The obscenely-rich Harrington family invited the City Adventurers to an exhibition of their priceless art. But this would be no ordinary visit. Their youngest son, Charles, upset by his family hoarding its wealth, had asked us to steal a painting……
We would be going on The Art Heist………..an escape room game by Trapped Escape Rooms.
What makes this game different from the start is that the game is played around your room, not on your table or computer.
The box tells you that it contains everything you need to to turn the place of your choice into an escape room. It includes printed props to place strategically around the room and even includes low tack double-sided tape to “hang” the art work.
There are four security badges in the pack, allowing you to play a role as a company employee should you wish. Don’t worry if you don’t want to, you just need to know who these people are. (Shh…One of them could also be helping Charles. )
The pack also includes props such as a gallery pamphlet, invitations and tickets for the exhibition, as well as fire exit plans for the gallery. There is a how to play guide, as well as a code book that gives hints should you get stuck. The only thing you need to add is something to make notes on.
Apparently the set-up guide also includes a Game Contents table. Other reviewers have pointed out that some of the components are actually inside an envelope you cannot open until you reach a certain point in the game. Not having read the table, this was not an issue for us……..although we did have a slight issue with it at the end (see below).
Playing the game:
Our task was to identify and steal a valuable painting. However, fearing detection, Charles did not tell us which painting to steal. Instead he left us a series of puzzles to solve to find the right artwork.
Also, Charles had convinced one of the staff to help us escape. Again he did not tell us who, but left us clues as to their identity.
What a guy that Charles is!
As you can start anywhere, this is a non-linear game and allows players to break up and search independently.
We began the game by examining the art work and hunting for clues on the props. We liked the puzzles which were a mix of observation, codes and patterns, plus a bit of physical manipulation, but no destruction. This is a game you can play again as nothing is destroyed.
The game is easy to follow and contains some nice puzzles.
We liked the way the puzzles helped you deduce which painting to steal. However, one thing that confused us was the use of stock photos for employees. While some people were meant to be seen in more than one photo, the actual photos were clearly of different groups of people.
The hints are available in a booklet. In order to ensure that players only see the clue for the puzzle they need, the clues are scrambled and require the special decoder card to read them. There are three hints available per prop.
The final puzzle in The Art Heist was an anti-climax and had us looking for more things to solve.
We had solved the puzzle of which painting to steal and worked out which member of staff would help us. Just as we were wondering what to do next, we remembered the special envelope. That’s when we found out it contained more instructions and props. I suppose this is meant to be a dramatic final puzzle to the game……
In fact I hadn’t finished reading the clue, when Ian had solved it!
Not the balloons and whistles ending I was anticipating. Ho hum.
So we finished the game in plenty of time and then looked around for additional things to solve to get a wow factor. Maybe that’s just us (or Ian).
Either way, we found the game a lot of fun.
The Art Heist is one of the easier escape rooms in a box we’ve played. It would be great for people who are new to escape rooms, too, but too easy for enthusiasts.