The Beast is a real-life escape room livestreamed and played through an avatar, created by Emergency Exit in Greater Manchester, England.
Style of Play: real-life escape room livestreamed and played through an avatar
Required Equipment: computer with internet connection; an additional mobile device is recommended but not required
Recommended Team Size: 2-5
Play Time: 90 minutes
Price: £100 per group
Booking: book online for a specific time slot
The Beast is an avatar-led playthrough of a physical escape room with added visual elements. There is a dedicated cameraman and there are multiple camera angles that help you out. There is no inventory website.
Hivemind Review Scale
Matthew Stein’s Reaction
The Beast excels in all the ways I described in my review of its prequel Exorcist, and then some. I’d recommend playing these two games in order (Exorcist, then The Beast) as The Beast picks up right where The Exorcist leaves off narratively.
The Beast is a hybrid of two of Emergency Exit’s in-person rooms, adapted and optimized specifically for remote play, and the physical and narrative flow throughout the experience is seamless and inspiringly elegant. Surprises await around every corner, and a sequence of transitions mid-game blew my mind and has me re-evaluating the possible role of the avatar as a character in every other game I’ve played the past few months. (I’ll avoid spoiling anything here, of course – just go play this game yourself!!) As with Exorcist, this game is filled with creative audiovisual trickery, which substantively enhances the in-person experience in ways that could not reasonably be implemented in-person.
This all is not to say that the game is flawless. It was a bit lock-heavy at times, with ambiguity as to which combination went into which lock, and a couple of puzzles were unexpectedly trivial. But even these elements bothered me much less than they usually would, as they were well contextualized by a diegetic set, compelling narrative, and engaging performance.
Joel Smileypeacefun Reaction
After I had already played and liked their previous game Exorcist, it was no surprise that The Beast captivated me on the same level.
At its best, I loved the video sequences throughout the experience. In general, Emergency Exit made smart choice to enhance the virtual gameplay, for example, multiple camera angles. The storyline had several entertaining twists and even referenced their other game.
At its worst, the camera quality wasn’t the best, especially for reading puzzles. We also witnessed some unpleasant lags here and there. Quite a few puzzles were presented on paper, which didn’t tie in with the otherwise immersive set. Also, yet again, it had one too many locks for my taste, especially when they all had the same digit structure.
It’s a great puzzle game that’s slightly scarier than its predecessor, but still more funny than scary.
Richard Burns’ Reaction
The Beast is the sequel to Emergency Exit’s other online experience Exorcist and I recommend playing them in order. The Beast expands on the terrific format Emergency Exit has developed. On top of the dedicated camera operator and very well done visual effects, a couple of new advances in this game prove that Emergency Exit is dedicated to going above and beyond to provide value for remote players. The effort they are putting into their productions is incredible.
The gameplay is fairly standard. There are multiple padlocks and puzzles you shouldn’t overthink, but that is okay, because where this game excels is making players feel things. Not really fear in my case, but anxiety, tension, anticipation, comedy, surprise, relief, and then appreciation and admiration for what Emergency Exit has created. Emotions. This isn’t just another avatar game, it’s a sign of what’s coming next.