Castle Escapes - "Along in Ward 6"
Updated: Feb 4
Videos/ Photos provided by Castle Escapes
Company: Castle Escapes
Game: Alone in Ward 6
Country: USA 🇺🇸
Type of Game: Audio/GM led Escape Room 👂
Genre: Horror, Thriller
Date Played: 1/28/2021
Difficulty (based on 4 players): 6.5/10
Size of Team: Up to 8 Players
Time: 80 Minutes
Price: $125.00 /Team
*This is our second game with Castle Escape. Read our review here on "Hunt for the Crimson Fang".
You've finally had time for a lunch break as an intern at Marley Center for Mental Health. The doctor wanted you to take some investors around the facility when everything went wrong. Kevin, the institutes most dangerous inmate has escaped his cell and you're trapped in Ward 6 with him! Will you be able to make it out alive or will you be his next victim?
🆃🅷🅴 🅶🅰🅼🅴 🅿🅻🅰🆈
Your guide throughout the game is the intern at the Mental Health Center. You're able to communicate with him through Zoom on what you like to search, open, implement, etc...
This is a very different experience than a typical escape room. During the game, the avatar will take you around various areas and rooms within Ward 6. You'll be able to see and have close encounters with Kevin and other personnel in the Ward. There's definitely a cinematic feel to the game. We felt like we're in a horror movie. There are times when my heart was beating so fast as the avatar was trying to hide from the psychotic killer.
There was no inventory system for this game. All the documents that needed a closer look was send as PDF formats through the Zoom's chat function. It would've been a plus if there could be an easier interface for the players. It would be easier on the players if the used clues could be removed versus having so many tabs open on the side. This way the player could have more time to concentrate on the actions on Zoom instead. Although this wasn't too much of a bother as there weren't too many files that required heavy reading.
We always enjoy the innovative concepts at Castle Escapes. They used props we normally wouldn't be able to use in an escape room in their "Hunt for the Crimson Fang" game. In this game, not only did we have to figure out puzzles, we also had to figure out a way to save ourselves at the end. This really bought out the immersion aspect. The creators put the avatar in a real life situation and we felt like we were right there with him. One of our favorite moments was when the avatar informed us that we have to be radio silent while solving a puzzle (we can only communicate by text) as Kevin was in the room with us.
Castle Escape improved a lot since their last game on the game flow. If I don't tell you that the entire game was prerecorded, you probably wouldn't even notice. Our game master did a great job with leading the game vocally. He knew exactly when to release the next video according to our commands and when to put in the right joke if certain demand could not be implemented. You might only notice a few hiccups during the game play as he'll have to cover up certain items or lock up an item again because he has to replay a certain clip. If you're usually impatient with a slow avatar, try to put your focus on the story line for this game a bit more than rushing to get that final time. Since the company did extend the game play to 80 minutes instead of 60, you'll have plenty of time to escape. The game master also did a great job at giving subtle hints on what we should focus on and what's not part of the game play. If you're looking for something a bit different than your usual remote escape room then give this game a try. We had a great time and thanks to our awesome P.I.s, we escaped with 10 minutes and 40 seconds left!
Castle Escapes' game format is unlike anything I've personally ever played before. There are definitely tons of influences from traditional escape games, but Castle Escapes is able to present something that took full advantage of the remote platform. The presentation felt extremely smooth - in no small part due to the stellar improv talents of our host!
Some things I'd like to mention, in no particular order:
-Perfect amount of things to focus on at any given time - not too many so that we get overwhelmed, not too few so that we can't divide up the work
-Puzzles felt like just the right difficulty, and not every puzzle required the host to keep the "camera" on it (taking notes and using the provided "scans" of game items helped immensely!)
-The format of the game does restrict truly out-of-the-box curiosity; if a player wants to look at or try something unexpected, the host needs to redirect somehow or just provide a verbal no. Hurts immersion a bit, but really did not affect our enjoyment in the long run
-Can't stress this enough - having a great host absolutely made this game for me. Being able to converse smoothly eliminated all the issues I have with the remote escape game format
Overall, this was a fantastic experience and I would gladly recommend it to any escape room fans. I would say that this is not the best game for a team of complete beginners, but if your party has at least a bit of experience, you'll do fine. Good luck, and have fun!
This is a fun and creative horror escape. All of the puzzles were eventually solvable, especially on a four-person team, although alone I'd probably have missed a few things. It was a relief that the narrator/avatar will flat-out tell players if there's nothing to find in a certain corner of the room; red herrings will take up your time, but they don't grind progress to a halt. The combination of pre-recorded video clips with live narration felt close to seamless, and little glitches didn't detract from the narrator/avatar's authenticity. Pay attention to cut scenes; there are clues there. As a horror fanatic, I accept that anything goes in the genre as long as it's scary. As a thoughtful critic, I do find the storyline to be pretty ableist. The treatment of mental illness could definitely have been more nuanced; Nonetheless, this is a very clever and very fun remote escape room, and if you're unbothered by some worn-out and problematic tropes of the horror genre, it's a great time.
(If you do decide to try this game, please remember to let them know that you heard it from"ESCAPETHEROOMers"!)
Disclosure: We thank Castle Escapes for comping our tickets for this game. Although a complimentary experience was generously provided, it does not impact our opinion on the review whatsoever.