Hidden Key Escapes - "The Hideaway"
Updated: Feb 2
Photos provided by Hidden Key Escapes
Company: Hidden Key Escapes
Games: The Hideaway
Country: USA 🇺🇸
Type of Game: Digital Escape Game 💻
Date Played: 1/24/2021
Difficulty (based on 4 players): 5.5/10
Size of Team: Up to 8 Connections (4-6 Players Recommended)
Time: 60-90 Minutes (Approximately)
Price: $27.99/ team
It is the year 1937. Charles Ross was kidnapped by two men, John Seadlund and James Gray. They kept Charles in a hideaway cabin while they went to retrieve their $50,000 ransom money. This was the only chance for Charles to escape before his fate is sealed...
🆃🅷🅴 🅶🅰🅼🅴 🅿🅻🅰🆈
This is a point-n-click game designed in the Telescape platform. We played over Zoom with a group of 4. If you're interested in learning the back story to the game, there's a fairly long description that will be emailed to you along with the game login. This game is synced for the entire team. Once a player finds something or opens something, it'll update for the other players as well. We quite like this type of game play as the team can progress forward at the same time.
Although the game setting was just in one room, there were plenty of things that our team had to do. The 360 view of the room really helped with the search process. We're able to zoom into items that needed a closer look.
Two players felt the game platform was lagging. One of them played in the same household as I did so we don't think it's the internet issue so we're unsure if it's a one time thing or if it's Telescape's internal issue. Me and the other player had no issues at all throughout our play.
There were a good amount of puzzles in this game. We really enjoyed the "secret" reveals and how the puzzles were able to interact with each other without typing in specific words to combine them like some of the other Telescape digital games we've experienced. The locks felt more real as well in terms of how we're able to operate them. You might want to note that the four digit code is to be entered from bottom to top versus the other way around. This confused me a bit as I was used to entering from top to bottom in real escape rooms. One other thing that made us use a hint was an item that we couldn't find. It was camouflaged pretty well with the same background color of an item we've already opened. You should definitely click around after opening an item just incase there's still something left in there. If you do get stuck, there is a build-in hint systems and it worked quite well. You'll get a scoring chart at the end informing your team on how many hints you've used and on which puzzles.
From the first look, we thought we're going to go finish the game quite quickly as it's just one room. It was nice to discover hidden elements and secret reveals as the game proceeded. It would've been nice to have a more conclusive ending as Charles escapes the room. Although we're quite content with ourselves for figuring out these puzzles so he could be set free!
This adventure started by giving us a write up of the story. A Chicago kidnapping in which the players are put in the position of Charles Ross: the kidnapped retired CEO. With only one shot to escape, you must figure your way out of a locked room. We were given the link to a Telescape.live site that placed us in the room we were trying to virtually escape. The room was structured as a 360˚ view of a real room with many options to click on whatever we wanted to investigate. Whenever we found something important, we could go and see it in an “inventory” within the room. Within the inventory, you’re allowed to ask for hints and receive them without the need of a host.
“The Hideaway” came with a welcome challenge between finding important items and having many puzzles to solve. It was an impressive use of the software, doing its best to simulate an actual real-life experience. One of the challenges came with having to closely inspect the images used as it was sometimes difficult to make out a few items as well as taking a good amount of time to figure out how to play. If you’re looking for a good challenge and a chance to showcase your group’s teamwork skills, “The Hideaway” might just be for you.
- Lots of challenging puzzles
- Good simulation of real-life experience
- Good amount of teamwork involved
- Impressive use of Telescape
- Playable without the need of a host
- Images used are sometimes difficult to make out
- “How to play” a little unclear
The Hidden Key seemed to be well thought out with lots of puzzles. There were many different types of locks to solve, 3 and 4 digit combos, word combos, cut out word puzzles, etc. Having all the clues and items together on the bookcase was an interesting idea.
Unfortunately, I believe my laptop was the culprit and it lagged so far behind everyone else in the group I was playing with, that it was more frustrating trying to play and I couldn't really contribute much. The graphics looked fairly high quality, and I think I really would have enjoyed playing the actual escape room.
If this game is available for purchase to play, it should come with what type notification for what type of system will actually run it smoothly. I would hate to be in the same situation with a group of friends having paid to play the game, and not being able to get much out of it. I appreciate being able to be part of the trial even if I couldn't do much. I love escape rooms, and have wanted to try an online version.
(If you do decide to try this game, give us a shoutout or tag us on social media so we know you heard it from "ESCAPETHEROOMers"!)
Disclosure: We thank Hidden Key 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.