The Escape Game is a company with multiple venues across the USA, that features very high quality games. I had the opportunity to play their Special Ops, Playground and Gold Rush scenarios at their New York and Chicago venues, which were all very exciting in their own ways, with large, immersive sets, and a nice variety of tasks.
Recently, they also launched “at home” escape game adventures: The Escape Game Unlocked. For now, their first series, The Heist, has two volumes: Vol. 1: Chasing Hahn and Vol. 2: The Silk Road. To play them, you will need to log in on a beautifully designed internet dashboard for spy-apprentices. You will be greeted there by an agent who will guide you through pre-recorded videos in your adventure in a lighthearted, funny way. This dashboard contains an electronic version of all documents you will need throughout your investigation: maps, pictures, etc. Note that you can also get those documents in a physical form for the Vol. 1 if you buy the box version of the game. This is not necessary though, only a nice addition: buy the box version if you prefer to physically manipulate the documents you are using! The dashboard is also where you will input your answers to the various puzzles, that will unlock new pieces of information or tasks.
In volume 1, you will chase a dodgy curator, Hahn, and try to find some evidence that can be used against him. Only one puzzle was different between the virtual and the physical versions – as the physical version implies a manipulation that would not really be doable digitally. It was not too difficult, but still a pleasant challenge, even for escape game enthusiasts.
Volume 2 takes the adventure where it stopped in volume 1 (so make sure to play volume 1 first!). The puzzles there were more linear and simpler than in volume 1, but more integrated in the story, and this episode will make you travel more. The adventure even prompts you to make a choice at some point, reinforcing your immersion in the story.
In summary, both adventures were pleasant to play, and should be a good escape fix for those who cannot go back yet to physical escape rooms, or more generally for people who want to have a fun puzzle time at home!
Game tested in May 2020 (Photos by The Escape Game)