You don’t want to miss this flight!
IT’S THE FINAL CALL FOR ONLINE CHECKIN
Zombies have taken over the city. Resources are running out and you’re facing the challenge of your life.
Find your boarding code for the last flight to safety in the military-appropriated… bridal boutique?
Do you have what it takes to earn what you need to survive?
I love a good Zombie movie, with all the horror, the gore, and of course the social commentary that goes with it. When we saw that Escape One Algarve had launched Final Call as a play at home experience, it was a given that we would be playing, not just because of the theme but also because of how enjoyable their first remote experience, The Laboratory, was. We gathered the team, (this time joined by Amy of Brit of an Escape Habit), and after successfully discovering the secrets of Atlantis (which was magical by the way), we reconvened at the appointed hour to navigate the zombie apocalypse.
Fortunately for us, our brave friend, David, was willing to risk his life to find the boarding passes we all needed in order to catch the last flight out of the zombie wasteland, oddly located within a bridal boutique, while we safely assisted him with the series of challenges from home. With the comms link in place, David stepped through to confront the zombies…
Knowing the theme of Final Call, I expected a horror element and a fair amount of darkness. What I wasn’t expecting was that the overall feeling was more Shaun of the Dead and less Dawn of the Dead. That is to say, it was a bit more horror-lite, with more elements of humour than terror – though the game was not without its jump scares. And while it was dark, David was prepared with sufficient light that allowed the camera to still pick up everything, while still enhancing the atmosphere.
Prior to booking, and again with the confirmation email, we had been warned that Final Call would be just a little bit different from the norm. At this point, if you’ve played a number of Live-Avatar style escape games, and even some point and click digital games, you may have come across Telescape Live, which many companies are using as a platform for their games. Both of Escape One’s other games, The Laboratory and Atlantis use the system, Telescape, for their inventory and 360 views of the games (although the Lab was inventory free when we played, it has now been added) and Zoom for the video POV of your avatar. Final Call is slightly different from its siblings in that Telescape is used not just for inventory purposes, but also for the video feed. Surprisingly, despite the fact that we were using Zoom for the audio side of communication, and Telescape for the visuals, there was no lag between audio and video; the entire production was seamless from start to finish.
The set of Final Call was relatively basic, but thanks to the choice to utilise Telescape as they have, Escape One Algarve have been able to make Final Call something really rather special, creating a game full of surprises, twists and turns, which was far more interactive than many of the Live-Avatar games we’ve played. While the game played out in a relatively linear fashion, thanks to the inventory and 360 views, there were opportunities for the team to investigate different things, often finding something early on that only came into play later.
Final Call was full of pleasing and logical puzzles, that incorporated a variety of styles from observation, minor searching, communication, and more. Really, the game had everything you need to make a satisfying escape game, including traditional padlocks, and some more surprising tech, all supported by tasks that made sense and resulted in a couple of really nice “Ah-ha!” moments for us.
I do have to say, one of my favourite things in any escape game is a communication challenge (they may not be Gord’s favourite thing though, as I often say “Put the thingy in the whatsit!” and then confuse my left and right… but I like to think it just adds an extra layer of challenge). I’ve found these sorts of tasks to be lacking within remote play escape games; I assume because it’s simpler to avoid them. However, Final Call managed to leave this challenge in the game without any modification, thanks to a very simple workaround, and I absolutely loved it.
David returned as our avatar and host following our journey to Atlantis, and was as superb as ever. Final Call was the third game that Gord and I have played with David as our host, which does help somewhat to lessen the adjustment period that comes with any Live-Avatar escape, but David is so skilled and patient as a host that even our first game at Escape One Algarve was seamless (and that was only the second time we had ever played an escape room remotely in this fashion). David’s demeanour and character really brought Final Call to life.
One of the wonderful things about the Live-Avatar style escapes is that I feel as though I have yet to actually need to overtly request a clue (apart from one game where we just didn’t search as thoroughly as we should have). This is possibly because it’s far more immersive and natural for the avatar to subtly clue the team by lingering a bit longer on something of interest, angling the camera just right, or even just subtly suggesting that perhaps X would be of use. I have no doubt that if we had been struggling, David would have subtly guided us back in the right direction, but the game was logical, flowed well, and we never needed more than the invisible “help” that I’m sure was there, but never even noticed.
I never would have thought that zombies and bridal boutiques go hand in hand, but apparently they do. If you can’t get to Portugal to play Final Call in person, then I strongly suggest you consider playing this remote option – you won’t be disappointed! Final Call was full of humour, pleasing puzzles, and of course, Zombies. But it was the finale that really made it something special, and has firmly cemented the game in my mind as one of the most unique experiences we’ve had while escaping online.
GOOD TO KNOW
- Number of connections: Up to six
- Price: 60 €
- Devices: Desktop or Laptop suggested. Also compatible with handheld devices
- Platform: Zoom/Telescape
- Inventory: Yes
- 360º View: Yes
- Time Zone: Portugal (DST)
|Value for Money|
Team: 4 players
Time Taken: ???? Not a clue, time flew!