Update: 15th Dec 2020
It seems right to update this review to inform readers that the founder and CEO of the Exit The Room franchise has threatened us with legal action if we do not remove this review.
This review is our opinion of our experience and breaks no laws. As bloggers who take pride in our reviews, we are not willing to compromise our integrity by removing honest reviews. It sets a nasty precedent and no owner should threaten bloggers with legal action.
Out of respect for the team who hosted our game, we have not adjusted our review. But you should be aware of the actions of this company and take this into consideration when reading other reviews.
We will not be playing or reviewing any more games by Exit The Room.
This town is not known to be a tourist destination and its motel is shady at best. Among the locals it is known for awful secrets that no one wants to speak about. Lots of people have entered but never left this motel and the local police officers have given up. You will need to step into Room 9, where everything seems to happen, and find all its dark secrets in order to solve the case.
As always with our reviews, this was written based on our opinions of our experience, your experience may differ.
Exit the Room opened their first venue in 2012, in nonother than Budapest, Hungary. Since then, they have expanded, with numerous locations, in multiple countries. While the company was among the first to open their doors to escapers, they are relatively new to the recent craze of remote escaping. But, with the number of venues that fall under the Exit the Room umbrella, there is no shortage of games to modify for escapers from across the globe to experience from the comfort of their homes, with eight already on offer.
After inviting Amy and Ian, from Brit of an Escape Habit, to join us as we escaped from Prison and found the cure for the Zombie Apocalypse the previous week, they kindly returned the favour, inviting us to join them for a trip back to school in Voodoo School. But due to some confusion in the booking process, we instead found ourselves in a rather sketchy motel room, on the hunt for a killer in Murder.
Exit the Room’s remote play escape rooms are hosted from a number of their numerous locations, so it’s possible that there may be several iterations of Murder out there, available to be played online – in fact, Amy and Ian had actually played the game in person a few years ago at the company’s Manchester franchise. The copy of Murder that we played online, however, was based out of Klagenfurt.
As the video came online, we were introduced to our host for the evening, Lino (I hope I’ve spelt that right). Lino gave us a simple briefing, and then with a quick tour of our surroundings, it was time to hunt down a killer.
The majority (though certainly not all) of remote play games we’ve come across use Zoom for the video feed and utilise a separate software for an inventory, if they offer one. Exit the Room has an alternative, however. You can book your game with the Basic package, which is the standard Zoom/separate inventory we’ve become accustomed to. Or you could opt for the Premium package, which combines the video feed and inventory screen into one through Twilio. The premium package also comes with a custom game skin if you’re into that sort of thing. We were treated to the premium package for this game, but in all honesty, I didn’t feel as though it enhanced the experience, although having the inventory just below the video feed was convenient, as we normally play using dual screens.
Perhaps the only thing lacking from the experience was a 360 view of the game. Without static views of the room, we were limited in how much we could actually investigate independently, and we found that it was easier to just allow one member of the team to take point on directing Lino in his search, giving the game an even more linear flow than it might have had in person. There were a few more open moments though, and at one point we were able to work independently from one another.
The set was suitably believable as a sketchy motel and became darker in theme as we progressed through the game, trailing the killer. Unfortunately, our briefing didn’t really provide any background as to why Lino found himself in this motel and in need of our remote assistance, so some of the immersion that I’ve come to appreciate from the remote games was lost.
The game flowed well, and while it wasn’t particularly driven by the narrative, I could see a clear progression of the story in the set. The only hiccups in the flow came from items that were in the room that related to puzzles that players would come across if they were playing in person, but for whatever reason had been removed from the remote game. This was easily rectified by a nudge from Lino to let us know that it wasn’t for us, but it did disrupt things a bit.
As we had originally been expecting to play Voodoo School, I had unknowingly broken my own rule and read Amy’s review of her experience in Manchester, so I will admit when it suddenly became apparent that we were to play Murder instead, I was expecting logic leaps and ambiguity aplenty. In reality, the puzzles were loosely thematic and relatively straightforward and logical, with most puzzles resulting in codes for padlocks, although there were a few instances of a bit more tech to keep things surprising. Nothing strayed too far out of the standard escape room fare, with observation, logic, some maths, and just a bit of searching. And while some of the puzzles had a rather long and drawn out process, a few resulted in some satisfying ‘Ah-ha!’ moments that made me feel rather clever upon their completion.
Lino was a delight from the start; friendly, funny, and most impressively, cool under pressure when the video feed failed briefly (especially as he hadn’t hosted many games as an avatar.) He had us back up and running in about five minutes, and managed to not let it fluster him. While I would have liked to have seen a stronger character to make the game feel more immersive, that’s just me being picky, as he was excellent at listening to the team for the next direction, and managed to keep us on track.
Had we needed any clues, I have no doubt that Lino would have chimed in with a helpful nudge to get us back where we needed to be. As it was, the puzzles didn’t really provide any stumbling blocks, but perhaps that is because two of the team had vague recollections of the game from a different venue.
Exit the Room seems to employ only friendly and enthusiastic hosts, and our GM for Murder was no exception. I wish I could be as enthusiastic about the game, but with a price tag over £100, Murder fell short of expectations, even with a lovely host.
GOOD TO KNOW
- Number of connections: 2-6 Players
- Price: £109 Basic/£119 Premium
- Devices: Computer recommended
- Platform: Zoom/Twilio
- Inventory: Yes
- 360º View: No
- Time Zone: Varies – Book according to your Time Zone
|Value for Money|
Team: 4 players
Time Taken: 50 minutes
*Disclaimer: we weren’t charged for this experience, but this has not influenced our review. As always with our reviews, this was written based on our opinions of our experience, your experience may differ.