A heist game, but with surprises
The Heist takes you inside Stephen J. Pillager’s art gallery as you attempt to retrieve a precious piece of stolen artwork. Our infiltration specialist isn’t the brightest, so you will need to lead them through this tricky heist.
We were invited along to play The Heist by our friend Matt over at Escape Mattster, he’s a US based escape room blogger and over the course of the pandemic we’ve been talking about all things escape rooms. So when he asked if we wanted to give this game a try it was of course, a no brainer.
Heist themed games are very common in the escape room world and generally aren’t our favourite, at least for ‘real-life’ rooms; online however we’ve become a bit more forgiving of them as the avatar can change the experience and add a more comical feel about the games that takes away from the monotony of the usual heist experience.
At our allotted time, we joined the Telescape link, logged in to our Zoom meeting and met our teammate Matt and our Avatar, Anna, then it was time to don our balaclavas and get stealing!
The Heist is a real-life room that Trapped Puzzle Rooms run in their St. Paul location so if you have played that one, or intend to, then don’t play this online version. It’s unusual that any real-life room will work perfectly online without some tweaks to the gameplay, and this was no exception. Trapped obviously did a good amount of testing prior to launching this game as the areas where there potentially could have been issues had workarounds in place that worked seamlessly.
Coupling the Zoom feed with a Telescape inventory is pretty standard in the industry now, and it worked very well here. Our host was in charge of adding and removing items to the inventory when we found, and then subsequently no longer needed them. We like it when the host takes care of the inventory as it means we’re left to just focus on the puzzles and in a way it helps keep the immersion as intact as possible.
The Heist had a good variety of puzzles, so much so that everyone on the team was able to contribute. The first puzzle should have been much simpler than it was, but fortunately Matt was on hand and saw it right away – I think Liz and I would still be working on that puzzle even now!
The puzzles ranged from wordplay and observation to logic. I’d imagine that in real-life this would be a really fun room to play, but even online we found the puzzles to be challenging enough and rewarding to solve. You’ll find a few padlocks, but there are also some other ways they’ll keep you on your toes, and some are really rather clever.
One nice touch was the use of Telescape for solving the puzzles. Telescape brought some ‘hands-on’ interactivity that meant we could manipulate items online to help us instruct our avatar on what to do in the room.
It’s never good when puzzles require outside knowledge to complete them, and one of the puzzles in The Heist did require some. We did ask about it as we were unsure if we missed something in the game, but we hadn’t. I would imagine a lot of people would know how to solve this, but if not, the avatar is on hand to provide some guidance.
Anna did a lovely job as our gamesmaster, she was friendly, enthusiastic and went along with some of our odd requests. She did a good job to add to the suspense that you would expect to find in a heist room, and was on the ball with the adding/removing of the items in the inventory.
We managed to get through most of the game without any assistance, but there was one puzzle where we just couldn’t see what was right in front of us. At this point, Anna helped guide us back in the right direction without actively giving us the answer.
Some really unique puzzles and a good use of Telescape helped make this one of the few ‘Heist’ rooms that we have enjoyed. The real life room is possibly better, but the online version is sure to entertain.
GOOD TO KNOW
- Number of connections: Minimum 3 people, Maximum 8 people
- Price: $26 per person
- Devices: Laptop/Desktop recommended
- Platform: Zoom / Telescape
- Inventory: Yes
- 360º View: Yes
- Time Zone: St Paul’s, Minnesota (Central Time)
|Value for Money|
Team: 3 players
Time Taken: 45:00 minutes
*Disclaimer: we weren’t charged for this experience, but this has not influenced our review.