The fun of escape rooms has been denied to fans over the recent months of lockdown, with all the time-based puzzle activities shuttered as participants stayed home – and while there’s still no chance of anyone returning to them in person for a little while, a new “play at home” service may help alleviate the loss for some. Especially if they happen to be Doctor Who fans…
Created by Escape Hunt, the new online escape room service will allow fans to play the company’s existing Doctor Who: Worlds Collide and The Fourth Samurai experiences from home, tuning in via video-conferencing tool Zoom to “direct a real-life expert games master, move them around the room, find hidden clues, solve puzzles, and see if you can escape before time runs out!”
In other words, yes, this is an Escape Zoom (copyright RadioTimes.com), where games masters are directed via videocall to complete the puzzle rather than aiding players in person (as they normally would over the intercom).
According to Escape Hunt, both games are set as a one-hour experience that will “replicate the in-room play experience” for 1-6 players, costing £60 per session for the group.
“We’re delighted to be expanding our range of at home experiences with remote play games,” Escape Hunt’s CEO Richard Harpham said in a release.
“It’s fantastic that now, using technology, we can give people the opportunity to play our much-loved physical escape rooms in their own homes.”
The rooms themselves will apparently function roughly as they would in person. RadioTimes.com previously played Doctor Who: Worlds Collide in 2019, describing it as “brilliant fun” even if “not all of it was incredibly Doctor Who-focussed”, with the story revolving around an eccentric billionaire who accidentally opens a tear in space and time that the Cyberman are trying to push through.
There’s also a small cameo from Jodie Whittaker’s Doctor, which will hopefully also be included in this version of the game (when we played it the audio was played over a phone by the games master, so this may be altered in the online edition).
The Fourth Samurai, meanwhile, sees players transported back to ancient Japan to defeat a powerful warlord protected by a curse – assuming they can first escape from his dungeon.
It remains to be seen how well the experience will translate from an immersive, in-room experience to one conducted entirely through video windows – if nothing else, there’ll need to be quite a spread of cameras to cover all the clues – but for many groups of friends stuck apart, we’re sure this could be the perfect replacement for those video-call pub quizzes.
If nothing else, we’re probably all still looking for a little escape right now.
For pre-booking or more information, check out the Escape Hunt website