A heist game, with twists…
After a daring bank heist goes incredibly wrong, can you finish the job?
Five very different criminals were brought together to accomplish the impossible, break into the high security vault underneath Scelus Bank and steal whatever is inside. The operation did not go according to plan and the five have found themselves in police custody, on the run or even worse, dead!
Were they set up by the mysterious leader known as Xander and if so, to what end?
Escapologic are one of our favourite UK companies and we’ve played many of their IRL games; we have a few left to play which hopefully we will be playing soon (covid allowing), so it was nice to see that they decided to get up a couple of their games for online play. Heistakes and Contraption were the first games chosen from the Escapologic catalog for the online treatment, and Heistakes was to be the first of the two.
We were actually invited to play this game by our friends over at Brit of an Escape Habit and there was no way we could say no. Although the game was live and taking booking when we played, this was still more of a test game so I wouldn’t be surprised if things have been tweaked and refined even further from when we played (Escapologic are perfectionists).
Another confession, Liz and I have actually played the real-life version of Heistakes (and blitzed it), so not all of this game was new to us. Although as we played it back in May 2019 there were a number of things that we had forgotten and Escapologic had to tweak the game to make it work in the online world.
Like I said, Escapologic are perfectionists so they’ve really put in the time to make sure everything works as well online as it does in real life. In the original game, the story says you have a couple of hackers on the outside who are assisting you, in the online version, you are those hackers. A small attention to detail but made the story more plausible.
Heistakes takes place over Zoom where you control your avatar, and there is an additional inventory system using Telescape in your browser. We found this worked well, with another team member behind the scenes keeping the inventory updated.
The online version was not as good as the IRL version, there, I’ve said it. BUT, it was still good fun and if we hadn’t played the real version I think we would have been impressed. The IRL version has a great sense of adventure and some wonderful “wow” moments, and this is hard to reproduce online through a screen. Saying that, some of the magic did manage to make it through and there were still plenty of twists and turns.
I can’t really comment on if the puzzles were easy or hard as we were skewed by having played this game before. However, they were all logical and kept us entertained for a good amount of time so they were certainly decent puzzles.
You’ll need to bring your observation skills to this game (we didn’t, and this delayed us immensely), but you’ll also find logic puzzles and some other escape room favourites. Not one of the puzzles frustrated us and each one felt like it belonged in a heist style room.
Escapologic had to modify some of the puzzles (and gameplay) but we didn’t feel like we were missing anything and even though this was technically a test game, it felt ready to go and well refined.
Our avatar/heistman, Adam, did a great job as our man on the ground. He was patient with us when we were being a bit slow, and injected humour at the right points to help keep the fun levels high. If we were going to commit a heist, we would have no hesitations in using Adam as part of our team.
I don’t think we needed any clues for this game, but Adam did a very good job of panning the camera in the area we needed to look at more closely, or just hovering it over something for just long enough for us to spot what we needed. There was one thing that I imagine many teams will see right away but for whatever reason it took us ages to spot it, fortunately Adam was able to guide us to where we needed to be.
Thanks to the adapted gameplay and story, this game translated really well to the online world. Escapologic are perfectionists and that shows in everything they do. It’s great to have more UK based avatar games coming online, this would be a good choice if you’re looking for a fun avatar game.
GOOD TO KNOW
- Number of connections: Upto 5 connections
- Price: £60 – £80 (dependant on connection numbers)
- Devices: Computer recommended
- Platform: Zoom / Telescape (browser)
- Inventory: Yes
- 360º View: Yes
- Time Zone: Nottingham, UK (GMT)
|Value for Money|
Team: 4 players
Time Taken: 38 minutes