Update: If you want to hear more about The Vanishing Act Remote back us on Patreon at the “Search Win!” level to get access to a Spoiler’s Club Episode about this game. Reality Escape Pod co-hosts David and Peih-Gee talk all about it, spoilers and all.
Magical & extraordinary.
Location: Seattle, Washington
Date played: April 7, 2016
Team size: 2-8; we recommend 5-6
Price: $34 per ticket
After a 13th performance with the world-renowned magician the Great Noximillian, his assistants mysteriously disappear. On the evening of her 13th performance his current assistant Casey hired us to investigate why.
The game was set during Casey’s 70 minute performance with Noximillian. While the man was distracted by his audience, we were to investigate his office and attempt to save the life of his assistant.
This game runs 10 minutes longer than your typical escape room and bits and pieces of Noximillian’s performance could be heard over the PA system in the room.
I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again: I love it when an escape room starts its players grounded in reality and escalates into the fantastic.
Locurio did this spectacularly.
The game ultimately became spooky (more than we were expecting), but as with Senator Payne, it never crossed over into serious horror.
Locurio minded the details in The Vanishing Act. They did a wonderful job of structuring the mechanisms of their game such that the components were hidden or obscured.
Sometimes when magical things happen in an escape room, there are exposed magnets and wires that not-so-gently remind the player that they are in a false reality. That wasn’t the case in The Vanishing Act. For the most part, the bits and pieces that made things happen were cleverly tucked out of sight.
Puzzles telling a story
Each puzzle was interesting on its own and for the most part, they furthered the game.
The earlier puzzles felt more like they were on-theme for a “magician’s escape room” and the later puzzles cleverly told the story.
Puzzles that overstay their welcome
Overall, Locurio’s The Vanishing Act was a wonderful game, but it had a few bumps.
There were a few puzzles that involved a lot of busy work after the we figured out how to solve them. In these instances, we knew what we had to do, but then had to spend 5-10 minutes completing repetitious tasks, looping through the same pattern we had already solved.
It was a bit of a time sink.
The hinting system was deeply baked into the narrative of the game. It was done in an unusual and elegant manner that truly tied the story back to the gameplay.
My only knock against it was that there came a point in the game where the hint system no longer made sense with the narrative of the story… but this is some serious story continuity nitpicking.
Should I play Locurio’s The Vanishing Act?
In The Vanishing Act, Locurio created a classic escape adventure; I can’t put too fine a point on this.
The game played wonderfully, was built beautifully, and told a surprisingly compelling story.
So long as you aren’t planning on bringing young children with you, this is an absolute must-play game.
I am truly looking forward to seeing what Locurio develops next.
Book your hour with Locurio’s The Vanishing Act, and tell them that the Room Escape Artist sent you.
Full disclosure: Locurio comped our tickets for this game.
Update March 2021: If you’re interested in a deeper conversation about The Vanishing Act – spoilers and all – subscribe to our Patreon where you can listen to our Reality Escape Pod hosts discuss their experience playing this game remotely.