A game you can wear!
Ever since returning from your trip to Greece, you’ve been dreaming of The Maze – a roadside attraction claimed to be the secret location of the real labyrinth of King Minos. You were sure it was just a tourist trap, but what if it was the real thing?
Your Package of souvenirs, including this t-shirt, just cleared customs and arrived. As you gaze upon it, you drift to sleep and your mind returns to the Maze.
We’ve visited a few escape room companies in our time, and it’s no surprise that many offer a variety of merchandise, from pens to hoodies and everything in between, for escapers to purchase and remember their favourite games by. I’ve also said since the first emergence of play at home experiences (be they digital, print and play, or box games) developed directly by independent escape room companies that these would be perfect to display and sell in their physical premises to allow their customers to continue the fun at home. CU Adventures have taken the idea of a T-shirt from your favourite company and the idea of the play at home game to give us the souvenir we never knew we needed: a game you can wear! Of course, you probably shouldn’t wear it until after you’ve played, as it’s infinitely easier to play Solve our Shirts when the game isn’t actually on your body…
The Lost Temple and Floor 13 from Champaign-Urbana Adventures in Time and Space are two of the games we recommend the most when people are looking for a great play at home experience (seriously, don’t let the printing put you off, as there are work arounds), and we recommend them for several reasons:
- They have a great online interface that allows multiple people to log in remotely and explore independently.
- They have strong narratives and even stronger puzzles.
- They’re also incredibly well priced. Suffice it to say, if you haven’t tried out either of the digital/print and play options currently on offer from this company, we here at Review the Room really think you’re missing out.
That’s a long winded way to say we were incredibly excited when we learned about their latest venture, Solve our Shirts and their puzzle shirt Escape From the Maze of the Minotaur, and once it was posted we repeatedly checked the tracking on our package as it cleared customs and arrived on our doorstep – exactly as described in the narrative accompanying our shirt.
The idea of putting an escape game on a shirt is so ingenious, that I’m not sure why it’s never been thought of before. Perhaps it has, but CU Adventures and Solve Our Shirts are the first time I’ve come across anything of the sort. Now, at $35.00-$40.00 (or $50.00-$60.00 for the Delux Edition) Escape From the Maze of the Minotaur feels like it commands a premium price, but let’s look at what you’re getting for that. The shirt itself is lovely and soft, and feels high quality. The screen printing is beautifully done, the props that accompany the shirt are equally nice, and since gameplay doesn’t affect the wearability of the garment, you get a lovely souvenir out of it. It’s the sort of thing I will certainly be wearing on our escape binge days once we’re allowed out of the house again. Then there’s the game itself, and since we’d happily pay $10.00-$20.00 for a great play at home experience lasting an hour to an hour and a half, the price for t-shirt + game is actually pretty much spot on.
Accompanying the lovely shirt and the other physical components of the game, is the same online interface that we are familiar with from the CU Adventures print and play games. The interface offers a place to input solutions and drives the narrative forward, but the puzzles themselves are limited to the shirt physical souvenir pack, so Gord and I didn’t feel the need to have us both logged into the system as we have with CU Adventures’ other play at home experiences – particularly as only one of us would have been able to input solutions anyway.
Escape From the Maze of the Minotaur begins with finding the entrance to The Maze, and then from there follows the layout of a labyrinth by opening up parallel puzzle paths full of inventive secrets, and twists and turns, which finally converge together for the finale. The Delux Edition provides additional souvenirs from your trip to Greece and opens an extra puzzle path that can be solved at any point once you enter the maze itself, although it is possible to complete the game and escape the labyrinth before tackling the additional challenges of the Delux Edition.
Who would have thought that a T-shirt could have been filled with so many secrets? But that’s exactly what we found with Escape from the Maze of the Minotaur. Even parts of the shirt that we thought were just decorative had hidden depths, and the the Delux Edition provided us with over an hour and a half of clever and engaging content.
With the number of play at home escape games we’ve now conquered, the puzzle types were quite familiar with logic, codes, pattern recognition, and a hefty amount of careful investigation and keen observation playing a role. But just because the puzzle types were familiar, doesn’t mean that the puzzles were, and Escape From the Maze of the Minotaur was filled with some really satisfying challenges, and wonderful ah-ha moments as we made connections between the things we had discovered.
I wish I could convey just how much fun we had solving Escape From the Maze of the Minotaur with words, but for fear of giving anything away, I’ll limit myself to saying that I lost track of the number of times we said, “Ooo, that’s clever!” or “That was sneaky!” as we discovered the secrets of the game. Solve Our Shirts managed to give us a feeling similar to the same feeling of excitement and discovery that we rarely experience outside of a physical bricks and mortar escape game, and all from a T-shirt.
Although it’s a shirt, it is a puzzle shirt, so of course Escape From the Maze of the Minotaur has hints available should you need them. Firstly, the souvenir pack includes includes a handy guide for your exploration of the Maze of the Minotaur, presented like an informative leaflet not unlike those you might find at any traditional tourist attraction. Experienced escapers are unlikely to need this, and may want to avoid the leaflet entirely, but it’s a handy little guide for those that may be feeling a bit overwhelmed and unsure where to start, or go next, without giving an outright hint.
However, should you find yourself at a crossroads and unsure what to do next, actual clues can be easily accessed for each puzzle within the online interface, using a separate tab and ensuring that there is no chance of spoilers. These hints follow what has become the standard across play-at-home experiences, with granular clues to get players back on track once they’ve stalled.
Solve Our Shirts and Escape From the Maze of the Minotaur is something I never realised the escape room industry needed; after all, I adore puzzles and funky t-shirts, so what better way to celebrate that than with a game you can wear? But in all seriousness, this game was great, and comes with a souvenir for your troubles. Can we have more things like this, pretty please?
- Laptop/Desktop with an Internet Connection
|Value for Money|
Team: 2 players
Time Taken: 1hr 40 mins
*Disclaimer: we weren’t charged for this experience, but this has not influenced our review.