Photo above is property of M9 GAMES
Company: M9 GAMES
Game: Art Heist
Country: United Kingdom 🇬🇧
Type of Game: Video Escape Game 📱
Genre: Detective, Heist
Date Played: October 22, 2023
Difficulty (based on 1 player): 7/10
Time: Unlimited (Approx. 45-60 Mins.)
Price: $8.50 (Steam), $7.99 (Nintendo)
As part of the team discovering a long-sought-after painting, you are invited to the auction on an island accessible only by helicopter. Halfway through the night, you receive a call for help - the painting has been stolen. Navigate your way through this secluded, trap-laden villa and find both the painting and the people behind this heist. Be careful though, security is tight and it might take more than just a key to get through the next door.
Video above is property of M9 GAMES
🆃🅷🅴 🅶🅰🅼🅴 🅿🅻🅰🆈
"Art Heist" is as close to a digital version of a real life escape room experience as you can get. With a first-person view, walking around the area with the atmospheric background soundtrack had me immersed to the point where I found myself looking over my shoulder a couple of times.
The point-n-click mechanic, coupled with the icons indicating either a puzzle to be solved or an item to be used, provided enough guidance to get through the rooms. However, you might have to try approaching different “suspicious” items from various angles, since you can only interact with puzzles or items upon the appearance of said point-and-click icons, and the icons only appear at a certain radius around actionable areas.
Thankfully, the little adjustments I had to make while navigating the game did not take away from the puzzles.
** NOTE: please ensure that your network is stable while you play this game on Steam. The frame rate lagged a fair bit for me, so I had to play it on Medium quality and a smaller frame size.
Photos above are property of M9 GAMES
Here’s my short review of this section - thank goodness for the all-encompassing rule.
And here’s my longer review of the puzzles -
In physical escape rooms that run three or four sections, you can expect puzzles to run through two or even three rooms (e.g. you may need to backtrack in order to solve later puzzles). However, in a larger setting like in Art Heist, each section’s puzzles and the information you would need for the puzzles stay within that locked space. And I appreciate not having to remember what happened two rooms ago.
One thing that I realised was how inconsistent the hints could be - each puzzle would have a reset button and at times, a hint button for when you get stuck. My issue was how not every puzzle would have a hint button, though to give the game makers credit, puzzles without hint buttons were relatively straightforward.
What would have made the puzzle experience a little better was the provision of hints when we get stuck outside of puzzles - I was wandering around one of the sections, wondering what to do next with an incomplete puzzle and no door to speak of. Without a hint button to consult, I resorted to a playthrough video to get unstuck.
Photo above is property of M9 GAMES
I stand by my initial statement - this is as close to a digital version of an in-person escape room experience as I can fathom. The background soundtrack and the first person navigation system is already enough to immerse you for the next couple of hours.
And if the variety of puzzle styles does not keep you on your toes, the bits of story in the environment will keep you curious.
So, if you’re looking for a solo escape room experience that’s immersive, balanced, and with a good variety of puzzle styles, give Art Heist a try. Just make sure your hardware can support the frame rate and game size.
(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 M9 Games for providing us with a sample of the game. Although a complimentary experience was generously provided, it does not impact our opinion on the review whatsoever.