Marketing Tabletop Puzzle Games on Kickstarter — A Case Study
District 3: Something Brewing | Review
You and your friends head to a coffeehouse before the celebration. You soon find out that something is brewing, and your evening takes a turn for the worse. What crucial decisions will your team need to make, and what major outcome will that lead to?
Completion Time: 53:06
Date Played: 9th April 2021
Party Size: 4
Recommended For: Everyone!
I *LOVE* District 3’s remote avatar experiences, if that weren’t obvious from the fact I’m playing this just one week after Haunted. So much fun! For Something Brewing, I was invited to play alongside Borderline Puzzler, Shiny Life, and the super cool Kelly from Maple Apron (if you’re in the UK go check out her Canadian cakes!)
Something Brewing is a step up from Haunted in terms of difficulty, but also a huge step up in “wow factor”. To put it shortly I DID NOT expect where this escape room took us, and with a big choose-your-own-adventure element there’s a lot of replayability here too. From experience, all the games I’ve played at District 3 are highly rated real life escape rooms that translate so well to a ‘remote avatar’ format, so whether local or online, they’re worth checking out… *glances at calendar to see how long till I can book one for my birthday*
Since Something Brewing starts out in a coffee shop, I really don’t want to spoil the ‘what happens next’ at all. So I’ll just say that the game will take you on a bit of a roller coaster!
You start out walking into a coffee shop at 11pm. The member of staff (our fantastic host David) working their shift lets you know the coffee shop is about to close and that you should make your order quickly- why the hurry? It’s New Years Eve and he’s got a party to get to at midnight. In fact, until you wandered in he was getting ready to shut up shop but one last order won’t hurt? Right?
BAM! Something then suddenly happens that causes you to stay, something so surprising (and delightful) I’m pretty sure the whole team gasped. But if you, dear reader, want to find out what that is, you’ll just have to book the game!
Something Brewing takes place via Zoom and Telescape. On the one hand you’ve a direct channel of communication with your host via Zoom, who occasionally has the camera on POV, and occasionally puts the camera down to move around the room with greater context. Telescape is an online web interface that allows you to have a 360 degree view of the room, click into things for more information and access an inventory system. The two systems work well together as it means everyone has something to do and can spend time looking closely at stuff whilst other team members shout directions at the host.
The most stand-out thing about our experience has to be the hosting! This time we were joined by David who, completely in character, plays a slightly clueless yet charming barista at the cafe who really just wants to finish up his shift. When things happen in the room he is just as surprised as you are, making it seem like he’s just a part of your team.
In particular, I love how natural it was to ‘enter’ the game. Rather than a lofty “you’re here to save the world”, you’re just here to grab a quick bite to eat and a coffee (coffee at 11pm? Yeah don’t ask!).
As mentioned, Something Brewing is a real life escape room you can play at District 3, so a few things have been tweaked to convert it from real-location into the online format, but the game suffers nothing in the process. The only example I can think of is a moment in the game where, if you were playing the real version, members of your team would become separated. In the online version this doesn’t happen as their’s only one host. Instead, something else happens – just as cool though!
Something Brewing is one of the hardest games at District 3 but we still smashed it! At the time of writing, 9th on the leader boards (as Team Escaperinos) and zero hints used isn’t bad! I think I’d agree that yes, it is hard but this is largely because there’s a lot to do! You’ve got to think on your feet and make quick decisions.
Players taking on this experience can expect to encounter puzzles including (but not limited to) black light puzzles, a cipher puzzle, Roman numerals, logic grid puzzles, a few key and numerical locks, sorting things into sequences, and so on… In short, there’s a lot and a big mix too!
This room also contains a bonus, Easter Egg puzzle which, whilst it does not contribute to your winning or losing, will earn you a pretty cool achievement if you correctly solve it.
Another, stand-out 5* experience from District 3! I genuinely can’t recommend checking them out enough, especially as Regina in Canada has just gone back into lockdown (my sympathies from the UK where we’re still in total lockdown from before Christmas), now’s a good chance to secure an online game booking.
Everything from the space itself, to the host, to the story with it’s exciting elements were brilliant and I’ll be keeping a super close eye on all their future remote avatar games to be the first in line to book in and play!
Something’s Brewing (Remote Edition) can be booked for $15-$22 CAD per person via District 3’s website, but you can get 30% off this April!
[…] excited to play Interrogation Room and to get a great score felt like the icing on the cake. After Something Brewing and Haunted were generously comped by the company, we immediately rushed off to book Interrogation […]
[…] had to reach out to the brilliant David Ma of District 3 (you’ll remember him as our host for Something Brewing and Haunted). David quickly dialled the number for us and relayed the message so we could get on […]