Myself and Nick Maillet had the opportunity to stop by the Indiecade booth at E3 to take a look at Escape Room in a Box: The Werewolf Experiment. The idea is to take what makes going to an escape room fun and make it so you can play it at home. From the short demo we played, I certainly can see the appeal.
For those unfamiliar, escape rooms are rooms decorated around a theme where you are then “trapped” for a certain amount of time. In that time limit you have to solve a certain amount of puzzles hidden throughout the room to figure out the code, or whatever it is, to get yourself out of the room. Usually this is done in a group as you split up tasks and come together to get yourself out.
Escape Room in a Box is attempting to bring that same exact experience to your home. So, it is full of 19 different puzzles you’ll have to work through in an hour in order to “escape.” The details on those are not out yet, but when I explain the short demo myself and Nick experienced you should get a good idea.
There was a locked box with a three number combination that we needed to get open. We were given three puzzles to figure out. The first was a paper with a phrase on it, the second a collection of clear plastic with lines that we would have to put together to form a picture, and the final was a simple maze with letters strewn throughout (going along the correct path gave you a certain amount of mixed letters). Each of them were tied together by nine scents on the table, each with a corresponding number. Each of our three puzzles’ purpose was to point us in the correct scent, which we would then have to figure out.
The first was just a series of lines that formed a phrase. The first letter of each line spelled out “lemon,” so we figured that out pretty quick. The second you had to rotate the clear plastic sheets around, while putting them in the correct order in layering them, to form a picture. It came together to look like a rose and two people getting married—rosemary. The final was just as I explained before; after solving the puzzle we had to then unscramble the collected letters, which we eventually figured out to spell lavender. After it was all figured out, we searched out the correct scents, found the corresponding number, and eventually unlocked the box.
We had roughly ten minutes to do all of that, and it was genuinely quite fun. There is a certain tenseness to the air, an impetus to keep going, likely caused by the time constraint. I get the feeling what we were shown was largely conceptual, as Escape Room in a Box will surely have a few more involved puzzles, especially considering there will be 19 coming in the box. As for replayability, there will also be some material included for you yourself to set up the puzzles for your friends to go through.