Level Games – The Menagerie [Reaction]

We were booked to travel to Los Angeles back in mid-March… before the apocalypse shut everything down.

Level Games’ The Menagerie was on our list of top games to play on that trip.

We have generally avoided playing escape rooms in avatar mode if we thought that we would play them in real life eventually. When we learned that Level Games was closing, however, we booked The Menagerie immediately.

Shelves covered in jars and filled with animal specimines.

Should I play Level Games’ The Menagerie?

Let’s get this out of the way: yes. Yes, you should play The Menagerie while you can. It is only open for a few more weeks before the company closes completely.

An unusual wooden box covered in metal sockets.

Why should I play Level Games’ The Menagerie?

As an avatar game streamed through Zoom:

  • The streaming and avatar character were narratively a part of the game.
  • It managed inventory better than most.
  • The puzzles played particularly well through the camera.
  • The unusual structure of The Menagerie lent itself to interesting online play.

Beyond all of the mechanical elegance of The Menagerie, the biggest factor for me was how much fun I had while simultaneously wishing that I had had the opportunity to experience this game in real life.

Zoom view of a workbench with a model house, a statue of a lion, and a strange mechanical contraption.

In the end, I am honestly glad that I got to play it at all, in any form. This is a game and a company that will be missed.

6 thoughts on “Level Games – The Menagerie [Reaction]

  1. How did they manage inventory that was different and better than other online games? I’m finding most online inventory tools are cumbersome just due to the medium, and hard to think of a better way they might work.

    1. I don’t necessarily think that it’s substantially different in function, however in form, it was packed and delivered quite well. This made a noticeable difference.

  2. I played it and this is a really fun game. The hosts stayed and chatted with us about the game and the design behind it. It’s obvious that they had put so much love and care into it and it is amazing how they are pulling somethings off in the game. It is really sad to see such a good game and company close. Hopefully they will continue making good games in the near future when things get back to normal.

    1. Yeah… completely agree. We’re losing a real gem of a business here.

      I’m sad to say that in the current economy, this won’t be the last fantastic company to suffer a similar fate.

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