“Present” in July 2020 were: The Ant, Teenage Avenger, Jammy Avenger
Looking for an online Escape Room to entertain two teenage boys – hmmm, I wonder what it was about Operation Paranormal Research Anomaly Taskforce that caught my eye? Trying to prise them away from non-stop Fortnite and Keep Talking And Nobody Explodes; ghost-hunting with added silly acronyms seemed my best bet.
And, gratifyingly, I was absolutely right. From the introductory video full of hilarious OTT innuendo and comic over-acting, the boys were tittering away happily and eager to get to the bottom of Dr R. Hole’s dilemma (sorry, it’s contagious).
I can’t go all highbrow on them, as I admit it did make me chuckle too. But I was also impressed with the quality of the set-up: videos, web content, all nicely put together with an abundance of detail. This almost tripped us up at first as with all this information spread before us we were a little unclear where to start. We tried a few solutions for our first answer before finding our feet but after that it was much smoother and ideally suited to let the teenagers run the show.
The ghost-hunting part ends up being quite incidental to the plot – more of a criminal investigation than a paranormal one – but that didn’t mar our enjoyment at all. The tongue-in-cheek style may have its knockers (I mean, might not suit everyone) while, for us, the light-hearted smut and daftness, plus the satisfaction from nailing the puzzles, probably kept the boys more engaged and focused than they have managed through the whole of lockdown.
For me, maybe not the most complex puzzles or most intricate storyline, but definitely one of the most good-naturedly entertaining mash-ups of juvenile humour and brainteasers I’ve encountered. Scratch your puzzling itch and treat your inner schoolboy to a snigger at the same time.
- Storyline: An investigation, nicely followed through, bounced along by an engaging narrator.
- Theming and Virtual Set: Very good, creates a realistic online world.
- Googling: Not needed.
- Puzzles: Classic mix of logic, codes and observation.
- Physicality: Boys may have pulled some muscles guffawing.
- Scare factor: No horror element, despite the ghost premise.
- Age suitability: Depends on your tolerance for innuendo when it comes to younger age groups. No actual swearing, but some implied. They suggest 8+, I’d go a bit older than that, but personal parent preference paramount.
- Timed?: No.
- Requires: PC/laptops, plus additional comms. Pen and paper helped, printer not needed.
What happens if you don’t pay your exorcist?
Your house gets repossessed.*
*Note: jokes in the game are far better than mine.