Local paranormal Youtuber, Estelle Jacobs, was searching for her missing
boyfriend, Alex. Shortly after visiting D’Vile’s Curio Shoppe, Estelle vanished
without a trace. It’s time to venture inside the Curio Shoppe through a live
video feed and find out the truth about Estelle’s disappearance…
Thanks to the ‘real-world’ opening up again, it’s actually been well over a month since we played an online avatar game – it didn’t help that we went on an escape room road trip and played nearly 60 games in two weeks so we’ve been doing nothing but writing reviews since. So when we got the chance to finally play D’Vile’s Curio Shoppe, we jumped at the chance and worked on logistics to get the team back together.
We’ve been very fortunate to have played all the earlier avatar games that Mystery Mansion have produced; The Detective’s Office, Drag Task Force, Seen, and Night Terrors, and so far we only have The Sleepy Man left to go, which we’re very much looking forward to. For each of these games we’ve assembled our team to include James and Charlie from Deadlocked, they’re ridiculously smart and make us look good, so of course we drafted them for D’Vile’s too – this was a 75 minute game so we knew it was likely to be tough.
The worst thing about playing/wanting to play online avatar games from around is the time difference. As Mystery Mansion is based in Regina (Canada), this meant we didn’t start our game until 10pm, and for a couple who love early nights, this was a big ask – fortunately it was totally worth it. So at 10pm, we logged into the Telescape link, booted up Zoom, and were greeted by our teammates and our host, Sam (played by the owner, Mitch).
D’Vile’s Curio Shoppe is technically played as a sequel to Night Terrors and if you were to play them in order you should get a bit more from the story. We were fortunate that all of our games were hosted by Mitch, so we had continuity through all of the characters and story. It’s a small thing but shows the attention to detail that these guys go for. Saying that, you don’t really have to play them in order, or even play both (you should), so don’t let that put you off.
We love the games at Mystery Mansion, all of them, but being completely honest, the more we have played from them, the better they have gotten. Mitch (the owner) has a great way of developing the story of his games so that they play out like an interactive movie, this was even more apparent with D’Vile’s.
From what I understand, D’Vile’s is actually one of the few games that Mystery Mansion has as an avatar game that is actually playable in person (if you’re in the area, obviously). We’ve seen Mystery Mansion excel by creating online-only experiences that push the limits of what is possible in an escape room, and I’m pleased to say that even in this online-version-of-a-real-game type of setup, they still find ways to bring the experience alive.
D’Vile’s uses the Telescape system and also Zoom, and works perfectly. Telescape was used for the inventory and 360 degree room picture, with items added and removed from the system automatically (well someone behind the scenes did it, but did it well). When we found items in the room, our avatar ‘scanned’ them in so we could get a closer look.
The inventory wasn’t only limited to pictures of items as there were also more interactive elements to it. We were able to solve some puzzles directly from the inventory which then triggered something in the game, and we could also listen to audio recordings that had played in the room – this was a great touch as it can be notoriously difficult to hear audio playing over a speaker system in a room, especially over Zoom.
Now it could be because we were rusty, or tired, but we seemed to struggle a bit with the puzzles in D’Vile’s and nearly took the full 75 minutes to complete the game (it was squeaky bum time for sure). Saying that, the puzzles were fair, enjoyable and a delight to solve. They were also quite varied; searching, observation, logic, audio, and decoding were all present.
Part of our problem was that early on we followed some instructions a bit too well and this hampered us as we didn’t find everything we needed to really get moving. So we were slow to get going, but once we did it seemed like a race against the clock to try and complete our mission.
There must be something in the water in Regina, as some of the best live avatar hosts we have had have come from companies in Regina. Mitch is a master of his art and plays his characters well, treading the fine line between scared host and experienced gamesmaster.
I think Mitch knew we were getting low on time as towards the end of the game he would subtly help speed things along, suggestions such as “I’ll just take these with me, just in case” saved precious minutes where he didn’t then have to go and collect items once we realised what was going on. It never felt like we were being pushed along and the story never suffered, even when we were low on time, Mitch, sorry, Sam, still played his role to perfection and helped us feel on edge.
D’Vile’s is yet another wonderful contribution to the online avatar escape room world by Mystery Mansion. It doesn’t have the fun of DTF or the humour of Seen, but it is a wonderful creepy addition to the online horror world. We really can’t wait for the next instalment in this story, The Sleepy Man.
- Number of connections: 3-6 players recommended
- Price: CAD$25.00 per person (+ tax)
- Devices: Desktop or Laptop suggested
- Platform: Zoom/Telescape
- Inventory: Yes
- 360º View: Yes
- Time Zone: Regina, Canada (CST)
|Value for Money|
Team: 4 players
Time Taken: 73 minutes (75 minute game)
*Disclaimer: we weren’t charged for this experience, but this has not influenced our review.