Join Dan Rooney and his team of criminal masterminds and help them pull off the Heist of the Century. When you meet Dan’s team of experts, they will help you gain access to the casino. You will meet: Jack Potts, your man on the inside; Wheels, your getaway driver, and plenty of safe crackers and hackers along the way. Once you blow open the safe you will have 15 minutes to escape with the loot.
Online interface: 5/5
Fun Factor: 5/5
Overall: 3.5/5 ⭐⭐⭐
The UK Escape Room Enthusiasts Facebook page is an excellent source of fan reviews, shout outs to great rooms and often companies will post looking for testers for new experiences. One post caught our eye: a new online ‘Escape Experience’ that was looking for groups to sign up to a test play, taking place via Zoom. Always keen for a new challenge, we signed ourselves up and looked forward to an evening of puzzling!
Editor’s Note: This means the version of the game we played was not the final, but given how flawless it ran, we’re confident the final experience will be as brilliant as ours.
The set up began with an introduction from Caroline, telling us a bit about The Big Escape (and their parent company Creative Events) and the experience we were about to take part in. We were then sectioned off into breakout groups in Zoom to race against the clock, and each other, to see who could pull off the grand heist, and avoid the wrath of Big Al (an amusing name for us). We were introduced to a range of savvy criminals who wanted in on our heisting, but we soon learnt they wouldn’t help us without putting us through our paces first.
The game platform was really interesting, as users are directed to meet up with a series of characters in a linear format. You have to meet with the characters in a particular order, and once you ‘solve’ one character’s set of puzzles, and receive their ‘item’, you unlock the next character! We enjoyed this, it’s always nice to see how far you have gone and how far you still have to go. The puzzles were solid, and they were always on brand to the character you were currently visiting. Our favourite was named Wheels (the getaway driver!) who wanted you to point out his car parking space… We only experienced one hitch with the platform, and considering this was a testing event, we were really impressed at how smoothly it all ran.
The puzzles themselves were a range of things we have all come across before, but they were delivered with fun and in theme. There was one particular puzzle however that really had us stumped (I am still tempted to go back in to try and solve it – it’s hard to accept defeat on these things!). As the events are geared towards corporate team building sessions, Creative Events have done a great top of pitching the difficulty. Non-enthusiasts would be able to gain the satisfaction of puzzle solving and enjoying navigating through the storyline, whilst puzzle fanatics will enjoy seeing how quickly you can solve under the pressure of Big Al and how many points you can tot up! We would recommend this experience for families who have some puzzling pioneers and some newbies alike – it would be a good introductory event.
One of our fave features was the leader board, which we couldn’t help repeatedly checking of course. This would really add an element of interaction to a virtual company event, if you were playing against colleagues – being able to sneak a glance at where your boss is would be a lot of fun! The variety of puzzles on offer would mean that in bigger groups, people could play to their personal strengths (Note: Speaking from experience ours is NOT anything to do with time or dates…or pyramids).
Overall, this was a really fun evening! It feels like Creative Events have created a unique and fun experience, catered perfectly for their intended audience. If you want to have a crack at Big Al, we would definitely recommend it, just make sure you’ve got your wheels 😉
The Big Escape Virtual can be booked by corporate teams only by enquiring on their website here.
Ash & Al make up Escaping the Closet and are writers covering escape rooms in the UK and play at home immersive experiences.