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.
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
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.
Bewitched Circus is a light puzzle hunt created by Society of Curiosities.
Style of Play: narrative-driven, light puzzle hunt with some ARG-style elements
Required Equipment: computer with internet connection, mobile device
You need to text answers to an in-game character. You can choose to do so by regular text messages on your phone, or (for international players) you can use their online chat tool.
Recommended Team Size: 1-2
Play Time: no timer, but it took about an hour
Booking: purchase online and play at your leisure
There is a weird circus in town with some magical and suspect behavior happening. You are the one chosen to figure out what’s going on there before the show starts. The gameplay consists of reading, inspecting photos, and sending text messages. The messaging interface leads you through a story.
Required Equipment: computer with an internet connection, and a smartphone will come in handy for some portions of the game.
Sign on early and be a little patient as you get a sense of the technology and flow of the experience. It is actually quite simple to interact with, but it’s different from just about every other video conferencing system, so it requires some adjustment.
Recommended Team Size: This is a public-ticketed show that supports around 60 connections (devices). Because you are part of an interactive audience, you can experience this solo, or with a large group of people all booking into the same showing. We recommend only 1-2 people per connection.
Given the size of the digital environment and the number of characters, Secret Library was legitimately designed to work properly with groups ranging from about 20-60 people.
Play Time: 100 minutes
Price: $35 per connection
Booking: book online for a specific time slot
Secret Library was a large-scale immersive mystery. It blended elements of escape rooms with immersive theater. There are approximately 10 characters to interact with and a clickable map that changes which video conference room you’re occupying. We had to work with the characters to accomplish a series of missions and ultimately solve a greater mystery.
Humanity 2.0 is a print-and-play escape game created by clueQuest in London, England.
Style of Play: print-and-play escape game
Required Equipment: computer with internet connection, printer, pen and paper, and scissors
Recommended Team Size: 1-3
Play Time: 1-2 hours
Booking: purchase and play at your leisure
The game includes a 20-page PDF full of puzzle pieces to print and cut out, an online app, and a unique access code for registering your team in the app. The app guides you through the story one “chapter” at a time, serving up videos, audio, and simple gadgets for entering solutions. You refer to the printed puzzle pieces that correspond to the chapter.
Update 6/29/21: If you enjoy Pursuit of Assassin Artist, we hope you’ll check out our interview with creator Sarah Zhang on The Reality Escape Pod.
Pursuit of Assassin Artist is a time loop escape game, created for livestreamed play through an avatar, created by Omescape in San Jose, CA.
Style of Play: time loop-style escape room, livestreamed and played through an avatar, and designed for livestream play
Required Equipment: computer with internet connection, phone that can call a US number
Recommended Team Size: 2-4
Play Time: 90 minutes
Price: $179 per team, for up to 8 connections
Booking: book online for a specific time slot.
This was a typical avatar-driven game with a pair of twists.
There was a live actor as antagonist.
Your avatar was a character trapped in a time loop. If you – through the avatar – make a critical failure, the avatar dies, and your avatar immediately returns to the start of the game with no memory of what has happened. Everything in the game world resets.
Expect the unexpected. This game plays with time resets, character improvisation, outside knowledge, and accumulated knowledge. Be ready for anything.