Vektek Security Kit Escape Game by Chris Ramsay [Hivemind Review]

Vektek Security Kit Escape Game is a tabletop escape game created by Chris Ramsay.

Cyber Security Kit box, a deck of cards, and a booklet.

Format

Style of Play:

  • Tabletop escape game
  • Includes video segments

Who is it For?

  • Newbies
  • Fans of Chris Ramsay

Required Equipment: computer with internet connection, mobile device, pen and paper, scissors

You can play with either a computer or a mobile device. If you’re on mobile, we recommend a tablet instead of a phone. You can get by without scissors, but technically you’re supposed to use them.

Recommended Team Size: 1-2

Play Time: No game clock. Our reviewers took 30-45 minutes, at most.

Price: $29.99 + shipping

Booking: purchase and play at your leisure

Description

Your job is to use the VekTek Security Kit to help Chris Ramsay, a magician and YouTuber, track down some kind of nefarious clones aboard a spaceship. To do so, you use a small set of tabletop game pieces and a mobile app. The app presents a series of Chris Ramsay video clips to guide the experience. These clips, along with in-app instructions, present a linear series of tasks, asking you to use physical materials from the box (a booklet and 7 or 8 puzzle information cards). You enter solutions into the app to progress through the game.

Chris Ramsey wearing a backwards baseball cap and a foil suit looking into the camera and reaching for it.

Andrew Reynolds’ Reaction

For $30 plus $10 shipping, this was a surprisingly and disappointingly short and easy game. The components take up a fraction of the available space in the box. The game is played using those few components coupled with a website which has more puzzle information and is where you input your answers. The interface was slick and fun to play with; only one tech hiccup occurred (a page that refused to load) and was fixed with a simple refresh. There’s a lot of Chris Ramsay in this – he is in all of the many video components. If you’re a fan of his, I imagine that is a bonus. As for me, I am left wondering what exactly I paid for.

Matthew Stein’s Reaction

Chris Ramsay’s Vektek Security Kit felt like the shell of a game. This was apparent upon first opening the game’s almost-empty box, which contained a very short paper booklet, 8 standalone cards, and a deck of themed playing cards. These components looked reasonably nice, but they felt light, small, and cheaply produced, particularly for this game’s price point.

These initial impressions continued into the gameplay, which was all show and little substance. A slick mobile web interface guided search- and cipher-centric puzzling, interspersed with cheesy videos of Chris reporting back from his personal spaceship escape room around which this tabletop game was designed. To its credit, Vektek Security Kit felt quite similar to playing an escape room, albeit a particularly short and simplistic one. But the gameplay felt sloppy in its implementation, with as many trivial or poorly clued interactions as there were mildly clever ones. Furthermore, I was perplexed by some chunks of data that never seemed to get used during the game.

Most of all, Vektek Security Kit lacked any “wow” moments. This game took place within the narrative world of the space-themed escape room Chris commissioned for his office, and there were plentiful opportunities to reference elements or puzzle mechanics from that room/ video — yet it provided only very loose narrative context for this tabletop game. One puzzle required opening the provided deck of cards (which I could see being quite frustrating for many playing card collectors) — yet it didn’t use the deck at all beyond 2 custom ad cards that just as easily could have been included with the game’s other cards. Treating this in the category of print-and-play games, it also lacked any tactile interactions that meaningfully took advantage of the print medium.

Vektek Security Kit was thoroughly Chris Ramsay-branded in tone and presentation, and I could see his fans enjoying its accessible gameplay. But even for Chris Ramsay fans, there are significantly more interesting and substantive tabletop puzzle game offerings out there at this price point.

Cara Mandel’s Reaction

I’d imagine if you’re a die-hard fan of Chris Ramsay, then this game would delight you. I only vaguely knew who he was prior to playing and found myself bewildered by how this game came to be. Clearly there was a decent budget for its creation, from the slick production value of the videos to the web interface design and accompanying audio. The kit itself was reasonably sparse, comprising a booklet and some accompanying cards, but still well made. And yet this game had a stunning lack of actual puzzles to solve. Each task felt designed for someone who likes the idea of solving puzzles but doesn’t want to actually solve anything. Rather, the entire experience felt more like following a series of IKEA furniture assembly instructions… minus the fun. So, like I said, if you’re a fan of this creator, this is the game for you. Otherwise, I’d suggest you save your money. There are far better offerings out there.

Sarah Mendez’s Reaction

To enjoy this game, I believe there are three fundamental requirements. You must:

1) Be a Chris Ramsay fan
2) Tolerate being frequently berated and interrupted
3) Enjoy simple, task-based activities

If that sounds like you, have fun! Otherwise, you might kind of hate it after five minutes. I imagine it might be polarizing…to be generous.

Chris Ramsey in a foil suit with a backwards baseball cap speaking into a phone. Text reads, "over 30+ Videos Featuring Chris Ramsay being Chris Ramsay.

As the intro suggests, this is a game intended for people who want to “see 30 videos of Chris Ramsay being Chris Ramsay.” These videos are so prevalent throughout the game that it is critical for you to “get” his personality. Not only that, these videos occasionally pop up unannounced in the middle of what you’re doing, making it all the more important to enjoy them. I personally thought they added artificial and unnecessary frustration to such tasks as copying numbers into the app.

The intro also promises 15 “parts.” These generally involve following instructions to complete simple observations, algorithms, or codes. Usually, the app tells you which game materials to look at, you look at them, and you do what they tell you. The most challenging part of these tasks was sifting through the cryptically thematic materials to locate the indicated pieces. Indeed, there were so many extraneous bits of information throughout the box and materials that I wondered if I was overlooking a hidden trove of puzzles, even after I finished the “Extra Credit” at the end. However, nothing about the base game’s tasks led me to believe that I would personally enjoy any additional puzzles, so I didn’t explore this theory too far. If it’s all obfuscation and red herrings, that would be quite unfortunate, because one could waste a lot of time trying to make sense of it.

Again, I don’t think there’s a huge grey area with this game; it’s either clearly for you, or it’s not. I personally find it hard to recommend to general escape room enthusiasts.

Leave a Reply

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