Escape From Nefertiti’s Tomb is a VR escape room developed by WisEngineering’s Digital Reality Lab.
Style of Play:
Who is it For?
- Adventure seekers
- Puzzle lovers
- Scenery snobs
- Best for players with at least some experience
Required Equipment: Meta Quest / Meta Quest 2
Recommended Team Size: 1
Play Time: No game clock. Play time is about 90 minutes, including restarts after deaths/ fail states.
Booking: purchase and play at your leisure
Escape From Nefertiti’s Tomb is a VR representation of a typical escape-room setup. Players take first person control of their avatar and solve puzzles in an Egyptian tomb by manipulating objects. It is can be played standing or room scale.
Andrew Reynolds’ Reaction
For good or for bad, Escape from Nefertiti’s Tomb was an ancient Egypt-themed VR escape room that felt true to many escape room norms. This being an old tomb, of course there’s a laser-bouncing puzzle and a repeat-the-sound pattern puzzle. The latter had a few accessibility considerations that made it much more fun to solve than the average version of that puzzle type. I appreciated that the creators were able to take advantage of the virtual space to create spectacle and interactions that would be very difficult to pull off in the real world. One puzzle in particular let me live out my Indiana Jones fantasy and I will always be thankful for a game that does that.
Escape from Nefertiti’s Tomb is in the App Lab, which means it’s officially still in development. There are a few tweaks I’d like to see made before this game gets a full release: your inventory quickly gets cluttered with objects of questionable use; movement is slow; and I encountered a fail state when I took the headset off for a few minutes’ rest. Even given those, Escape from Nefertiti’s Tomb was a solid VR escape game.
Matthew Stein’s Reaction
I really wanted to like Escape From Nefertiti’s Tomb, but feeling nauseous and frustrated, I made it barely more than halfway through the game before reluctantly accepting defeat.
Escape From Nefertiti’s Tomb’s main strength was in its scenery, which provided some beautiful spaces and reveals reminiscent of 13th Gate Escape’s Tomb of Anubis. Like in many real-life Egyptian escape rooms, this game’s classic puzzles themed around sand, mirrors, and the like generally fit the environment while occasionally being convoluted by an excess of similar yet unused symbology.
I am not usually one to get queasy in VR games; however, a combination of glitchy controls, unreliable save points, and repeatedly falling from heights in certain areas proved too much for my eyes and stomach in this game. Furthermore, I am also not against dying as a game mechanic — after all, I Expect You to Die is one of all-time favorite VR puzzle games — but this mechanic needs to be thoughtfully implemented, and in the case of Escape From Nefertiti’s Tomb, the many possible causes of death (including, most frustratingly, just removing your headset for too long) added absolutely nothing to the gameplay while forcing players to repeatedly collect the same objects and navigate the same spaces. As I’ve too often proclaimed in a variety of situations: “I just want to solve puzzles and look at the pretty things!”
Ryan Brady’s Reaction
Escape From Nefertiti’s Tomb really nails the atmosphere. It was easy to get absorbed in the environment and feel like I was exploring a tomb. I liked that you were rewarded for collecting artifacts, whether or not they were involved in a puzzle, which helped sell the “expedition” feeling.
I wanted more out of the puzzles, as they were a bit shallow, and more of them, as the game is short for the cost. One puzzle had a very specific active area and even though I had solved the puzzle, it didn’t trigger any progress, so I spent some time being frustrated.
There are some bugs. Most are minor or even entertaining annoyances but specifically I had a lot of problems using the option to turn with the controller. Trying to play seated may be a frustrating experience, even though the game claims to be seated-playable.
Overall, I came away feeling mixed. If you’re interested in a light game with some bumps where you feel like you’re a tomb raider, Escape From Nefertiti’s Tomb is worth a play. If you’re looking to scratch a puzzle itch, other games will serve you better.
Note: The game is in the App Lab and not full release. The App Lab comes with this notification, “This app is available through App Lab, and may be experimental or still in development. Warning: Apps from App Lab haven’t gone through the full Oculus review process, so they may include unknown issues relating to comfort, performance or other factors.”