Present-ish, in March 2021, were: The Ant, Aunty Ant, Lioness
One of the interesting things about lockdown has been watching the evolution of online Escape Games. Trying to recreate the experience of a real life room on a screen isn’t easy, but we’re beginning to see more offerings that are getting closer to nailing immersion and interactivity as well as the puzzling element. In some cases it can also be an opportunity to push the bounds a bit, to include elements that wouldn’t necessarily be practical, economically efficient or even within the laws of physics in the normal, real room.
Clue HQ seem to have taken this concept to heart with their fusion games, mixing the core (literally) of one room with the set from an entirely different location, and throwing in extra CGI sections. Their second offering tackles an Arthurian theme, using the bones of The Dungeon of Doom in Warrington as the medieval destination for your time-travelling team. The short opening section is in the same set as The Warp Core Part I, but with different puzzles, and the adorable addition of an on-board pet.
Puzzles for the game cover appropriately magical medieval topics mixed in with a little bit of futuristic technology – although ultimately everything basically coalesces into one large meta-puzzle. The game actually feels a little light on content and isn’t a stretch for the experienced escaper. It definitely seems easier than Part I, and not just because we had already become familiar with the interface. However, it takes a fun step up with an interactive video section – a challenge that would be near impossible to pull off in a live game environment but works very entertainingly for their virtual game. Having said that, needing to replay some of the video content multiple times could get old quite quickly, so learning how some team members can skip through without watching repeatedly is useful (right click and follow the control options, apparently). You don’t want to do that too often though, as the production levels, with video clips, light and sound effects really boost the value of this game into a suspenseful and immersive (and often hysterical) session.
Overall, this is a great game for casual players or newbies, while still being a fun diversion for anyone who loves a bit of sword and sorcery.
- Storyline: Loving the continuing story element from Part I, otherwise fairly simple heist mission.
- Theming and Virtual Set: The real room settings help greatly with immersion. Have upped their game with the video sections.
- Googling: Not needed.
- Puzzles: On theme throughout, plenty of tests of observation and memory rather than logic.
- Physicality: None (although being able to type quickly helps…)
- Scare factor: We did a little bit of screaming in a genuinely quite tense finale, but still family-friendly.
- Age suitability: Puzzles are easier than Part I.
- Timed?: Yes. Second section has an hour countdown. First section doesn’t have a clock, but then the game gives you a completed total time at the end.
- Requires: PC/laptops/tablet, plus additional comms. Decent specs on the tech will help avoid lag from the videos. Pen and paper helped, printer not needed.