The Devil’s Violinist
Location: at home
Date Played: December 15, 2021
Required Equipment: computer with internet connection
Recommended team size: exactly 2 players
Play Time: 30-60 minutes
I’ll begin with some personal context. In addition to being a writer for Room Escape Artist and a full-time puzzle designer, I’m also a professional violinist and violist. I started learning classical violin as a young child, I studied ethnomusicology and composition in university, and I now play in a klezmer band with multiple albums forthcoming.
I’m just about the biggest classical music nerd you can find. My idea of a fun Friday night (when I’m not marathoning escape rooms) is bingeing Shostakovich or Mahler symphonies. And one of my favorite YouTube channels is TwoSet Violin. Brett Yang and Eddy Chen — talented violinists who are also really funny — make classical music accessible to their over 3 million subscribers through meme-filled sketches, challenges, and analyses of classical music in popular culture.
When TwoSet posted a video in early November 2021 of the duo playing an escape room in Australia, I was excited to see what “very special announcement” would be coming soon. Lo and behold, later that month they announced that they’d made their own music-themed virtual escape room!
Designed for two players in a style reminiscent of the asymmetrical information-sharing games from Enchambered, the TwoSet Escape Room was a delightful addition to (or perhaps start of?) the classical music-themed escape room canon. The game was playable by non-musicians as well, but it would be a good degree more challenging and make a bit less sense for players with zero classical music background.
The TwoSet Escape Room distinguished itself from other promotional escape rooms in that it wasn’t really a promotional escape room. Other than a brief plug for the upcoming TwoSet World Tour and a glamor shot of Brett and Eddy, this game truly felt like a gift to the TwoSet fandom, and to classical instrumentalists more generally. The gameplay was smooth and accessible to players with no puzzle background. An amusing story framed the game, though I would have loved to have seen the narrative more directly inform the puzzles.
I don’t mean to string you along, so I’ll get to my key point: I whole(note)heartedly recommend giving the TwoSet Escape Room a play if you have any classical music background, even if you just studied piano for a few years as a kid. I’d love to see more escape rooms designed by folks with domain-specific expertise, and it’s so wonderful to see TwoSet Violin giving back to their community in creative ways like this.
Who is this for?
- Fans of TwoSet Violin
- Puzzle lovers with a basic classical music background
- Any experience level (with puzzles and/ or classical music)
We — a violinist and a pianist — showed up to our backstage practice rooms, but we got locked in. We had to communicate with our respective duo partner to learn who’d trapped us, and escape by the time the concert began.Continue reading “TwoSet Escape Room [Review]”