Villains Lair is included in our recommendation guides for The Best Online Escape Games for Tweens and Families and Avatar Guided Online Escape Games. For more of the best online escape games in these styles, check out the recommendation guides.
Villains Lair is a real-life escape room livestreamed and played through an avatar, created by Fuzzy Logic in Downers Grove, IL.
Style of Play: real-life escape room livestreamed and played through an avatar
Required Equipment: computer with an internet connection
Recommended Team Size: 2-5
Play Time: 60 minutes
Price: $69.99 for small groups or $99.99 for larger groups
Booking: book online for a specific time slot
This is a standard escape room played via avatar over Zoom. It uses Trello for inventory management. You’re a villain and you want to fire your mega-weapon to take over the city.
Hivemind Review Scale
Andrew Reynolds’ Reaction
Admit it: sometimes you get tired of saving the world. We all do! Wouldn’t it be nice just once to sit back, relax, and destroy a whole city with your huge laser? You can do all that in Fuzzy Logic’s Villains Lair. Well, except for the ‘sit back and relax’ part. You’ve only got an hour to fire off your laser!
Villains Lair is a great game from start to finish. It begins out of character with the best tech onboarding I’ve seen in an online game. Once the mic checks are done, the game goes in-character and never stops. The personality and humor our gamemaster put into their character sold us on the idea of being evil. All the puzzles made sense and translated well into online play, including a very fun solve that forced our gamemaster to run around the room comically, in character the whole time. Fuzzy Logic obviously put a lot of thought into making all their puzzles work for online play, and even took the time after the game to show us how they took a particularly powerful physical puzzle into the virtual space.
Don’t be a hero – go unleash your inner villain with Fuzzy Logic.
Matthew Stein’s Reaction
Jayson – the remote avatar/actor and co-owner of Fuzzy Logic – is an unbelievably charismatic, high-energy gem who single handedly makes Fuzzy Logic’s remote offerings stand out. Villains Lair is a standard game (basic set with a smattering of tech, and many puzzles presented through paper components) with a zany, cartoonish premise: you are helping a supervillain to finish assembling his Destruct-O-Ray in his lair. Jayson’s villainous voice acting and comical gestures really drove the game forward and had us laughing the entire time, even when our 6-person team sometimes felt a bit too crowded for us to all actively solve certain puzzles. The game uses Trello as an inventory system, which worked well for dynamic lock management, but felt a bit clunky otherwise, with multiple clicks required to open any picture full-size. The puzzles were simple, but clean and well implemented.
Tammy McLeod’s Reaction
I had so much fun in this game. The puzzles were all logical and fair, but what really elevates this game is how hard gamemaster Jayson leans into the villain character. His over-the-top performance is engaging and amusing, and would be especially entertaining for younger players.
Peih Gee Law’s Reaction
I have a feeling that I will be in the minority when I say that I didn’t love this game. I enjoyed the theme, and thought Fuzzy Logic committed quite well to it. Maybe it was the fact that I played this room at 8:00am on a Saturday morning with only a mouthful of coffee to run on, but the virtual experience just didn’t really wow me.
Immersion: The villains theme was fun, and most of the puzzles were thematic. The room itself was decorated befitting the theme, but looking back now, I’m struggling to recall anything memorable, besides one prop in the middle of the room and a lot of pipes on the wall.
Puzzles: The puzzles were probably about easy-to-medium. I’m also not a fan of math puzzles in rooms (but this is my personal Kryptonite).
Gamemaster: The gamemaster’s enthusiasm made up for a lot of the shortfalls of the room itself. I found our gamemaster to be welcoming, invested, and very fun. They stayed in character the whole time, with a cartoonish villain voice and super high energy. A fun gamemaster goes a long way.
Interface: This is the area where I had the biggest issues. I found the camera work to be extremely unsteady. It gave me motion sickness. This might be due, in part, to the gamemaster’s energy (which I loved). Simple solution: use a gimbal or perhaps a tripod. There was also a fixed overhead camera view, instead of a 360° view of the room. I didn’t really like the use of Trello for inventory management. It required several clicks to pull up a large image to view, not to mention tab management. It might behoove Fuzzy Logic to look into a good inventory management system created specifically for escape rooms.
Joel Smileypeacefun Reaction
Villain’s Lair is another testament to how important the gamemaster is in a remote escape room.
At its best, the gamemaster was amazing and sounded like a Hollywood voice actor. The fun character allowed the gamemaster to joke around while still following our directions. One physical puzzle was turned into an online clickable version, which was a smart change. I also appreciated the tech check for people that are not too familiar with Zoom, as well as the postgame walkthrough.
At its worst, the only thing bothering me was that one puzzle was skipped in the virtual experience, while the prop was still in the room. Since it would be an agility-based puzzle, I see why they thought it wouldn’t work for the virtual playthrough, but we’ve seen it executed online before (in Escape One Algarve’s Final Call.)
All in all, it was a joy to see the gamemaster running around in the overhead camera view.
Theresa W’s Reaction
Fuzzy Logic absolutely killed the actor/player interaction, and I still (a few days later) can’t help but smile when thinking about Villains Lair. What would have been a fun room in person became an incredible theatrical performance that felt like it broke through the usual online interaction limitations. The story and puzzles were clearly portrayed through the video while incorporating some clever inventory mechanics. If you’re looking for an avatar game to play, you’ll regret that you haven’t played a game with Fuzzy Logic sooner.
Disclosure: Fuzzy Logic provided the Hivemind reviewers with a complimentary play.