Escape One Algarve – Final Call [Hivemind Review]

Final Call is a real-life escape room livestreamed and played through an avatar, created by Escape One Algarve in Portimão, Portugal.

First person of a hand holding a Zombie Survival guidebook.

Format

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

Required Equipment: computer with internet connection

In addition to the Zoom call (audio only), you need to open a separate website that contains your inventory, close-up photos of objects you’ll find, plus a live video feed of the room.

Recommended Team Size: 2-5

Play Time: 60 minutes

Price: 60€ per team

Booking: book online for a specific time slot

Description

You have an in-game gamemaster to guide via Zoom plus another gamemaster behind the scenes who runs the inventory website.

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.

Theresa W’s Reaction

Rating: 3 out of 3.

Final Call was adapted skillfully to the online format with some wonderful surprises (that I won’t spoil in the review!). Escape One Algarve created an avatar character that fit well in the unique story — who would have known we’d end up in a bridal shop in an apocalypse?! The puzzle flow worked great with the use of a strong digital interface, which included both the video feed and inventory system. There is one late-game puzzle that usually is a solo solve and isn’t as fun online, yet the way it was done really allowed the entire team to interact and have fun. The changes made for the online version of this game really shined, and made the experience incredibly enjoyable!

Team photo at the end of Final Call

Matthew Stein’s Reaction

Rating: 3 out of 3.

Final Call is a low-tech but creative take on a zombie theme. Set in a wedding dress shop, the game juxtaposed a dimly lit live feed (as the game would be played in real life) with an intuitive, interactive, and innovative implementation of a Telescape inventory system. For one puzzle in the game, the avatar sets down his camera and moves to a different room – a brilliant solution to letting remote players solve what’s normally a “different players in different rooms” coordination puzzle, and not one which I’ve yet seen in other remote games.

Our team played this game immediately following Escape One Algarve’s Atlantis game as a sort of “double header,” and while the two games are thematically unrelated, our continued emotional connection with the same avatar and the company’s overarching design aesthetic led to this micro-marathon feeling similar to joyously playing a sweep of all of a company’s games in real life.

Joel Smileypeacefun Reaction

Rating: 2 out of 3.

The premise of Final Call sounded scary, but it wasn’t scary at all. I rather had lots of laughs throughout the experience.

At its best, the inventory website you get along with the Zoom call is great. Close-up photos and 360° room tours popped up as we found objects in the room. One physical puzzle I thought beforehand would not translate well through Zoom, but it ended up involving us in an engaging way. They also put effort into a funny ending.

At its worst, the inventory website was a bit laggy when we found multiple things at once. The scenery and props looked thrown together. The set design felt outdated. Their Atlantis game which the Hivemind played as well looked aesthetically much more pleasing.

I said it in my review of their Atlantis game and I say it again: Escape One Algarve goes the extra mile. Little things like giving a background story to justify the Zoom call are pretty thoughtful.

Michelle Calabro’s Reaction

Rating: 3 out of 3.

I do love it when a game’s premise sets the right expectations. The premise of Final Call is hilarious and gameplay was also hilarious. The premise told us what we needed to achieve in the game, and the puzzles actually reflected that goal. The kinds of puzzles in this game were well suited for the avatar format; hotspots and interactive inventory made it even more seamless. A recurring element of the game gave us a jolt of surprise, which made me giggle every time. I’m smiling right now, just thinking about it.

Peih Gee Law’s Reaction

Rating: 3 out of 3.

I already gushed about Escape One Algarve’s fantastic user-friendly inventory system in my review of their other room Atlantis. I didn’t think they could possibly improve on it, but they have somehow made it even better for Final Call.

The inventory system here introduced folders: when certain items you found were clearly part of a certain puzzle, the items appeared directly in that folder. Not forcing the players themselves to organize the clues made it much more fun to just focus on the game. They also marked in the 360° view which items were observable (marked with an eye symbol) and which ones had locks (marked with a lock).

For being a zombie horror theme room, Final Call was surprisingly funny and it helped that we had a very fun avatar as well, who was willing to lean into our jokes without wasting our time with meaningless gags.

Disclosure: Escape One Algarve provided the Hivemind reviewers with a discounted play.

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.