Pizza Makes Anything Possible is an audiovisual escape room created by Paruzal.
Style of Play: audiovisual escape room
Required Equipment: computer with internet connection, somewhere to take notes
Recommended Team Size: 2-4
Play Time: approximately 60 minutes
Price: $15 per person
Booking: book online for a specific time slot
You work for a pizza restaurant and your boss wants to test you. You need to open the restaurant in time for the first guests to arrive. Can you survive this pressure test?
This is an audiovisual escape room. This game is played in a space made up of two-dimensional illustration with and a gamemaster narrating. The illustrations are simple, and all clues come from the player asking the gamemaster for additional details. You give verbal commands to try ideas and see what works.
Paruzal’s format might best be described as a cross between an escape room and an RPG campaign. The game took place over Zoom with an invisible gamemaster narrating our gameplay. We had considerable agency within the game setting and were tasked with searching, interacting with, and solving a series of puzzles. Though not the most advanced sequence I’ve played to date, the combination of clever mechanisms and a fun story setting made for enjoyable escape experience overall!
+ Friendly GM who described things well and had a sense of humor
+ It was clear which items were needed for each puzzle, though more subtlety would have been better in one case
+/- Puzzles were on the easier side, in some cases too easy to be satisfying
+ Pacing was good. We didn’t stall or need to rush
+/- In-game diagrams were clear and useful, but would benefit from better artwork
– Design did not take full advantage of the format. With no physical constraints, I want interactions (magic! explosions!) that would be impossible in a physical game.
+ Subject matter and difficulty level would be good for novices and family play
The Lone Puzzler’s Reaction
Rating: 3 out of 3.
This was a fun alternative online experience. I struggled a bit with whether to say “play anytime” but in the end, it would be good to play if you wanted an escape room-like experience with a group of long-distance friends or could not travel to a real-life escape room.
Unlike some online games, this one did not show pictures of a real room or follow an actor around the room. It relied on relatively simple drawings to set the stage for gamemaster interactions. At the onset I thought that would limit the game, but it really did not and the voice interaction with my team and the gamemaster was very fun. The puzzles were moderate – the setting was limited – but it was a good escape. One of my teammates said it was escape room-meets-Dungeons & Dragons – and that was the perfect description.
Paruzal’s style of escape room was very fun and definitely a step in the right direction towards that feeling of being in an escape room with your friends. I loved that it was a private room with a live host, and the puzzles were fun and themed very well. I would say it was about medium difficulty for experienced puzzlers. This style of game felt very similar to playing an audio escape room where the rooms and puzzles are described to you. I do feel the graphics and images could use a little bit of polish – they were a bit simplistic. It was fun being able to roleplay a bit and the host played along as well. Fun way to spend an hour.
I’ve long felt that verbal and image-based escape games are at their best when they put the player into a situation that can’t be built into a real-life room. Trapped Under Water did just that… as a longtime scuba diver, I appreciated the attention to detail. The puzzling was engaging and the trapped-in-a-wreck dive situation was entertaining. The in-game art was useful, but there was ample room for improvement.
Would I play this over a real-life escape room? Probably not. However I’d happily play this with friends at a distance at anytime.
Trapped Under Water was an escape room/ roleplaying game hybrid, akin to Escape This Podcast, but with many more visual aids. It was played over Zoom. The gamemaster talked us through the scenario with the help of diagrams. We asked to examine and manipulate objects to solve the puzzles. The gamemaster reacted to our requested actions by telling us information, showing us a new image, or drawing on an existing image.