Like an interactive Anime film!
You are a student of the Tokyo Prefectural Jujutsu High School.
Your skill as a Jujutsu sorcerer is the ability to use cursed techniques over long distances.
But in exchange for that power, you are unable to leave your home – a student who has been registered in name only.
One day, news of ordinary people going missing one after another at an abandoned school reaches your high school.
Investigations confirm that it is the work of a cursed spirit.
You get a letter from your teacher, Satoru Gojo, who also happens to be the strongest jujutsu sorcerer in the world.
“It has been decided that the first-year students will be in charge of the abandoned school’s disappearance incidents. Your help is absolutely vital to this case. We’re counting on you!”
You use the contact information you received from Gojo to get in touch with the other 3 first-year students at the location.
Cooperate with them to uncover the truth behind the case, and exorcise the cursed spirit at the abandoned school!
Real Escape Game (by SCRAP) have been on our radar for a little while, particularly after their Live Avatar game: Escape from The Science Lab of Shifting Rules took the Number Two spot on the TERPECA’s list of Top Online Games in 2021. Sadly, The Science Lab of Shifting Rules is no longer available to be played online, (although our fingers are crossed for a return) and we hadn’t managed to get a chance to check it out before then, leaving us just a little disappointed. But when Escape from the Cursed Spirit of the Abandoned School appeared on the scene, we were quick to pick up a copy and see if this game lived up to the reputation of SCRAP.
The mysterious envelope containing everything we needed to play dropped through our letterbox one afternoon. Although we were quick to pick up a copy of the game, it was estimated to take at least one hour, and more probably up to two or more, to complete, so it was a little while before we were able to find the time to devote to Escape from the Cursed Spirit of the Abandoned School, and trust me when I say, it is a game that deserves to have the proper time devoted to it, and your undivided attention.
Finally, a rainy Sunday afternoon arrived, where Gord and I found ourselves with plenty of time to give our undivided attention to the Cursed Spirit, and fully immerse ourselves in the world of Jujutsu Kaijen and the Jujutsu Sorcerers.
Now, this game is officially licensed and part of the universe of the Manga/Anime series Jujutsu Kaijen. Don’t worry if you’re unfamiliar with the world of Jujutsu Kaijen, you can absolutely still play, understand, and enjoy the game. We certainly had no idea that this game was part of a wider universe when we sat down to play, but that didn’t stop us from becoming totally absorbed in the story. And what a story it was. Escape from the Cursed Spirit of the Abandoned School is incredibly heavy on the narrative. In fact, it’s almost like being in an interactive movie, with breaks in the film to solve a puzzle and move the story forward.
Due to the nature of the game, Escape from the Cursed Spirit of the Abandoned School is actually a little hard to quantify. It’s an online game, but it comes with an envelope full of information, and you’ll definitely need a pair of scissors. The game is played without a live host, and is entirely self-contained to the one website and your envelope of materials, so there’s no need to go off scouring the internet, or scheduling a specific time to play, unless you’re coordinating with others. (Note, if you are planning to play with others, and you aren’t all located in the same place, everyone will want their own game pack, otherwise you aren’t going to be able to collaborate effectively in helping the Jujutsu Sorcerers defeat the evil and escape the school.)
The game began with an introduction to the characters that we would be assisting along the way, and checking that the online interface we would be using to “communicate” worked as expected. The high quality video clips full of beautiful artwork were immediately engaging, and as the story progressed, the game managed to convey a real sense of urgency, as though the lives of the characters did actually depend on our sorcery! Unsurprisingly for a game this heavily steeped in narrative, the progression was entirely linear, as we worked our way through the school, all the way to the very dramatic ending.
The puzzles in Escape from the Cursed Spirit of the Abandoned School were intertwined with the narrative, and you’ll want to be on your game with regards to spatial relations and lateral thinking in particular. The connection of the puzzles to the narrative was what really made this game special and immersive.
I’ll be honest, eventually, the puzzles did start to feel a bit repetitive, as we were often using the same mechanic to find a solution. But even with some repetition, just when we were confident that we knew what should happen next, a spanner would be thrown into the works, so to speak, tweaking things slightly and alleviating some of the repetition.
Like most Play at Home games, Escape from the Cursed Spirit of the Abandoned School provides a dedicated section of the website for hints in the event that things just aren’t making any sense for you. The hints are laid out in an easy to follow manner by mission, with no chance of spoilers, and gradually go into more depth (all the way up to the solution) as you click through them, so you only get as much help as you need.
We found ourselves in need of assistance at one or two points throughout the game, usually due to our astounding ability to overlook things right in front of our noses, and found that they were pitched exactly right, nudging without explicitly telling you what you needed, at least until you exhausted all of the subtle help available.
Escape from the Cursed Spirit was about as close to being in an interactive movie as I could imagine, with high quality videos featuring artwork and characters from the Jujutsu Kaijen manga/anime series and an engaging storyline, not to mention puzzles that make the player part of the action. I had faith this game was going to be great, based on the reputation of Real Escape Game by SCRAP, and I’m happy to say that faith was not misplaced.
- Game Pack
- Pen and paper for note taking
|Value for Money|
Team: 2 players
Time Taken: 2hr 15min