I have been wanting to try an “escape room” for forever! So, when The Escape Game San Francisco contacted me about trying out one of their games, I could barely contain my excitement. Plus, I loved the fact that the venue offered so many family-friendly yet cleverly-designed themed rooms. Then the pandemic hit, and my hope of finally playing an escape room was squashed yet again. That was until The Escape Game (TEG) Remote Adventures were unveiled.
The Escape Game Remote Adventures — How It Works
TEG Remote Adventures are virtual escape rooms that you play right from your own home, or wherever you might be at the time. (One of our friends was actually stuck in traffic so he played on his mobile phone in the car while his wife drove.) This means that family and friends from across the country can log in and “escape” together! There are currently four Remote Adventures available for booking: Gold Rush, Ruins, The Heist, and Prison Break (recently added).
So, how does it work? An email with your game’s Zoom meeting ID and passcode will be sent to the main contact at least 24 hours before your game. 4-8 players log into their game via Zoom, are greeted by a host, given basic instructions, and watch a short video to brief them on their mission. Players then work together to direct an on-site field agent around the actual game room to solve puzzles and escape within 60 minutes.
Clues are collected and stored in an online inventory for easy reference. Every time you find a relevant clue, a ringing sound will chime and you can click on the clues to enlarge them. This makes it much easier to read written clues, to compare them with things found in the room, and to decipher codes.
These clues will disappear from your inventory as related puzzles are solved. You actually need both a Zoom window (to see your friends and the room) and a browser window (for the clues) to be open at the same time. That being the case, I 100% recommend that you either use a computer, laptop, or a mobile device that can handle split screen or use a second monitor.
The Escape Game Remote Adventures — The Heist Review
Since we had a group of varying ages and skill levels, we decided to try The Heist. The basic story is that a painting was stolen by the museum’s curator and you have to steal it back before he returns. The game consists of three separate “rooms.” Each area contains an interwoven set of clues and puzzles that you need to figure out before moving onto the next section.
I was kind of worried that the whole experience would be, to be honest, kind of boring. I wasn’t sure how enjoyable it would be if we weren’t physically in the game space. Also, the room was set in a museum, which doesn’t sound as exciting as ancient ruins, a western cabin, or a mid-50’s prison. But, I had nothing to worry about. We all had a blast!
The room design, decor, and props were amazing! Everything looked fantastic and, though we couldn’t touch them ourselves, items seemed sturdy and well-maintained. The various puzzles included padlocks, word clues, hidden doors, invisible secret messages, mirrors, ancient tablets, lasers, and more.
These were interesting enough to keep us all entertained for the full hour. It got even more suspenseful when time started to run out and the alarm went off as well. We found the game to be challenging but not mind-blowingly difficult, making The Heist a great “first” escape room.
Each player contributed to the game. Some players were better at numbers, others at codes, and yet others at spotting tiny hidden details. Our group cooperated nicely and no one felt left out or overly frustrated. Even our game host commented on our effortless teamwork!
And, if you couldn’t tell by the photos, our group was laughing and joking the entire time. I wish I could have shared some of the crazy dialogue that flew back and forth that evening! As soon as the game was over, everyone was asking me when we were going to play another one. This virtual escape room was just too much fun!
One of our friends loves escape rooms and tried 5-6 of them previous to this. She was so impressed with this game that she said it was the best one she had played so far! Another friend told her boss about our experience and he wants to arrange The Escape Game Remote Adventures for their next team building event. She happens to work for a HUGE company too! (See second-to-last paragraph for information about booking games for larger groups.)
In case you were wondering, I was going to share some video footage with you from our game. But, uhm, I kind of forgot to select my audio input while recording… That means the video turned out fine but there’s no sound. Total blogger fail. 🤦🏻♀️ I guess this cheesy after-photo we took on Zoom will have to do for now.
TEG Remote Adventures Virtual Escape Room Tips
After playing our first virtual escape room with The Escape Game Remote Adventures, there are a few pointers I have for you to enhance your experience.
- Make sure everyone is logged in right on time or soon before the starting time.
- Arrange your screen so you have Zoom on one side of the screen and a browser window on the other.
- Keep a pen and notepad handy. Trust me, you’ll appreciate this tip when your brain starts to overload after finding the second or third clue…
- Choose a group of people who can communicate well with one another. Zoom can really only handle one audio at a time. So, the game isn’t as fun if everyone is trying to shout over each other or only 1-2 people solve all the clues.
- Be nice to your on-site field agent. He or she will follow all of your directions but, when they sense that you’re kind of stuck or are WAY off, they will very subtly nudge your group to reach the right conclusions. We finished without using any of our three clues but, deep down, we knew our field agent played a big part in that. 🙂
- Don’t be too nervous. The setup of the game allows for a lot of flexibility and you have as little or as much help as you need.
All game listings are shown in Central time so keep this in mind when deciding on a game and time. TEG Remote Adventure games are $30 + tax per player with up to 8 players per game. If your group consists of nine or more (9+) players, you can still make a reservation at The Escape Game. According to the official website, it says, “We can accommodate groups of up to 500+. Large groups will be split into teams of 8.”
Now, some The Escape Game locations are open to the public and these have new sanitation and safety policies in place. However, The Escape Game San Francisco is still closed and is only offering Remote Adventures (as of today’s posting). I have to say, with how things are right now due to the pandemic, I love the Remote Adventures. You get the place to yourself and you don’t have to worry about germies from several people touching and grabbing the same things over and over again. I can’t wait to try the other virtual escape rooms with The Escape Game!
I was offered a complimentary game for review purposes. All opinions are 100% my own.