friendly manager of the venue. You can get a hint four times during the game, whenever you are stuck. Twice, our gamemaster came spontaneously to help us, which was a good idea because we could have lost a long time figuring out the answer.
The two of us eventually exited with exactly 5 minutes left – this game is not easy, but doable. Overall, this was a fun room to play, even if it could benefit from a bit of polishing – here again, the manager had plenty of good ideas to make the room evolve. This room exists in two copies so you can go there with a big group and divide in two teams to compete on who will escape the fastest.
I could have a peek at The Minimalist game and I was very impressed by the decors of its first room – it looked like nothing I had seen before. Also, the manager told me a bit about future development of the rooms, and they seemed very innovative, so if you pass by in Burlington in the future, you should definitely check this venue to see what they have to offer!
Game tested in August 2018 (Photos: Esc4pe)
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