The Vanishing Act Remote • Locurio Escape Rooms • Avatar-Led Remote Escape Room Review
Game Website | Company Website | Based In: Seattle, WA, USA
💪 Difficulty: Medium to hard.
⏲️ Time duration: 90-120 minutes limit.
🔢 Capacity: 4 connections (maximum). Private booking.
📝 Careful--note potential time difference between your location and the host's when booking.
🛒 If you BOOK due to this blog, please give EscapeMattster.com a shout-out! ;)
TL;DR... THE QUICK VERSION
➲ Premise: Discover magician Noxmillian's secret in his dressing room before another one of his assistants vanishes.
➲ Intro (and outro) video sequences gave the experience a cinematic vibe, a welcoming embellishment.
➲ Decent production and set design showcased the game makers' attention to details.
➲ Initial puzzles were non-linear and gen-1 dominant, these clever challenges leaned difficult.
➲ Complexity and sophistication derived from multiple steps infused in each puzzle.
➲ Narrative featured an unexpected and thrilling shift in tone, may not be suitable for children.
➲ Splitting of important info among four Zoom connections required proper teamwork for success.
➲ 𝙀𝙎𝘾𝘼𝙋𝙀 𝙈𝘼𝙏𝙏𝙎𝙏𝙀𝙍 🤩 subjective rating: 💪 5 to 6/10 difficulty (team of 5), 🔢 ideal team *EXACTLY 4 DEVICES*.
The Great Noximillian, world-renowned magician, is hiding more than just tricks up his sleeve. His past five assistants have mysteriously gone missing, each after their 13th performance with Noximillian. Now his latest assistant, Casey, is desperate to uncover the truth behind these disturbing disappearances. Casey’s roommate, Sam, plans to investigate The Great Noximillian’s private dressing room while Casey and the magician are busy on stage…but Sam needs your help. Find out what Noximillian has been hiding and solve the mystery before the show is over and Casey’s time is up!
THE UNABRIDGED EDITION
The reputation of "The Vanishing Act" from Locurio precedes itself, as I have heard years ago just how "crazily good"' this magician-themed escape room is. Residing in California, I haven't had a chance to try out this establishment located in Seattle, though the flourishing trend of Zoom-remote escapes has recently given me an opportunity otherwise.
With anticipation filled to the brim and then some, I eagerly watched my livestream session unfold on my computer screen. Fully expecting for a game master to inform my team the usual spiel with rules and exposition indoors, I found myself surprised to witness instead a conversation between Sam (our avatar) and Casey outdoors in broad daylight.
The location, Moore Theater, two blocks away from the famous Pike Place Market. The show currently playing, The Great Noximillian, world-renowned magician known for his great illusions and his five past, mysteriously disappeared assistants after their thirteenth shows. Casey, the current hire, led Sam from the street, through the main lobby, down the stairway, into the backstage area, and arrived at Nox's dressing room door. She begged Casey to unravel the secrecy behind her employer before she, too, vanishes into oblivion. Because she miscounted--today was HER THIRTEENTH SHOW!
At this point, I was already impressed. Never mind the actual game that hadn't officially started; the prerecorded opening sequence, featuring actual streets of Seattle, was so seamlessly broadcast through Zoom, I had trouble distinguishing when the clip ended, and when the live feed picked up. But I needed to quickly put our amazement aside, because while Casey and Nox razzle-dazzled the audience on stage upstairs, our mystery gang of five had a dressing room to investigate.
Most noticeably, Noximillian's dressing room features a large cabinet that's strangely secured by not one, not two, but five total padlocks. Hmm. Suspicion registered! As Sam continued our quick tour through his camera lens, I examined the 360° view through the supplemental online inventory interface (based on Mofang One), and I took note of Locurio's production:
The set was saturated by bright hues, particularly of the three primary colors. The lively paint choices projected a sense of whimsy, fun, and probable safety... for now. (The bold chroma would pay off as the plot develops, sharply contrasting what's to come in the latter half.) I also appreciated how various fixtures were painted yellow to match the wall, clearly showcasing the owners' attention to details.
We're a team of reasonably seasoned escape artists (featuring my favorite overseas blogger buddies and one at the opposite coastline), so of course we knew our main objective was to undo every padlock on the diamond-patterned cabinet. As such, game play was reasonably non-linear and gen-1 focused. Though the objectives sounded straightforward, the puzzles leading to solutions were multi-layered, clever, and challenging--even for expert players.
On the simpler end of the spectrum, we did some light arithmetic to churn out a number combo. A more difficult challenge required us to sort items in order, then subsequently identify next logical step. And harder still, there were riddles that borderlined poetry interpretations... not my forte! Of note, physical tasks inadequately illustrated through a live feed were offered instead as interactive games on the inventory interface, further immersing players in the heart of the action.
No matter what brainteaser, however, there emits a level of sophistication in puzzle engineering, and every step we succeeded felt like an achievement. And indeed, as we inched closer to the truth, we were shocked by a mid-game escalation--and things escalated FAST. Magic still filled the air--though the once radiant colors now turned pitch black. (Get it?) An exciting turn for adults, this delicious shift to darker tone could be too intense for younger demographics.
This game is offered at one flat price no matter how many participates; however, the company does insist patrons to utilize all four available connections/devices if at all possible, and here's why: Throughout our adventure, various clue materials would appear in our inventory interface, and confusion quickly arose early on, when individual connection reported seemingly mismatching information. Tech blunder? Operation mishap? Nah, this was by design!
In reality, we each had bits and pieces of different intel, and only by working together to combine parts to form a whole could we even begin to attempt solving certain puzzles. This is one of the few occasions I've seen something of this sort employed in a remote setting, and what a sneaky yet brilliant way to enforce teamwork. With clue hogging logistically impossible, participants of all levels are given equal opportunity and spotlight to contribute, a feature that made my partner, the relative novice of our bunch, rave this game as his most engaging and enjoyable one yet!
So heed the company's advice. Experience this room through four separate devices, even if playing under the same roof.
I have a handful of other things I could praise Locurio for, (the awesomely helpful avatar, for example,) but let's keep this somewhat concise. Perhaps, what's most outstanding about "The Vanishing Act Remote" was that it was not just a mere modification of an preexisting on-site option. Rather, it is a carefully calculated and thoughtfully planned reinterpretation, reimagined and realized specifically for an socially-distanced, online crowd. And what a perfect act it turned out to be.
★ Things are long and colorful for a reason.
★ When things get poetic, treat it as story time, and visualize the scenario, step by step, in your mind.
READY FOR FUN?
"The Vanishing Act Remote" is available for booking HERE.
If you BOOK due to this blog, please give EscapeMattster.com a shout-out! ;)
𝙀𝙎𝘾𝘼𝙋𝙀 𝙈𝘼𝙏𝙏𝙎𝙏𝙀𝙍 🤩
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