Russ Builds: Endgame

Step back in time to 1991, the Cold War is coming to a close and peace spreads across Europe … But will a deadly plot bring about World War Three, or will you be able to stop the missile launch in time?

Rating: Charming
Completion Time: 55 minutes
Date Played: 14th August 2020
Party Size: 2

How to talk about Endgame? It was … So much fun! I should probably admit that this is actually the first escape room in the “remote” category I’ve played. I’m a little awkward on camera and I’ve never managed to get either of my escape room teams together at the same time to play one of these. But, we were pleasantly surprised! The concept is simple, you take control of an avatar who performs the actions for you. I’m sold.

Furthermore, this setup fit perfectly with the theme. Cold War, spies, stopping a missile launch. There’s absolutely no reason this experience WOULDN’T happen this way, sitting in a war room in our little flat in London, trying to disable a detonation before it causes World War Three. I believe it!

It’s also just really creative and obviously built with love! Endgame is the second ‘built at home’ escape room designer Russell Tolley has created. Russ introduced himself to me as an amateur, but honestly having played the game it’s easily better than a lot of ‘professional’ escape rooms out there. Amateur or not, this room (and the designer) is worth investing your time and energy into!

In particular, there’s one piece of tech in Endgame I found very impressive! I don’t wish to spoil the puzzle at all, so lets just say it involves chess and a hidden mechanism.

In terms of gameplay, you join a Zoom call and the scene is set. Before you on the table are three contraptions, there’s a chess board, a locked briefcase, and a large red button (locked, of course!). The game progresses through a series of padlocks. There’s number locks, word locks, those twisty dial locks (which in the moment, I completely forgot how to use!). The only type of lock that isn’t in this game are ones involving keys, which makes sense! To help you out, you have access to a dossier of information. Think maps, old newspaper clippings, coded messages, and more … Very Cold War!

If this sounds up your street, playing Endgame is completely free! Donations are absolutely encouraged though (http://paypal.me/rtolley86), with all the money going towards supporting escape room #3 which is in the works. At the time of writing, to book you need to get in contact with Russ directly (email and link below).

Endgame can be booked by email (russellwtolley@gmail.com) or by contacting Russ on Instagram @russbuilds

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