Escapologic has built quite the reputation for quality games and (I’m sad to say) I haven’t played them all even though I live in Nottingham. Escapologic arrived late last year to the world of remote escape rooms with a conversion of their very first room, Contraption. I played that and thoroughly enjoyed the experience and eagerly signed up for their second conversion, it was time to rob a bank in Heistakes!
With the general theme of a bank robbery, you start with the robbery already in progress where you have to help the avatar complete the job before the hour is up. You start with a few tools and you have to decide when and where they should be used. The setting is what you would imagine a bank vault to look like and initially, there is no obvious place to begin. There is a series of safety deposit boxes and a secure cage in the corner. This immediately throws you off as it’s hard to figure out where to start or even how to progress when you’ve uncovered a clue… This is a mostly linear room but some puzzles can be tricky and the 360 overview was invaluable in keeping things in order. Some of the puzzles have been tweaked for remote play but the game remains the same. If I was comparing this to Contraption then I think this is a harder room than Contraption but was of an equal quality. The theming and scenery are on point and it features an impressive finale.
The video interface was handled by Zoom (audio and video were solid throughout) and the inventory was through Telescape. Telescape was managed throughout as well so when items were of no further use, they were removed which prevented the interface from being too cluttered.
Our Avatar was Ed, who was great throughout, and always happy to interact and play along with our random requests and (as with Contraption) he was able to subtly point us in the right direction when we seemed to be stuck.
If I hadn’t have played Daylight Robbery at Cryptology for real then this would have been the most realistic bank vault I’d played. The game features a strong denouement as well and ends very much on a high note. It’s hard to pick a favourite between this and Contraption as they both offer different experiences, I stand by my earlier comment that I think Heistakes is harder but that shouldn’t put you off, when we were stuck we were given some subtle hints to get us back on the right path. This was a great room and compares well with similarly themed rooms.