SCRAP – Escape from the Science Lab of Shifting Rules [Hivemind Review]

Escape from the Science Lab of Shifting Rules is an avatar-led game, played in Zoom, and created specifically for digital play by SCRAP in Japan.

Promo art shows a chaotic lab with a shark and the words, "Alter the rules and save the world!"Alter

Format

Style of Play:

  • Online native experience (can NOT be played IRL)
  • Avatar controlled by the players

Required Equipment: computer with internet connection

Recommended Team Size: 2-6

Play Time: 60 minutes

Price: about $192 per team of up to 6 players

Booking: book online for a specific time slot

Description

Escape from the Science Lab of Shifting Rules is an avatar-led game that uses wordplay and critical thinking to move the story along.

Standard avatar interaction. Non-standard physics interaction. Players control a machine that changes reality and – as a fortuitous side effect – helps them solve puzzles.

This game is played entirely in Zoom with no additional interface. It was specifically designed as a remote game and can not be played in real life.

Escape from the Science Lab of Shifting Rules is also available in Japanese, but we played the English version of this game. You need a strong grasp of English to succeed.

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SCRAP – Escape from the Lockdown: The Demon Fortress [Hivemind Review]

Escape from the Lockdown: The Demon Fortress is a digital puzzle game created specifically for online play by SCRAP in Japan.

Promo Image of a tower with 9 heroes trapped within.

Format

Style of Play:

  • Online native experience (can NOT be played IRL)
  • Play on demand
  • Video-based experience
  • Light puzzle hunt

Required Equipment: computer with internet connection, pen and paper

There were a few puzzles where it was especially helpful to digitally draw on the images.

Recommended Team Size: 1-3

Play Time: about 3 hours

Price: $29 per player

Booking: purchase and play at your leisure

Description

We encountered 9 characters, a party of heroes, displayed in a Brady Bunch 3×3 video call grid. They delivered story and clues to a larger mystery in these scenes. After they resolved, we solved a series of well designed yet generic puzzles and gained access to a boss battle.

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Real Escape Games by SCRAP – Escape from the Lockdown: The Strange Village [Hivemind Review]

Escape from the Lockdown: The Strange Village is a digital puzzle game created specifically for online play by Real Escape Games by SCRAP, based in Japan.

To learn more about SCRAP, the first escape room company, check out our interview with them from earlier this week.

A 3x3 video call tile with 9 different characters and a narrator off to the side. The image is captioned, "the village has a few measures in place."

Format

Style of Play: audio-visual experience with puzzle hunt-style puzzles

Required Equipment: computer with internet connection, a pen and paper is also recommended

Recommended Team Size: 2-3

Play Time: unlimited playtime; our reviewers took 1.5 – 3 hours

Price: $27 per ticket

Booking: purchase and play at your leisure

Description

The game consists of “daily” briefing videos where players learn about the game’s characters and their actions. Keeping track of who did what is part of the game play. In between the video segments are short rounds of puzzle book-style puzzles. Everything adds to the information needed to solve the narrative metapuzzle.

Note that the game takes some time because it includes about 45+ minutes of video footage.

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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.

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Real Escape Games by SCRAP – Escape from the Alien Research Facility [Hivemind Review]

Escape from the Alien Research Facility is a digital escape game, designed specifically for livestream play, created by Real Escape Games by SCRAP, based in Japan.

Escape From The Alien Research Facility promo image depicts a red headset and an alien that looks like a xenomorph.

Format

Style of Play: digital escape game, created for livestream play

Required Equipment: computer with internet connection

Also recommended: the use of a shared Google Sheet + a shared Google Drive folder or other resource for collaborative solving

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: ¥20,000 (about $185) for a team of up of 7 players

Booking: book online for a specific time slot

Description

We guided an actor/ gamemaster through a world uniquely designed for online escape game play.

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