Bogeyman is a livestreamed escape game created by Trap Door Escape Room in Red Bank, NJ.
Room Escape Artist has a review of Bogeyman in its original format from February 2018. This is a review of the livestreamed version of the same game, in the new Hivemind Review format.
Style of Play: livestreamed adaptation of a real-life escape room
Required Equipment: computer with internet connection
Recommended Team Size: 1-5
Play Time: 60 minutes
Price: 24.99 per person
Booking: book online for a particular time slot
Hivemind Review Scale
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Cara Mandel’s Reaction
Bogeyman was an interesting experiment in livestreaming escape rooms. The gameplay was filmed in the brick-and-mortar escape room itself, which allowed for some great visuals and some fun jump scares. In fact, it actually looked like a pretty fun escape room to play in real life. Unfortunately, it didn’t translate well to this medium. The combination of live gamemaster commentary plus pre-recorded video clips left the experience feeling a bit disjointed and the players feeling a notable lack of agency. Perhaps this game might be better served as a solo experience where players navigate between video clips in a kind of choose-your-own-adventure-style game. In this format, it might be a better fit for newer players. Still, it was an enjoyable way to spend an hour.
Peih Gee Law’s Reaction
This was my first foray into playing an escape room “streamed live,” and I found Trap Door’s format disappointing. There was a gamemaster “hosting” and it soon became apparent that he was playing pre-recorded video clips. While there was some interaction between the gamemaster and the players, it felt more like we were just watching a guided walk-through of an escape room. Our “commands” in the chat weren’t followed unless they fit with the linear narrative. This style of virtual play might be good for beginners or casual players who need a bit of hand holding, but felt very gated and frustrating for more experienced players. This might be more fun if it was played as a private room. I think having up to 50 players (which is allowed) would make the chat too chaotic.
Richard Burns’ Reaction
This is a game I would absolutely like to play in real life. The online execution of the game didn’t really work for me. The gamemaster was good, but the play structure required players to send chat messages to instruct him. There was some serious lag in the execution. A dozen people might be sending the correct puzzle solution, but it could be a minute or more before that solution was input. This aspect went from frustrating to comical. The chat was actually the most fun portion of the game, joking with other players as we waited on the gamemaster.
The Lone Puzzler’s Reaction
A streamed version of a typical live game, Bogeyman had a big space feel about it – effects, scares, etc. However, the streamed version had a slower pace with limited puzzles and a lot of participants. It was easy to try to participate – you just say what you want to happen in the chat – and then the live gamemaster might do it.
The game was fun, but felt crowded at times with a necessarily linear nature of the game, as all the participants were watching one feed. Kudos to the staff and players for keeping it fun – and it was fun – but it felt more like watching an escape room than really playing one. If you play escape rooms for the story/experience, this is more for you. If you play for the puzzles, you may be a bit disappointed. None of this is a knock on the presentation – as it truly was a game where everyone got to follow all the action.
Bogeyman is played via YouTube livestream. The players interact with the gamemaster via chat. The gamemaster walks through the rooms of the game and plays prerecorded video clips of gameplay after players message the appropriate gameplay instructions. This is a public game with many players typing in the livestream at the same time.
Disclosure: Trap Door Escape Room provided the Hivemind reviewers with a complimentary play.