Format: Zoom-based with live facilitator
Price: 20,000 yen for group ticket of up to 6 players
Gameplay duration: 1 hour
With its previous online offerings, Escape from the Alien Research Facility and Escape from the Abandoned Laboratory, SCRAP has shown its skill in crafting experiences that would be impossible to play offline — a far more meaningful approach, in my view, than merely making a physical room available online.
Escape from the Science Lab of Shifting Rules represents a further innovation, with a creative and unique central game mechanic that’s also just really, really fun. The mechanic enables some very clever yet fair puzzles, with lots of aha moments. By providing a broad framework for progress, it’s also quite forgiving (at least in some stages), allowing for a bit of ‘trial and error’ in thinking your way towards a breakthrough.
SCRAP’s usual sense of humour and whimsy permeates the entire game, facilitated by our delightful android gamemaster. The Zoom-based format allowed for many cool camera-enabled moments (kudos to whoever was making the magic happen on-site). And the endgame brings together all the strengths of the experience: clever, hilarious, and made possible by the digital format.
The English-version timings are sadly calibrated for players in the US, but my mostly-Singapore-based team woke up at 6am on a Sunday to play it — and found it worth the lack of sleep. The best online rooms are worth experiencing in their own right, not as mere ‘substitutes’ for physical rooms; this is a HIGHLY RECOMMENDED game that’s definitely worth playing, even if physical escape rooms have reopened in your part of the world!