Escape Room Owners Solve the Pandemic Puzzle
May 21, 2020 7:27 AM   Subscribe

 
That's what engineering looks like.
posted by PMdixon at 9:07 AM on May 21


There's definitely an appeal right now to a fantasy that, if only you do the right thing, you'll be able to leave the room you're in.
posted by Bulgaroktonos at 9:33 AM on May 21 [19 favorites]


This is fun and creative. I wish we got more first hand stories about what it's like to be an avatar for hours each day. (It also sounds a bit like an extremely resource-intensive way to play Quake.)

I'm always a bit torn when it comes to escape the room games and similar ARGs. It's pretty rare the puzzles present themselves as natural things that need to be solved, like real crime investigation, a science mystery, or debugging a broken thing. Usually one constantly feels the hand of the puzzle-designer in everything in a way that more or less spoils the experience for me. ("Who the hell would choose to encode the key to their combination lock by cutting lengths of string the same size as lines on a painting and hiding them in a locked drawer? Nobody. That's who.") On the other hand, a really good one is a whole lot of fun. The best usually rely heavily on the physicality of the experience. I want to believe you can make a virtual version of that.

On the other hand, in principle you could make use of much broader sets and expensive one-time-use practical effects. There are a lot of huge public spaces that are empty right now. A game set in a big empty museum with a live avatar would be pretty awesome.
posted by eotvos at 11:24 AM on May 21 [2 favorites]


"High-end" ones with atmosphere can be a lot of fun even if the puzzles are a bit contrived. It's mostly about learning how not to murder your friends when they put stuff down somewhere random or talk over an audio clue.
posted by praemunire at 11:27 AM on May 21 [4 favorites]


"Who the hell would choose to encode the key to their combination lock by cutting lengths of string the same size as lines on a painting and hiding them in a locked drawer? Nobody. That's who."

I don't know, that sounds exactly like something a ghost would do.
posted by aubilenon at 11:58 AM on May 21 [3 favorites]


Twitch plays Pokemon, but for real life.
posted by evidenceofabsence at 12:27 PM on May 21


So, basically, Adventure Games
posted by timdiggerm at 12:44 PM on May 21


Twitch plays Pokemon, but for real life.

Now all we need is a live stream of a goldfish in an escape room.
posted by Two unicycles and some duct tape at 12:49 PM on May 21 [1 favorite]


I wouldn't be surprised if they've changed this part of the experience since (I hope they did), but in 2016, the 60Out escape room Doctor Pyscho in Los Angeles had a live goldfish as part of the room.
posted by aubilenon at 1:02 PM on May 21 [1 favorite]


I mean, since escape rooms were originally made as real-world incarnations of point-and-click Flash games, it seems like things have come full circle.
posted by mhum at 1:14 PM on May 21 [8 favorites]


There was an Ask thread about this a few days ago, which pointed me toward these 2-person escape games, which we really enjoyed. We're even talking about going back and each playing them again as the other player, even though we solved all the puzzles, just to see what we missed.
posted by Mchelly at 1:59 PM on May 21 [2 favorites]


I mean, since escape rooms were originally made as real-world incarnations of point-and-click Flash games, it seems like things have come full circle.

Yeah I mean on the one hand this is a very fun design problem & I'm super interested in what creative solutions people come up with, on the other hand it feels like we're REAL quick to obscure the history of physical escape rooms as having evolved from digital puzzle games & maybe we are missing out if we don't glance back at those influences?

(when I say "we" I mean "the authors of this article" but I'm trying to be polite)
posted by taquito sunrise at 5:50 PM on May 21 [1 favorite]


That link text screams Gilligan Cut.
posted by BiggerJ at 6:28 PM on May 21


Extremely strange not to mention that these were based on video games to start with, yeah.
posted by vibratory manner of working at 5:40 AM on May 24


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