In a word? Perfection.
The ancient legend has it that anyone who stays longer than 1 hour in this haunted house simply disappears! Follow the footsteps of a world leading demonologist to uncover the secrets of this spooky house and exorcise the demons. Do NOT outstay your welcome.
We’d been hearing nothing but good things about the online offerings by Emergency Exit escape rooms, but because they are UK based we were holding off on the hope that one day we could make it up North to visit them and play their games in real life. However, that all changed when we got an invite from our friends over at Brit of an Escape Habit to join them in playing The Virtual Exorcist – there was no way we were going to turn that down!
A little before our allotted time, we joined the Zoom call and were met by our team – James and Charlie from Deadlocked, and Amy and Ian from Brit of an Escape Habit. Unusually we weren’t instantly joined by our host, instead we were met with a ten minute (kinda creepy) countdown. I quite liked this as it made the game feel slick and like we had an appointment to keep.
When the countdown reached its climax we were shown an introduction video that explained the backstory to our mission, and the reason we only had 60 minutes to solve it (anyone who stays longer than 60 minutes disappears).
I remember years ago watching ‘Most Haunted’ with Derek Acorah and being fascinated by the showmanship that he had, unable to tell if his emotions were genuine or purely acted. This game had that exact same feel. When we were greeted by our host John (real name Ronnie), he was sat in a car (virtually) and gave us the rundown of what was going on and where we were. Once that was out of the way, he connected us to our cameraman, Liam, and he joined us in the room.
What followed was truly a delight…
We’ve played a number of online avatar escape rooms now, and often we will see people saying that if a room doesn’t have an inventory system or a 360 camera then it is in some way lacking. I can categorically state that this room was better because it didn’t have those things. Our entire attention and focus was on the Zoom feed and what was happening right in front of us, an inventory would have been an unwelcome distraction.
Ronnie played his role to perfection, literally perfection. He came across like he really wasn’t sure what was going to happen next and like it was his first time in the room. He really channeled his inner Derek Acorah for this game, and if ‘Most Haunted’ are looking for a new host – this is your man right here!
This room was unusual in that Ronnie was not both host and cameraman, he was purely there to be host/avatar, while his trusty sidekick Liam was the cameraman. The rapport between these two characters was really quite something and the way they worked as a team to make the room come across as spooky, yet humorous was a delight to behold.
Although there was no inventory or 360 view, they did also rely on some pre-recorded videos to help drive the narrative. Quite surprisingly, the videos actually used some quite well known actors (at least in the UK anyway), and were well produced. Sometimes videos can feel like a diversion or a gimmick, but these were integral to the game.
When we play games we’re always acutely aware of our time counting down, but in the Exorcist, there was no timer, and the only mention of time was the 60 minutes that was mentioned in the intro. Although we knew we only had 60 minutes to complete this game, it was really an experience to watch John do his thing, and we were in no rush to finish.
Decoding, a little searching, observation and basically just a bit of everything was in this room. Solving a puzzle often resulted in either a code, a combination, or a key for a padlock but don’t let that put you off, there was a little magic thrown in for good measure.
You should pay attention to everything you see/hear in this game, don’t switch off for one second as you may miss something important.
Signposting was extremely clear so when we found something we had a very good idea of what we needed to do with it, and our host also did a great job of ‘not being dim’ which made things flow much better.
Often the stars of an escape room will be the puzzles, and although the puzzles in the Virtual Exorcist were very good, the stars were most definitely the hosts. ‘John’ and ‘Liam’ were the perfect duo and played off each other well, even though Liam was mute he still managed to inject humour into the game.
After the game we had a chat with John (Ronnie) and apparently sometimes there are more than just the two of them involved with the game and the additional ‘tech’ people like to have a bit of fun with the room. So while the acting by Ronnie was very good, apparently some of it was actually genuine and not scripted, which makes this room even more exciting.
We loved everything about this game, and strangely lost all concept of time. We knew we had a time limit but we were so captivated by the game that time became a foreign concept. Our host and cameraman were a wonderful duo and we can’t wait to see how the story is continued in The Beast.
GOOD TO KNOW
- Number of connections: Up to 6
- Price: £80
- Devices: Computer/Mobile/Tablet (Computer recommended)
- Platform: Zoom
- Inventory: No
- 360º View: No
- Time Zone: United Kingdom (GMT)
|Value for Money|
Team: 6 players
Time Taken: Not a clue….