The six of us were synced up on a video call from three separate homes trying to simultaneously break clues and pin the thefts to the notorious art thief. We had spent a good 20 minutes on a single clue, pouring over every possible detail in the dossier. Finally, my sister-in-law jumped up and screamed, “I found it!” startling the rest of us. Once our heart rates slowed down, she explained it to us, and we could all move on together. =-)
Without giving too much away, your overall mission is to uncover the identity of a highly successful art thief and lock him up for good. You’ll search for clues throughout the official evidence files, try to connect loose dots, and enter responses into digital fields to open up next stages of the search.
With some basic technical knowledge of video conferencing, you can set up a seamless, cross-household experience working together to solve the clues. Here’s how we set up it: three couples from different households joined a video conference session. We each had our own codes to the game and started them at the same time. We then brain-stormed, laughed, groaned, and cheered our way through the entire escape game in one evening after the kids were down for bed. After working together on a clue, when one couple would break it, they’d share the specifics with the others who would then enter the responses and progress together.
The level of difficulty with TEG Unlocked: Volume 1 was perfect (for us!). We would grapple with certain clues for a while, but we’d always eventually figure them out. We didn’t have to use any of the in-game clues, although we got close a couple of times! It took maybe an hour and a half or two hours to complete the entire mission which was a perfect length. Along the way, you’ll be given just the right amount of information to know the general direction to take but not any more than that.
I loved the supplemental dossier of “official” documents to use as clues like College Photo, Museum Map, Psyche Profile, Surveillance, and many more. You’ll click through and enter answers in the browser-based, interactive experience while referring to the dossier documents for clues. This worked out really well having multiple couples play together. One couple would provide key details to test while the others would enter data into the clue box.
I cannot say anything about them, but there were a couple of “No way!!” moments that really elevated this game to the next level. I was thoroughly impressed and amazed at the clever use of available technology and resources to really pull you into the story. Rest assured, you’ll be amazed!
Tips & Tricks
- As soon as you enter your profile information and click “Go,” a crucial video will start up that introduces your mission and objectives. Don’t click “Go” until you are all ready to start!
- Try really hard not to use any hints! You can do it!
Scoring & Wrap-up
Overall, as a digital escape room game, I give The Escape Game: The Heist a very high 9 out of 10 (“Excellent – always enjoy playing it” on BGG’s scale) for the following reasons:
- Super engaging theme
- Clever use of technology
- Perfect level of difficulty
- Seamless remote play across households
- Very high level of quality in the details
- While it was a great length, it was so engaging and fun, the time flew by. I was left wanting more! Guess I’ll just wait for Volume 2…
Whether you’ve done different digital escape room type of games or not, I strongly recommend The Escape Game Unlocked: Volume 1, especially if you’re wanting (or needing!) to have a stay-at-home game night. Play as a couple, as a group of family or friends, or together with your teenagers (while content is clean, it’d be too challenging for younger kids). You will not be disappointed!
Disclaimer: I received this game for free in exchange for my review, but believe me, I post authentic reviews every time and will be brazenly blunt if needs be.