I love solving puzzles: I love reading mystery novels, I love doing picross, I love watching crime dramas on TV – escape rooms are a chance for me to play detective in “real life”. I haven’t done many, but the few I have, I’ve done with family and had the best time – one of my favourite memories is my mum coming out of a bank heist themed one with a mask on, waving a rubber gun. For obvious reasons I’ve not been able to try any this year, but when I saw a voucher for a virtual escape room to do at home, I had to go for it.
The game was very low-tech, we had to print off all the puzzles, and then the game was led through audio messages in an app. In total there are five games of different lengths, and between 3 and 6 numerical codes you have to find in each game. The app has a countdown timer, intense music, and a simple interface where you enter your guesses for the secret codes. I would have loved to have done this with some friends over FaceTime, but due to all the paper puzzles, it was one where we all had to be physically in the same room – a no-go at the moment.
The first few games we managed to do with little problem. The puzzles were clever and different, and something I’ve not seen before, I was really enjoying it. The third mission, however, one that came with a 30-minute countdown, nearly broke us. The puzzle was so obtuse, we could not figure it out for love nor money, and we quickly ran out of time. Thankfully, the game gives you the options of clues as you go along, and we had to use all of ours up to figure out how to solve the bloody thing! This was frustrating, but I think it would have been easier with more people rather than just the two of us.
Overall, despite the frustrations in our puzzle-solving abilities (or lack of) we had so much fun attempting these. We have two games left that we’re saving to do over the Christmas period, with the hope that we might be able to actually solve them!