Real Escape Games by SCRAP – Escape from the Abandoned Laboratory [Hivemind Review]

Escape from the Abandoned Laboratory is real-life escape room livestreamed through an avatar, created by Real Escape Games by SCRAP, based in Japan.

Poster art for Escape from the Abandoned Laboratory depicts a woman in a white dress with a visor sitting in a chair.

Format

Style of Play: This was a real-life game adapted for remote play with an avatar, but to an American it will feel more like a light puzzle hunt than a real-life escape room.

Required Equipment: computer with internet connection and a device with a QR scanner app

It is best to have a shared Google Sheet open as a team, as well as a chat thread. You will need to share screenshots and links.

Recommended Team Size: 4-7

Play Time: The game has a time limit of 60 minutes. Including briefing and debriefing, the whole session is about 120 minutes.

Price: $190 for a team of up to 7 people

Booking: book online for a specific time slot

Description

In Escape from the Abandoned Laboratory players communicated with an avatar to explore a room and interact with puzzles.

This game was a traditional SCRAP game: It was loaded with puzzle book-style puzzles and had a particularly challenging final puzzle that hinged on uncovering and understanding a nuance of the story. It was notably more challenging than most other live-streamed escape rooms on the market.

Our host and researcher Clover.

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.

Brett Kuehner’s Reaction

Rating: 2 out of 3.
  • + Cinematic introduction and credits, with high quality video and music
  • + Avatar was friendly and helpful, providing only the necessary amount of guidance
  • + A second actor performed their role well, enhancing the game experience and providing much more immersion
  • – Some puzzles were only superficially themed for the game. There were missed opportunities to make puzzles with deeper connections to the story.
  • – Like many SCRAP games, the final puzzle was more obscure and drained the momentum of the game
  • + Using the introduction, gameplay, and the end sequence, the experience presented a complete story

Cara Mandel’s Reaction

Rating: 2 out of 3.

Escape from the Abandoned Laboratory was both enjoyable and frustrating. I’m told this is a common takeaway from games designed by SCRAP. There are many very clever and unique aspects of this game that would be spoiled by further detail. However, there were also some logic leaps required that, in my opinion, weren’t entirely clearly communicated in game. Overall, it was an enjoyable and creative room that I would recommend checking out with a group of RPG-loving friends, as this game requires a level of imaginative thinking that would be best suited to folks with this style of gameplay experience.

David Spira’s Reaction

Rating: 2 out of 3.

Escape from the Abandoned Laboratory was not nearly as inventive or special as Escape from the Alien Research Lab… but I still think that it was enjoyable and well executed for what it was.

Escape from the Abandoned Laboratory was a traditional SCRAP escape game well adapted to the digital medium. When I say the words, “traditional SCRAP escape game” anyone who knows SCRAP well knows exactly what that means and whether they will enjoy this game.

If you are unfamiliar, it means that it was loaded with puzzle book-style puzzles and had a particularly challenging final puzzle that hinged on uncovering and understanding a nuance of the story. People tend to love, hate, love to hate, or hate to love these games. I get a kick out of doing one or two per year.

Escape from the Abandoned Laboratory had some especially cool mechanics that revolved around live-streamed interactions through the avatar. The ending of this game had been adapted so that it didn’t feel too harsh if you failed to figure it out.

Overall, the aesthetic was sub-par and the puzzles were puzzley. This wasn’t a grand immersive adventure, but it was a clever, puzzle-centric game with some nifty immersive components.

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