Real Escape Games by SCRAP – Escape from the Alien Research Facility [Hivemind Review]

Escape from the Alien Research Facility is a digital escape game, designed specifically for livestream play, created by Real Escape Games by SCRAP, based in Japan.

Escape From The Alien Research Facility promo image depicts a red headset and an alien that looks like a xenomorph.

Format

Style of Play: digital escape game, created for livestream play

Required Equipment: computer with internet connection

Also recommended: the use of a shared Google Sheet + a shared Google Drive folder or other resource for collaborative solving

Recommended Team Size: 4-7

Play Time: The game has a time limit of 60 minutes. Including briefing and debriefing, the whole session is about 120 minutes.

Price: ¥20,000 (about $185) for a team of up of 7 players

Booking: book online for a specific time slot

Description

We guided an actor/ gamemaster through a world uniquely designed for online escape game play.

Hivemind Review Scale

REA's hivemind review scale - 3 is recommended anytime, 2 recommended in quarantine, 1 is not recommended.

Read more about our new Hivemind Review format.

Matthew Stein’s Reaction

Rating: 3 out of 3.

Escape from the Alien Research Facility presents an immersively enhanced take on a primarily audio-based escape room. The game concludes with some clever twists, a design pattern for which many SCRAP games are infamous – often negatively so when the final sequence involves a somewhat arbitrary leap of logic or unfair “gotcha” moment. In contrast, this game really showcases SCRAP’s strengths in creating innovative and witty puzzle experiences which are refreshingly dissimilar to escape room design patterns prevalent in the US. Escape from the Alien Research Facility almost entirely avoids their more frustrating tropes – particularly, having a sequence of mini-puzzles that each solve to a single word of an instruction (nobody ever wants to solve a puzzle with the answer THE!) This game also features some technical wizardry, using well-timed sound effects to make you feel as if you’re in a large research facility. There is plenty to solve and read throughout the game, making it well suited for a larger team.

Cara Mandel’s Reaction

Rating: 3 out of 3.

Having heard about, but never played a SCRAP game, I was quite excited to finally experience one, albeit remotely, and had certain assumptions going in. What we encountered instead was more of a cross between some live action elements of the physical room combined with an elaborate RPG-style adventure. The experience was adapted specifically to be played in this format and it was delightful! The puzzles were challenging and fun. The sound design was surprising and immersed us in the story. My favorite part, however, was our wonderful game host/protagonist who added a fun urgency to the situation, while remaining in character throughout. To say more about the details of how would be to spoil the surprises this room has in store. Instead, I’ll just say I highly recommend it and I suggest you gather a crew of experienced players with active imaginations for this one!

David Spira’s Reaction

Rating: 3 out of 3.

Our reviews of SCRAP games are all over the place. We’ve loved some… and hated one so much that it’s actually the reason I first wrote an escape room review. Through it all, I’ve long felt that SCRAP is the absolute finest in the industry at dreaming up new approaches to escape game play… and they did it again with Escape from the Alien Research Facility.

At the outset, I was pretty dubious of this game. It seemed like it was going to be hokey… but it was genius. In the middle of the game I became conscious of how much it was making me smile.

It was very much a SCRAP game: puzzley, challenging, and with the obligatory harsh final puzzle that they are known for. However, many more of the challenges were narratively justified (even if they were over the top), and they dreamed up a new mechanism to soften the ending, while still maintaining the traditional SCRAP level of difficulty.

I loved this game. You should go play it. Pay attention, play smart, and have fun.

3 thoughts on “Real Escape Games by SCRAP – Escape from the Alien Research Facility [Hivemind Review]

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