Trapped! – Operation: X-13 Online [Hivemind Review]

Operation: X-13 Online is a real-life escape room livestreamed through an avatar created by Trapped! in San Dimas, CA.

First person view of black gloved hands giving 2 thumbs up.

Format

Style of Play: real-life escape room livestreamed through an avatar

Required Equipment: computer with internet connection

Recommended Team Size: 2-4

Play Time: 60 minutes

Price: $59 ($69 weekends) for up to 2 connections, plus $15 for each additional connection.

Booking: book online for a specific time slot

Description

This is a standard office-themed escape room played via avatar over Zoom. The avatar will give you codes to enter in the inventory system that unlocks photos and 3D map views.

An introduction letter from The Resistance, explaining the mission.

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.

Andrew Reynolds’ Reaction

Rating: 3 out of 3.

Operation: X-13 Online makes the case that for a room to be fun and entertaining, it’s the little things that count. This room gave us a good reason for taking control of the avatar, and also a humorous and character-driven rationale for the 60-minute timer. These details are often ignored, but they are the kind of small touches that help build immersion and show that designers are thinking about the whole room, not just the puzzles. Operation: X-13 Online also had a novel inventory system; rather than being just a series of images, they made it dynamic by occasionally allowing you to perform actions with the items. One of my only complaints with this room was that I enjoyed those interactions and would have liked to have seen more. There were a few theatrical set pieces that would have been difficult – if not impossible – to pull off if the players were physically in the room, and those made for some surprising and chaotic interactions. All of these things were layered on top of solid puzzles that felt good to solve. The end result is a room that I would recommend to anyone.

Crystal F’s Reaction

Rating: 2 out of 3.

Operation: X-13 was a simple and straightforward room, but it was entertaining to play. The puzzles were fairly standard and didn’t require too much thought if you’ve done more than a few escape rooms. The inventory system was easy to access and easy to keep organized, which I always appreciate. The theatrics, light roleplaying, and entertaining gamemaster are what made this an enjoyable experience. This is the first time where I felt the room might have actually been better to play via an avatar than it would have been in person.

Tammy McLeod’s Reaction

Rating: 2 out of 3.

Operation: X-13 is a fairly standard escape game, but our experience was somewhat elevated by an endearing puppy-like gamemaster character, and some fun improv. It was transformed reasonably well for the online format. I also enjoyed the light humorous touches scattered throughout the game.

Cara Mandel’s Reaction

Rating: 3 out of 3.

Operation X-13 was a delightful online adaptation of an existing escape room. Like many other escape room companies have done in the time of COVID-19, Trapped! pivoted to using a live-streaming avatar player to assist us in navigating the physical space. Unlike other rooms I’ve experienced, however, Trapped! utilized the Zoom format to great effect by incorporating additional actors and theatrical moments that would perhaps not play as effectively in person. These were highly enjoyable over video chat, and an unexpected twist on an already well-executed room. Even the inventory system was thoughtfully designed. It’s definitely worth checking this one out!

Matthew Stein’s Reaction

Rating: 2 out of 3.

Operation: X-13 is a perfectly average real-life game, streamlined for remote play and brought to life with a chuckle-inducing avatar performance. The puzzle content is simple and fairly sequential so I’d recommend playing with a smaller group, though if you have more than 3 or 4 players, it can still be fun to sit back and enjoy the actor’s performance even when you’re not as actively solving. The game’s inventory system was functional and intuitive, which (finally!) is to be expected of any half-decent remote escape room. Overall, this game was enjoyable and hit some high notes with comically dramatic character interactions, but it was nothing really to write home about.

The team in Zoom looking at an image of a building.

Peih Gee Law’s Reaction

Rating: 3 out of 3.

I somehow managed to accidentally play this game twice in person, and once again remotely, so apparently the name isn’t very memorable for me. However I am able to review this game from the perspective of someone who has played both versions of this room.

In Operation: X-13 Online, the inventory system was smooth and intuitive, as was their 360° view of the rooms. They did streamline the game a little bit, leaving out some of the harder or more tedious puzzles. They made up for it by having a delightful gamemaster as our avatar, who seemed to really get into the game and made it much more of an immersive experience. The online version of the game felt very similar to playing this game in person.

The in-person room was a middle-of-the-road escape room: fun to play, but nothing mind-blowing. However, I think the virtual version was actually much more fun since we got to interact with not only the avatar, but other “characters” as well via phone calls and other encounters.

Disclosure: Trapped! provided the Hivemind reviewers with a complimentary play.

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