My knowledge of hacking is limited to the movie Hackers, where they hilariously have two people hitting a keyboard and unplug a computer to solve a cyber attack. But that didn’t stop me from loving every moment of Deadlocked Escape Rooms The Insiders, a hacking themed escape room.
Deadlocked Escape Rooms
Deadlocked Escape Rooms offers in-person escape rooms in Reading, United Kingdom. But, they also sell two at-home games that can be enjoyed anywhere in the world.
Recently I tried The Cyphstress, which I can’t praise enough. It is a fantastic mix of unique puzzles and storytelling. So I decided to try their other at-home experience called The Insider, the first at-home game they designed.
How To Play
It is recommended you have a team of 2-6 players. The game is a mix of printable puzzle pages, and online elements that you’ll need a computer to access.
You’ll only need to get one copy of the game for the team. After purchasing it, you’ll get emailed a link to all the printable files. There are two options; you can print sections as they become unlocked. Or you can print everything (this is the method I did).
If the team is playing remotely, you’ll also need a voice/video chat program such as Discord so everyone can communicate.
The game is split into three parts, each one taking approximately 90 minutes. But, there is no time limit on how long you have for each section.
The Insiders (Spoiler-Free Review)
In The Insiders, your job is to track down a mole within The Wexell Corporation. The game begins with you getting an email and a link printable files which are password protected.
The first challenge is to track down the password to open the file. But if you want to print everything in advance, the bottom link isn’t password protected.
For those of you playing with a group, I would recommend printing all the pages in colour. It will save time in your game sessions, as you won’t need to wait for the team to return from printing documents.
I wouldn’t recommend this game if you are new to escape rooms. The challenges inside are rather tricky at times (much more challenging than The Cyphstress). So if you are newbie, go do a few at-home games to practice, then come back to try The Insiders.
There are so many elements of this game I adored. One of my favourite aspects about The Cyphstress was Facebook messaging, and it is back in The Insiders. At times, you’ll need to send messages to your contact at The Wexell Corporation on Facebook. It is used to input codes, or get instructions about the next stage.
The Facebook aspect helps the game to feel immersive. As you truly feel like you are chatting with your contact, to track down the mole.
The stories and challenges progress logically. There was never a moment where our team didn’t know what to do next. But that isn’t to say it was easy to solve the puzzles.
The game’s challenges are diverse, with many types that I haven’t come across in other games. For example, at one point, you need to solve a nonagram, something I’ve never seen before.
Thankfully a member of our team had done plenty of them before and knew what to do.
The most impressive moment would have to be the server drone. It is a 3D, first-person maze that you need to navigate using WASD. The gamer in me loved the old school flashback.
Another element I enjoyed is that many of the puzzles work together. As such, you shouldn’t throw anything out, as you never know when you might need it again. For example, at one point, you have to solve a cypher for instructions on how to do step two on another problem you started.
It demonstrates how much time and careful planning went into the construction of the game. It is also satisfying for the players to see the multiple elements build together.
If there is ever a moment where you are stuck, the game also provides a website with clues or the answers too. So you’ll always be able to progress the story if the need arises.
The size of this game is staggering. It is so giant there are three chapters. You will get a clear notification when you completed a section. Usually, you’ll need to wait 2-3 days for the next set of instructions to be sent to you. But if you want to binge everything, you are given the option.
Final Thoughts On The Insiders
If you are looking for a challenging escape room, The Insiders is a delight to play and certainly an increase in difficulty from their other play at a home game.
It also provides extraordinary value at £10 (approximately $17.55 CAD) per team for 3 sessions of around 90 minutes. That is the length of more than three regular escape rooms for just a few dollars per person.
Without question and future virtual escape rooms Deadlocked Escape Rooms makes, I’m going to try them. They keep dazzling me with the high quality of their products.
Play The Insiders now.