The two of you have infiltrated a secret organization’s communication base stations, one located in the North Pole and the other in the South Pole. Your mission is to stop the completion of a terrifying weapon being developed at these base stations. Using a smartphone to communicate with each other, the both of you finally make it to the deepest level of the facility…
Rating: Really Different!
Completion Time: ~1hr 15m
Date Played: 24th March 2021
Party Size: 2
Recommended For: People who want puzzles… But not how you normally know them!
How to describe Escape from the Two Base Stations? SO DIFFICULT… And yet SO FUNNY!
Just like The Demon Fortress and The Strange Village, SCRAP have taken the concept of an escape room and completely turned it on it’s head: defying all expectations and delighting me along the way. Whereas the other two I celebrated for their excellent plots, this one’s “special magic” is in the puzzle design!
You and your other player, whoever you choose that to be, are stuck at opposite sides of the world! One at the North Pole and one at the South Pole (oh hey, that’s me). As such, you’re meant to play this from two different locations- but more on that later.
There’s a terrible weapon being created that threatens the whole world and of course the two keys to stop it are as far away from each other as they could possibly be. But, just when you grab hold of the manuals, an “Intruder Alert” siren sounds and you’re locked in. Oops!
In this whole game you have 50% of what you need to succeed. Your partner has the other half and they’re a long long way away, so you’re going to have to work together as best you can to crack the case! I took on this with my partner, and regular Player 2 on this blog but, as we live together, we had to go into separate rooms and close the door. That works too, just as long as we weren’t tempted to open the door or shout through the wall.
Each ’round’ starts with a short script to read back and forth – we went massively off script, hurling cheeky insults at one another at every opportunity. From there, you’ve got a couple of collaborative puzzles to solve and then clues to where to go next. For example, within your pack are a number of other envelopes with small images on them and big letters saying not to open until prompted. But- that’s not all, you also have a helpful chatbot guiding you through the experience and telling you what to do and when which is- helpful! Especially helpful considering you’ll get no answers from the hints page. Only hints!
So here’s the really juicy bit! Escape from the Two Base Stations essentially takes the idea of the party game ‘charades’ and turns it into a packed puzzle game. What I mean is, at different points in the game whilst communicating with your Player 2, you’ll either lose access to:
- Your video feed, meaning you can’t see one another
- Your audio feed, meaning you can’t talk to one another
- Your keyboard, meaning you can’t type to one another
The real panic starts when you lose access to more than one of those at the same time. Or *gasp* all three! Yep, the final puzzle will have you screaming (into the void, as your partner won’t hear you) as you lose access to almost everything. Reckon you can communicate information by using ONE SINGLE CHARACTER? Yeah, no. It’s not easy.
But by and large the puzzles are really light hearted and funny! As an example, one player will have something on their screen they need to describe to the other player. Through your descriptions, or hand gestures, you’ve got to figure out what on Earth the other person is trying to say! It only gets funnier from here. We found ourselves standing up and jumping around on camera trying to act out animals without being able to talk. In another mission, I enthusiastically sent “ES ES ES” 24 times in the chat box to which my partner said next time our mics were allowed to be turned on “If you type ES one more time I swear to God..”
Overall, just SO FUNNY. For this reason I’m going to go out on a limb and say that even though this game is recommended for 2 players (1 in each location), I think you could go further and do it with 4, or even 6 (2/3 in each location) for added hilarity. I only wish I’d caught some of the madness on camera.
It makes sense the game would be so funny though, one of the directors is comedian duo Savanna’s Shigeo Takahashi. He, and the whole team, really capture the absurdity of malfunctioning technology and how hard it is to communicate. So if you’ve ever played charades, you’re probably going to love this. It’s like that but with more puzzles.
The English language version of Escape from the Two Base Stations can be purchased for $37 USD on Amazon.