YouEscape – Electromagnetic Fields [Review]

Magnets, how do they work?

Location:  the Internet

Date Played: April 4, 2020

Team size: 1-4; we recommend 3-4

Duration: 90 minutes

Price: $30 per team (regardless of player count)

Ticketing: Private

Emergency Exit Rating: [A+] No Lock

Physical Restraints: [A+] No Physical Restraints

REA Reaction

We enjoyed YouEscape games even before we could play puzzle games only from home. YouEscape games were puzzle-y and creative. Their delivery was rudimentary, but charming.

In the middle of a pandemic, these games are a delight.

In-game: The table setup for Electro Magnetic Fields. There's a strange assortment of objects on a table.

Electromagnetic Fields had the charm of previous YouEscape games and some unusual interactions that we’d never see in a real-life escape room.

I’d still love to see YouEscape refine the props further. Additionally, Electromagnetic Fields had a rough final puzzle that felt like it was floating in the strange gap between puzzle and outside knowledge… but it still managed to work.

Overall, YouEscape remains a charming way to play games with friends that you can’t physically see. YouEscape has no shortage of competition at the moment, but while many of these remote games will disappear when escape rooms can reopen, we expect that Nick will continue streaming from his table.

Who is this for?

  • Puzzle lovers
  • Players with at least some experience

Why play?

  • Interesting puzzles that you wouldn’t see anywhere else
  • The always charming delivery of Nick, YouEscape’s creator

Story

Everyone had said that we couldn’t build our own submarine… but we’d done it anyway.

Unfortunately while on a voyage, our compass had broken. If we didn’t get it fixed, that little problem would prove our detractors right by killing us. We couldn’t have that now, could we?

Setting

YouEscape is a subscription-based streaming game that pre-dates the pandemic by over a year.

We explained the setup in our review of YouEscape’s Magnum Opus.

Gameplay

YouEscape’s Electromagnetic Fields was an online live escape room played over the Internet.

It had a moderate level of difficulty.

Core gameplay revolved around observing, instructing, communicating, puzzling… and navigating different tabs and windows.

Analysis

➕ Electromagnetic Fields was a puzzle-y game. We enjoyed working through the varied puzzles as a team. In our group of 4, we each contributed key realizations.

➕ YouEscape brought together different thematic elements in Electromagnetic Fields. The various technology, devices, and internet-based interactions were relevant to the theming.

➖ One prop needed a bit more dressing up. A little bit of paint would have taken the pressure off.

➖ Although we liked the use of technology in the final puzzle, we struggled to engage with it. We felt like we were supposed to have specific knowledge of the subject matter, even though we knew it could be solved without. In the end, we did what sort of seemed like a reasonable puzzle solve mixed with some outside knowledge, and it worked, but that wasn’t particularly satisfying.

➕ The in-game interactions were interesting and unusual. When we navigated to different websites, we found unlikely places that we enjoyed puzzling through. YouEscape integrated the web-based interactions with the props.

➖/➕ There was an opportunity for YouEscape to build narrative around this escape game. Although our gamemaster was amusing when redirecting us, he could lean into this more by imagining the world around these props and crafting silly in-world explanations for not taking actions.

➕ The cluing was tight and the gameplay flowed well.

Tips For Visiting

  • You will need a computer than can comfortably handle at least 6 browser tabs and a video chat without freaking out, a stable Internet connection, a microphone, and a notepad (physical or virtual, but we found physical to work best).
  • We recommend that each player use their own computer, from their own space, and communicate through Google Hangouts. This allows each player to move between the tabs/ windows as they’d like.

Book your session with YouEscape’s Electromagnetic Fields, and tell them that the Room Escape Artist sent you.

Disclosure: YouEscape comped our tickets for this game.

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