OFFICIAL INFO FROM COMPANY:
🗺️ Based In Nottingham, England, UK
⏲️ 60 Minutes • 💪 N/A • 🔢 Up To 5 Connections (Private Booking)
(Note: The following premise summary, found on the official website, may not correlate to the modified narrative adapted for online game play.) 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?
THIS IS CLASSIFIED AS...
YOU'LL ENJOY THIS, IF YOU...
▪ ...Prefer an escape quest with a more traditional objective that's easy to comprehend: get in, steal diamond, get out.
▪ ...Can calmly process a large amount of info thrown at you, and quickly assign appropriate clues to relevant puzzles.
▪ ...Enjoy good-quality, instructions-based puzzles, where adequate reading comprehension leads to a sure-fire victory.
▪ ...Want to support a game with a great word play title: Heist + Stakes = Heistakes (High Stakes). C'mon, that's genius!
GREAT! ANY ADVICE OR TIPS?
🧐 Based on my team of 2, the difficulty subjectively felt like a 4/10.
🔢 With the reasoning above, I would recommend a team of 2 to 3, preferably of those with great organization skills.
MY BODY IS READY! NOW WHAT?
🛒 TO BOOK, CLICK HERE!
▪ For remote experience, watch out for potential time & date difference due to varying time zones.
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Heistakes from Escapologic Nottingham
▪ Escapologic is a United Kingdom escape room company with two branches located in Nottingham and Leicester. With a grand total of 12 on-site offerings, there are options galore for visitors, though most themes lean on the side of thrills.
▪ Two of Nottingham's rooms, Contraption and Heistakes, have recently received the online virtual conversion treatments, and are now available for remote play on a global scale. (A huge huzzah for an American resident like me!) I've played both compelling escape games back-to-back on the same day, and this review focuses on Heistakes: a mission-focused, heart-pounding robbery heist quest, setting in an actual underground bank vault.
KEEPING IT REAL
▪ A big selling point for Heistakes is undoubtedly the authenticity of it all. I've played various types of heist escape games before, but most take place in a set built specifically for a theme, but not Heistakes. The vault in Heistakes IS an actual vault, complete with functional metal gates and safe deposit boxes. Forget immersion by imitation--let's go for realism!
▪ Without outright spoiling the game's awesome reveals, let's just say the reality-based immersion continues all the way to the latter parts of the experience, where literal destruction (snip snip!) is not only not against the rules, but actually required for mission success. The authentic, permanent, (and pseudo-illegal) damage, albeit performed remotely over the web, brings thrills and excitements like no other.
▪ Paradoxically, because the vault utilized was once the real deal, it's designed to be practical and not flashy. So when compared to Contraption that's specifically designed to visually impress, the production of Heistakes may look a bit plain... initially. Your opinion may change once you see what's quietly waiting in the bank's garage. Volatile, colorful, and... Guess what? Indeed, flashy secrets await!
Heistakes takes place in a real-life bank vault--talk about authenticity!
HEIST HEIST BABY
▪ Heistakes is a straightforward, no-BS bank robbery heist escape adventure. The objective is simple, it works just fine, and I have no problem with its premise. Perhaps what's more perplexing is its official trailer. While the video depicts a sequence similar to the opening scene to "The Dark Knight", wickedness and betrayal included, none of which seems to apply to the modified narrative for the online version. So do keep that in mind.
▪ Otherwise, Escapologic has done a phenomenal job in creating an authentic vibe of a group effort diamond theft, as opposed to just an escape game filled with heist-related puzzles. Most challenges are procedural in nature, as how a real heist would likely take shape: from turning on emergency power supply, disabling security system, actually swiping the gemstone, and finally to a scurry away in quick getaway. It's an action movie in game format--and a very fun one at that.
▪ Because the "puzzles"--or more accurately, steps to steal--have definite goals, there are usually specific sets of instructions to follow, and that information will be available to you point-blank. Think of it as your "Robbery 101" reference manual; at times, it's even a step-to-step guide on how to achieve the puzzle solutions. Your job is to figure out where, when, and how to apply the knowledge. It isn't super challenging, but still quite satisfying.
▪ This is one remote game that I feel my participation has considerably perceivable impact. There is a constant stream of back-and-forth communication and feedback between the avatar and the team. In particular, when the avatar performs a certain task after our command, he would count down "3, 2, and 1!", then changes would effect both on Zoom (on venue) and on the Telescape inventory (at home), synced in real time. This simple yet effective trick keeps players actively engaged and deepens the sentiment of "Hey, I am really the one making the magic happen!" despite physical distance.
Don't forget your handy heist kit if you plan on committing a lil bit of grand larceny
▪ As briefly mentioned, the puzzles aren't necessarily hard. Solutions require instructions reading, simple information extraction, and schematic interpretation. It's no more difficult than studying a high school level scientific article. On the slightly more intricate side, some combo decoding may benefit from prior gaming experience. On a whole, even novice should be capable of holding their own, qualifying Heistakes as a decent all-users-friendly option.
▪ Where as Contraption (and most games) would relay key intel as you collect them into your supplementary inventory, almost everything you'll need to solve the entire playthrough will be unloaded (Or should I say... uploaded?) onto you all at once at the start, in a clever fashion that's organic to the narrative even. In this sense, this massive info dumping may seem overwhelming to some. Those with eagle-eye observation or exceptional organization skills will have an edge here.
OVERALL: 😃 [RECOMMENDED RANK!]
▪ Heistakes is an masterfully-run, avatar-led remote escape room that really captures the potential of Zoom-livestream gaming. Thanks to the well-trained staff and their superb execution of online-specific implementations made to better involve and engross its web patrons, Escapologic essentially created a second, different way to revel in one of its classics. It isn't the same as being at the venue, true, but I'd bet a diamond's worth of good money that it's far from inferior.
▪ Full disclosure: complimentary game access was generously provided for review or testing purposes.
▪ All media are sourced from and credited to rightful contents owners. No copyright infringement intended.
▪ In certain cases, media materials are made available under fair use doctrine of copyright law.
▪ Unique search code: ENHeistakes.