The Experiment is a real-life escape room livestreamed and played through an avatar, created by Get the F Out in Los Angeles.
Sadly this company is closing soon. Book now if you want to play this game.
Style of Play: real-life escape room livestreamed and played through an avatar
Required Equipment: computer with internet connection, maybe a pen and paper for notes
Recommended Team Size: 4-5
Play Time: 60 minutes
Price: $30 per person
Booking: book online for a specific time slot
The Experiment is a straightforward avatar game livestreamed over Zoom. The inventory system for this game consists of password-protected files that are emailed to you beforehand. The host gives you the passwords to unlock them as you progress through the game.
This is described as a “meta-escape room” so it’s like an escape room about an escape room. It becomes more and more clear as you progress through the game.
Hivemind Review Scale
Tammy McLeod’s Reaction
Our host, Bob, hammed up the avatar character just enough to be funny, not frustrating, and I enjoyed his performance. There was a significant number of puzzles, and we very nearly did not complete them in the allotted time. I think this is a good room for puzzle-focussed players. Generally, I felt that this game has been well adapted for remote play, though the nuance of the overarching concept is easily overlooked in this format. I appreciate that Bob explained it afterward, but that should not have been necessary.
Joel Smileypeacefun Reaction
This is the first time I struggled with the ranking system. I would give this 2.5 stars.
At its best, I appreciated how well the gamemaster explained the rules and that we got a post-game walkthrough. The storyline was (overly) ambitious, but they pulled it off for the most part. The entertaining puzzles made fun of typical escape room tropes in a meta-twist. We got sent password-secured PDF files to have a closer look at certain objects during the game. Is this the most elegant solution when other companies build entire inventory websites? No, but it worked.
At its worst, the gamemasters’ internet connection failed several times. While the stream always came back quickly, this is a no-go. A pet peeve of mine: hasps with no locks on. It just looks wrong, or like a ghost puzzle. Also, there’s a voiceover closing the story, but nobody listened to it since we had to hurry to do the last step.
I don’t regret playing this at all, but compared to other games I gave 3 full stars, this experience just had a couple more flaws.
The Lone Puzzler’s Reaction
I have very mixed opinions on this game. Given that the virtual world of games has such a vast selection, I don’t feel comfortable recommending this game when there are much better games available. The game is slightly more expensive, slightly less polished, and slightly more difficult to love than other games. I did, however, have a good time playing with the team. The room had a very animated avatar and some quite good puzzle tricks, but overall it felt like the room was trying to be too cool or too slick instead of just being a fun escape for an hour or so. Others may have a completely different perception and maybe part of the charm of this experience could be its attempt to be thought-provoking and multi-layered. To me that was just a little too much work. To sum up this review, this is a B grade game, not bad, just did not have the joy and immersive nature of the top games.
Richard Burns’ Reaction
The Experiment is a game with big ideas, something I love to see. I would not recommend it for new players because its biggest strength is the thought that was put into commenting about escape rooms themselves. Some experience is required to appreciate the message being delivered.
Our online play through felt like an early iteration of the online version of the game. Some bumps here and there, but nothing that more practice can’t cure. Our host was gracious and passionate about making sure we understood what the game was trying to say. I recommend this game to experienced players at any time because I appreciate the meta escape room creativity and the willingness of a company trying to do something a little different.
I found myself wanting to play The Experiment in person instead of through an online avatar. Many of the puzzles were of a tactile or activity-based nature and required interaction with a gamespace that begged you to explore it. I experienced “avatar envy” watching our game guide (a funny and energetic person who added greatly to the experience) handle these interactions on behalf of our team. One puzzle in particular blew me away with its novelty and simplicity.
The Experiment wove a layered story that poked good-natured fun at escape room cliches. It felt just slightly contrived and complicated for my liking, but I greatly appreciated the intent to create something meant to cater to experienced players who love escape rooms. All in all, a solid play worth checking out.