Marketing Tabletop Puzzle Games on Kickstarter — A Case Study
Agent November: Virtual X-Caper
Agent November needs you! Our best agent has been captured. Experimental gadgets allow you to see through his eyes and communicate …but only for 60 minutes. Can you solve the puzzles and help him escape?
Completion Time: 58:49
Date Played: 30th December 2020
Party Size: 5
Recommended For: Everyone, but especially enthusiasts
Practically flawless! How fitting that it was my final escape room experience of 2020? I can’t think of a more appropriate way to hurl oneself into the bold new 2021 than by saving Agent November’s life and doing so with a laugh, a “wow that’s good!” and more than anything, with friends.
Agent November: Virtual X-Caper is one of those escape games that I’ve heard so much about but took a long time to book it. Actually, they popped up on my radar via recommendations for their outdoor adventure games which sadly, due to *gestures at the world* 2020 had to close down. Starting with the Edinburgh Fringe Festival, to various pop-ups and regular experiences in London. It’s brilliant to know they’ve not only translated the fun of their real world experiences into the online space… But actually created a phenomenal experience along the way?! A wide round of applause.
My regular escape room team have largely moved out of London since the pandemic started, so I’m very glad for remote avatar games like this one. Unlike other escape room companies adapting their games, Virtual X-Caper is brand new and the best part? It takes place in the creator’s apartment (well, I think it does anyway! I didn’t ask.)
It’s delightfully good with a very low tech atmosphere that fits perfectly with the narrative. That narrative being: Agent November is a secret agent who has been taken hostage by the dastardly Marty Orri and his cronies Robyn Yew and Major X Ploe Shun. It’s your job to rescue Agent November via his cybernetic enhancements (ergo, you see what he sees, you hear what he hears).
The game starts with a fuzzy eye open and an arm handcuffed to a sink. It’s a good job your agent has very long arms, right? From that point on, it’s your job to navigate your charming Agent November around the space, finding items and solving puzzles. This apartment really is locked up very, very tightly. Someone takes their security very seriously. Which means there are a lot of locks! 4, 5, even 6 digit codes to find, and keys dotted around here and there. As well as key based puzzles, you have access to an online interface where you can take a closer look at some items.
Honestly, even though I’ve already said the game is practically perfect, I’m going to add more praise on top – the puzzles were awesome! Often our team bumbled around scratching our heads, but there were also a lot of “AHA!” moments and “Oh my god that’s so clever” exclamations. No spoilers but I’ve never shouted MIOW so loudly, hah!
As you play, you also earn achievements – which was a fun add-on. As well as earning 3 bonus items during the game, we achieved a brilliant 5 extra achievements too.
Brute Force – yep, I reckon you can figure out how we got this one haha.
Vampire Hunters – switch those lights off and get the UV out in every room
Million Monkeys – and their million typewriters, another oops!
Very Original – our team did something never seen before! Not completely on purpose, but no less fun!
True Pioneers – actually forgot what this one is for, but I’m proud for earning it nonetheless!
The humour too is spot on. Your Games Master, Agent November himself is a slightly bumbling secret agent sure, but he’s got buckets of charm. From picking up red herrings (literally), to striking fabulous poses, and accidentally on purpose poking himself in the eye… I found the humour such a delightful touch to the game. I haven’t laughed so much in an escape room in a very, very long time.
Overall, such good fun and I cannot stress that enough! If you only play one more escape game in lockdown, make it this one. Players will also be pleased to hear they have another game coming out this February! It’s one to watch for sure.
Agent November: Virtual X-Caper can be booked for £14 per player on Agent November’s website. Bookings are in GMT!