It’s like a flashy Flash game.
Platform: play at home on an HTC Vive
Release date: July 15, 2016
Story & setting
A good friend recently acquired an HTC Vive virtual reality rig and set it up in his livingroom. Upon learning of this, I encouraged him to acquire the new VR escape room game Vacate The Room.
The single-player game had me locked up in a small room searching for objects and determining how to use them to ultimately spring myself from the room.
The experience lasted about 15 minutes per player. It was really only worth playing through once as it would take about 3 minutes to run through if you knew what to do.
Vacate The Room felt like a Flash-based escape room brought into a 3D space. It was heavy on searching and tasks and light on puzzles.
The Vive in general was cool because you could walk around with it on. Also, the learning curve in Vacate The Room was soft. Lisa has never been a big video gamer and she mastered the controls in minutes.
The graphics and controls were solid and vastly superior to the VR room escape we tried in Los Angeles earlier this year.
It felt like an escape room. If you know what you’re doing in a real life escape room, then you’ll know what you’re doing in this virtual escape room.
It would serve well as a basic escape room tutorial.
The virtual space was a fun place to spend a quarter of an hour.
I found it strangely amusing to throw unneeded objects around knowing that I couldn’t break anything.
One particular object was hidden in a high place within the virtual environment. At 6’1, I found it easily, at 5’4, Lisa couldn’t see it at all.
The physics of the room were a bit funny. Dropped objects all fell at the same rate, in the same way, and produced identical crashing sounds. This was especially off-putting when I dropped a single sheet of paper.
The physics were also a bit problematic because the objects weren’t solid enough. It was easy to drop items through shelves or desks. You could also drop objects through the floor (never to be seen again) and reach through seemingly solid items. It got a bit weird. I expect that some of these issues will be patched.
Also, there weren’t enough puzzles.
Should I play Vacate The Room on the HTC Vive?
Vacate The Room is a fun, quick, and basic escape room. It’s interesting to play with a group because everyone takes their turn in isolation while being watch (and judged).
At $5 and lasting 15 minutes, if you have a Vive and love escape rooms, Vacate The Room is an easy purchase.
It would be insane to purchase a Vive and computer powerful enough to run it just to play Vacate The Room.
Download it on Steam.
While it was released as a promotional tool for a movie, I would heartily recommend Belko VR: an Escape Room Experiment (http://store.steampowered.com/app/600140/Belko_VR_An_Escape_Room_Experiment/), a free 15-minute “game” playable with either the HTC Vive or the Oculus Rift. Warning: adult language and somewhat graphic content, but what else would you expect from a game based on a movie that is half Hunger Games, half Thunderdome, and half Office Space?
I’ll have to check it out the next time I’m monopolizing my friend’s VR rig to play escape rooms.