100% more fun than being in the actual office
As a long day draws to a close, you look forward to going home. Just submit your work report and you’ll be done. Maybe one last cup of coffee is on order.
Our first experience with Edaqa’s Room was Prototype back in September 2020, and quite frankly, the prototype worked. The game was fun, refreshing, and just exactly what we needed to lift our spirits mid-pandemic with loads of clever puzzles. Edaqa’s second game, Carnival, was equally entertaining, and if anything, improved upon Prototype just a few months later. While we’re getting out and about more than we did in 2020 (for obvious reasons), we still love a good play-at-home game, so we were thrilled to find out that Edaqa is continuing to make games that can be enjoyed from anywhere, at any time.
Although, this time, the latest offering from Edaqa seems to be very much a case of art imitating life. At least, when I worked in an office, I know I would find myself looking for just about any way I could escape said office on pretty much a daily basis. The only real difference is that the cartoonish drawings of The Office give it a whimsical feel similar to its predecessors, and the addition of humour it makes it more lighthearted and fun, than a day in the actual office. (I very much appreciated the homage to Clippy.) Plus there’s the added bonus of no boss breathing down your neck.
To play The Office, all you’ll need is your computer and your brain. The game uses an online point-and-click style interface, with no need to download anything and no external components to fiddle with. It’s also designed for multiple players, so if you choose to tackle The Office with friends (or perhaps even colleagues), if one of you solves something, you all solve something. There’s even a little pop-up to let everyone know what’s been solved. If you do play as a team and are not in the same room, you’ll obviously also want to have the video/audio calling platform of your choice open as well.
We played as a pair on separate devices but sat next to each other. The built-in inventory system of the platform gives each player access to anything that the other might uncover, and once it’s used, you’ll know. The Office manages to emulate its real-life escape room cousins with an open structure that allows players a sense of exploration, and even adventure, although the setting is a typical corporate-looking office. The browser-based interface allows players to look at anything they like without the other player being pulled through to the same screen, and this, combined with a relatively non-linear structure that is so rare in online games, affords every member of the team the opportunity to go at their own pace. This does, however, also mean that it’s quite easy for one member of the team to strike out on their own, so if you prefer a more collaborative game, you’ll need to work on your communication skills.
The puzzles in the Edaqa’s Room games are always an unexpected delight. Although, with three games filled with wonderful puzzles, perhaps this should now be expected! Where the gameplay and the flow of the game mimic that of a physical escape room, so too, do the puzzles in the Office. There’s an element of searching, and then piecing together the elements that you found, and the puzzles themselves feel very much like the sorts of tasks one comes across in a physical game.
The puzzles were varied in style and complexity. Some were surprisingly simple quick wins, but others required quite a bit more brainpower. Logic, pattern recognition, maths, wordplay… they all made an appearance, and more. Although the “types” of puzzles felt familiar, the puzzles themselves were unique and refreshing.
The old mantra, “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it,” certainly applies here, as the clue system operates in pretty much the same fashion here as it does in Edaqa’s earlier games. Help is readily available at any time with the click of a button on the magnifying glass on the left-hand side of the screen. The hints given for each puzzle are gradual and tailored to help you determine just how much help you need. For instance, there are hints that simply guide you towards what to look at next, another to tell you what puzzles you might have needed to solve first, or if you already know all that, then there’s also a hint on the puzzle mechanics. Each hint is just enough to get you back on track, without being too explicit, allowing players to puzzle it out. And if you really can’t, well, a solution will be provided eventually.
If you’re looking for a digital escape room that actually plays like an escape room, then this one might be for you. The Office is possibly one of the most accurate digital representations of a typical physical escape room that I have seen. (Other than the digitised versions of physical games, of course.) There’s not a lot of narrative here, but the gameplay and the puzzle styles are spot on.
- Internet connection
- Pen and paper for taking notes
|Value for Money|
Team: 2 players
Time Taken: 90 minutes
*Disclaimer: we weren’t charged for this experience, but this has not influenced our review.