Escape Live: Rogue Agent | Review

Whilst saving the world from all manner of terrorists and threats, a Rogue MI5 Agent has been growing his personal art collection and not entirely legitimately. The unknown agent has been stealing art and sculptures from across the globe.

Rating: Pretty Interesting
Completion Time: 1 Hour 8 Minutes
Date Played: 16th of June 2020
Party Size: 6

26/02/21 Update: As this post frequently pops up as my ‘most viewed’ article, I’ve updated it to add a little more detail and also address some FAQs folks keep asking me! 🙂

Rogue Agent by Escape Live is the first digital escape game in their catalogue – an exciting development! The story centres on the idea of… You’ll never guess… Quite literally a rogue agent in MI5! Somebody deep within the secret service has been using their power to steal a series of paintings from around the world and it’s up to you, as an outsider who can’t be traced, to stop them!

Rogue Agent has a pretty fun mix of video content, an online portal and an interesting collection of evidence to view at your own pace. In short, a little bit of everything you could want in a digital escape room game.

I played with *gasp* not my regular escape room team! In fact, this one I tackled via Zoom for a work team social – and this is one of the most commonly asked questions I get about this game: Does it work for a team social? My answer is yes, sure! But here’s everything about the game you might want to know before booking it for your next work do:

We had the maximum number of players in our team: 6. I think the game would possibly be better played in the same room around a table… But, given this new ‘working from home’ climate, we gave it our best shot via Zoom. In Rogue Agent, only one player can be logged into the portal whilst all other players join along via screen share. Despite this, the game doesn’t feel too ‘one-sided’ as the ‘leader’ can extract each level’s necessary files and circulate them to the whole team – giving all players something to do. There are after all a LOT of files, you’ll need all the teamwork you can get to work through them!

One of the most charming things I’d love to highlight about Rogue Agent is the acting! Throughout the game and at the end of each ‘section’ you get a face to face video with your ‘boss’ at MI5. He acts incredulously at each piece of evidence you submit, and cheers you on to keep going! LOVE the positive reinforcement at MI5, heck this dude is a pretty solid boss.

If I had only one piece of constructive criticism, some of the puzzles felt a tiny bit out of place in the universe. What I mean is to say in one instance you have to try to uncover the secret agent’s identity by riffling through some of their old school books from Year 5 Geography (for all my international readers, that’s err 3rd grade? I think?). This segues in a flag puzzle – which is actually one of my favourite types of puzzles. But I’ll be damned if I know where any of my Year 5 Geography books, not least of all would I give them to a prospective employer such as MI5! Hah!

To me, this (and others that I won’t go into because I don’t want to spoil the game) didn’t completely sit right in the narrative. But if you’re not fussed, then I wouldn’t worry too much, because this game has still got a nice range of surprising and unexpected puzzles we enjoyed solving as a team.

Overall, a nice way to spend an afternoon with my colleagues. Some of whom had never played an escape room, and others were absolute veterans. We completed our mission in a little over an hour… They say teamwork makes the dream work, so I’d call that a success!

Rogue Agent can be purchased for £20 on Escape Live’s website.

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