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Mission One: The Heist & Mission Two: Cyborg Island • Agent Venture (TAIR) • Audio-Led Game Review


Game Website | Company Website | Based In: United Kingdom



OFFICIAL SPEC

🕹️ Stay At Home Games » Host Led Experience » Audio-Led Puzzle Mission/Escape Game

💪 Difficulty: Not specified.

⏲️ Time limit: 60 minutes

🔢 Capacity: Exactly 4 to 5 Zoom connections, no more and no less.

💬 Hints: Provided by host throughout the experience based mission progress at their discretion.

📝 Experience requires Zoom, internet browser, or more. Check for details.

📝 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! ;)


MATTSTER'S rec

💪 Difficulty (as perceived by Mattster): 5 or 6/10 (team of 5), mostly due to tight but thrilling time constraint.

🔢 Ideal team size: 4 connections, but 5 is helpful for beginners.



MUST DO!




OFFICIAL PREMISE

MISSION ONE: THE HEIST - Infiltrate B.A.D. Tower, get to CEO Bozo's secret vault, and uncover proof of their many, many crimes. Watch out for the basement shark tank...

➤ MISSION TWO: CYBORG ISLAND - Bozo has disappeared - but new intel suggests some sort of secret cybernetics facility on one of B.A.D.'s private islands. And of course, it's underneath a casino...


IN A NUTSHELL

Assist Agent Venture in taking down the big bad corporation named unironically B.A.D. (in all CAPS). Venture does all the hard labor onsite, while your team backs him up in 4 specific key areas from mission control: Navigation, hacking, research, and communication. Mission One takes place at the cooperate skyscraper; Mission Two sets on a remote exotic island.




OVERALL IMPRESSIONS

"Agent Venture" is a cooperative mission quest run via Zoom. Individual group members are appointed to specific responsibility to help secret agent Agent Venture from mission control to thwart B.A.D.'s continual criminal activities.


The general idea of granting specific powers to different people is not a brand new, though this is my first time actually participating in such a game. The overall response from my entire task force is overwhelmingly positive.


Mission One and Mission Two have distinct storylines, aneed not to be played in succession to make sense. Each adventure could function as a standalone choice, though it's more satisfying to enjoy both in chronological order. Mission One is a bit more spy-cartoon-conventional; while Mission Two rams up the imaginative factor, features wackier sci-fi elements, and in more ways than one, elevates off the ground to another level.


The overall structure of either mission consists of infiltration, key item acquirement, "unplanned" disaster, and a final breakout. Though sharing similar base DNA, the different settings and puzzles offer enough contrasting nuances for returning customers to explore both options.


The host's performance is essential, as they play every other character in the entire game but the patrons'. Agent venture themselves, the headquarter dispatch, villain J. Bozo, all his underlings, literally everyone, all under the care of the one same game master. That's certainly no easy feat, and easily one of the most obvious justifications for your admission.



Appropriate assignment is THE MAIN KEY to a gratifying experience: Navigator must know how to process map-like info quickly, and make logic-based decision with ease. Communicator should be daring. This part digests minimal information. Just let loose and savor in the glory of being in charge of fibbing the most outrageous things in the name of justice.


Other two supporting roles will share less direct spotlight, and should be reserved for the more timid ones in the group: Researcher should have sharp eyes and the ability to laser-focus in on specific trivia within an ocean of superfluous intelligence. Hacker should be an expert of nomogram or sudoku, and the faster the better.


Finally, coordinator, the fifth optional member, feels honestly somewhat tagged on, but could prove to be beneficial when other individual assignments falter due to either inexperience or performance anxiety. (Coordinator has access to everyone's information supply, and could jump in to assist all aspects of the mission.)


Having filled both the shoes of navigator and coordinator in Mission One and Two respectively, I can say with solid certainty that navigator is easy to pick up, plays an integral role early on, and suitable for player of any experience level.


In contrast, coordinator requires high level of self-sufficiency, needs to study everyone's inventories efficiently, and has to fight for an appropriate chance to contribute. I would personally recommend any other role over coordinator if at all possible. Otherwise, converting coordinator to a second, backup researcher would be a respectable strategy.


Below are some more key points you may wanna know...




STORY

"Mission One: The Heist" may not necessarily reinvent the wheel of secret agent genre gaming, (i.e. this isn't my first infiltrate-and-steal mission,) but it does incorporate amusing elements to keep things interesting. For instance, much effort has gone into naming almost every character some form of pun--and I love me some good puns. I approve!

"Mission Two: Cyborg Island" is not as straightforward as prior quest, though my lack of complete comprehension of minor details mid-game did not affect satisfaction. I still got that the gist--so good enough! Similar humor permeates throughout, giving me a good chuckle every so often, softening the blow of a mission ultimately failed. (Darn it!)

Comparable to a "choose your adventure" story book, both missions contain enough materials to support several branching pathways to create unique experience that vary from one to the next. Participants, hence, share a definite active role in storytelling along with the host. The power of control renders the experience that much more personalized.


PRODUCTION

The Agent Venture series is heavily audio-led, though undeniably supported by many hours worth of preparation, as exhibited by numerous graphic images and in-game websites. (Here's one.) The style of art work vary quite widely, possibly suggesting a collaboration of multiple talents behind the scene. Overall, it's decent and warrants no complaint.

Production is most affected by the audio performance of the host of your specific session. While I am sure every game master is highly qualified, my first host was able to imitate and create more regional accents and character voices on command, rendering a story told comparably more lively and entertaining.



IMMERSION

Since everyone is tasked to be continually active in their respective roles and working together as a cooperative effort, there is close to no chance to not feel immersed. To not get lost in the exciting universe is arguably due to a lack of genuine attempt: Put in as much effort as you can, fully engage, and reap the rewards of corresponding magnitude.


PUZZLES

The basis of most challenges derive from the separation of relevant information into the inventories of different characters: while the navigator directs Venture's movements, the hacker may need to gain access to any obstructing security measures. Similarly, communicator may do the talking, but the conversation contents may rest in the researcher's turf. The constant collaboration builds a camaraderie and is most enjoyable aspect of the game.

Stripped of the obstacles mentioned, the actual puzzles are not all that challenging, and therefore 100% beginners friendly. The company has jam-packed more than enough materials into a 60-minute time frame. A lot of bang for your buck, I'd say. (And in the off chance when a team progresses ahead of schedule, there are even bonus puzzles to unlock.)

It is worth noting that, for hacker, the puzzles are literal nonograms and sudokus. I don't consider this an outright spoiler as the company openly advises this role to be proficient at them; and they are generally simplified for easy solving under time pressure, sans a few in the grand finale. If you find such puzzles boring, choose another assignment.



FINAL THOUGHTS

Both Missions from "Agent Venture" are attractive and affordable options built on a spy universe that gives every teammate the chance to shine like a covert mission superstar. With 4 main duties to fulfill, and multiple avenues to advance the plot, each group's, or even each person's, game play is wholly unique, with bountiful replay potentials to boot.


"Mission One: The Heist" and "Mission Two: Cyborg Island" are available for booking HERE.



BEST FIT FOR...

Confident players that can hold their own under pressure; prior puzzle-play experience helpful but not necessary.

Those into secret spy themed books, tv shows, and movies.

Team building activity, weekly game night, casual group hangouts.


EXTRA TIPS

★ Timing is extremely tight for Agent Venture games. Everyone should be familiar with their roles before starting.

★ Researcher will receive a daunting amount of info. Swiftly scan all file titles to mentally catalog relevant documents.

★ When team is in a bind, screen-sharing info is allowed, despite not being the primary intended way to play.



Signing off,

ESCAPE MATTSTER 😍

Instagram @EscapeMattster • Facebook.com/EscapeMattster



FOOTNOTES

⤻ Full disclosure: Complimentary game access was generously provided for review purposes.

⤻ All media credited to and provided by contents owners. No copyright infringement intended.

⤻ Speed code for on-site search: TAIRVenture

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