For many years Ben has been working as an underpaid cleaner at a small bank. He needs the help of you and your team to finally take his well-deserved money.
Completion Time: 49:38 (with $6,089,000.00)
Date Played: 5th April 2021
Party Size: 4
Recommended For: Aspiring Bank Robbers (I’m kidding, don’t do that). All audiences.
It’s week three in my Escape Game Olympics journey, and up this week was Ben’s Big Heist!
Ben’s Big Heist is a fairly classic ‘bank heist’ themed online escape game – I’ve actually got a whole category for ‘heist’ themed games here on The Escape Roomer that’s slowly filling up and if you like the genre, you’ll enjoy this one too! It’s got everything you want: blueprints, remote hacking, vaults.
The story of this heist follows the disgruntled and underpaid employee titular character Ben as he plans an epic heist to kick back at his employers and take what he feels is rightfully his. I mean, I do pause at the phrase “small bank” – you probably shouldn’t be robbing small businesses, but hey a bank is a bank. *shouts something anti-capitalist*
From here, you’re acting as the eyes in the sky with Ben as boots on the ground. As each stage, Ben progresses through areas in the building and you must assist him at each step – sometimes with a passcode, sometimes by hacking into a computer, sometimes by scouring the map and figuring out the best way to progress.
There’s two things in this game I found pretty cool:
First, the element of multiple choice! At a few key junctures you can choose to do one thing over another and this changes the outcome of the game. Some choices may lead to harder puzzles but a larger pay-off, and others may give you a faster exit out the bank and thus a better time score.
The second cool thing about this game is it’s scoring system. You’re not just judged on time. In fact, I’d argue that time isn’t even the most important thing here (well, okay I’m doing this as part of the Escape Game Olympics and I care a LOT about time). What you’re really trying to do is steal the most money, and this is where the ‘multiple choice’ becomes important. Do you go for the more valuable vault that’s harder to crack at the risk of remaining too long and being arrested? Choices! Choices!
The puzzles weren’t wholly tricky but it was hard to get the answer right. What I mean is there’s some subjectivity which felt a little iffy here. I can’t specifically explain without giving away a spoiler for a puzzle, so I’ll give a simpler example. Let’s say the password is “diaper” but here in the UK we say “nappy”. At one juncture, we put the word we knew for an item in and *bzzt* incorrect. So we tried 6 different options (and took penalties for each) before going back to our correct answer and realising they were just looking for us to type “diaper”.
This popped up twice in the game, so it’s a small piece of advice I’d give to prospective players looking to give this one a go. Otherwise, the puzzles were fairly straightforward – a couple of maths puzzles, a couple of sorting, a few search and find, and plenty of looking at the map.
In the end, we finished with a very respectable time – not enough to crown us champions of anything any time soon, but it was a good fun little game to play on a bank holiday Monday afternoon with team Escaping the Closet!
Ben’s Big Heist can be played for $45 AUD per team by booking it on Virtual Escape’s website here.
Mairi is the editor-in-chief and covers escape rooms/immersive theatre in London, play at home games, and video games.