Remote game review: SCRAP: Escape from the Alien Research Facility

Official website
Tickets available till end-Sep

Format: Zoom-based with live facilitator; to say more would be spoiler-y
Price: 15,000 yen for group ticket of up to 7 players
Gameplay duration: 1 hour

Just heard that this game is ending soon, so finally writing a review in the hope of encouraging more people to give it a try. Because it is, in short, HIGHLY RECOMMENDED for how it makes use of the online format in very clever and inspired ways.

It’s hard to review this game without spoilers, but here goes: Some remote experiences feel like regular escape rooms/games that have been ported online. Escape from the Alien Research Facility is nothing like that. What I love about this game is that you wouldn’t be able to play it offline. This is an experience tailored for its format, making it uniquely fun and interesting (and also cool to think about after the fact).

There’s a good range of puzzles, almost all of which are integrated well into the setting or storyline — in contrast to the standalone random puzzles that featured in some earlier SCRAP outings. Some of the gameplay reminded me of the fun and also-unique-in-its-format Escape from Hunter X game at the Asakusa branch in Tokyo, in that it requires creative problem-solving within the context of the game world.

There’s a good attempt at creating atmosphere and immersion, thanks also to the friendly “researcher” who is part of the experience. And the endgame is excellent — challenging but entirely fair.

I was very glad that I overcame my general dislike of videoconferencing to give this game a try. If you haven’t tried any online/remote escape games, this is a great one to experience! And if you’re already used to the online/remote format, you have even less reason to miss this. After playing this, my team immediately booked to play another SCRAP remote game, haha.

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