Escape Manor makes some of Ottawa’s best games, so I was thrilled to discover they launched a second virtual escape room. In Taken 2, you work for Interpol and need to track down the identity of one of the members of the largest crime syndicates.
How To Play
While Taken 2 is a continuation of the first game, it isn’t necessary to play them in order. In the first game, you have to save a high-ranking official at the United Nations. The second game is an different case.
Taken 2 takes place entirely online, and you can have any size team you wish. Escape Manor recommends up to four players.
To get started, you’ll need a voice chat program, like Discord, so that everyone can communicate. Each person will want to play on a tablet or a computer, as it would be too difficult to play on a phone. Within the game, you’ll need to have lots of tabs open and zoom into small graphics that would be too challenging to navigate on a small screen.
When playing, I used two monitors and my phone to handle the number of tabs necessary.
Escape Manor Taken 2 (Spoiler Free Review)
To get started, one person will need to pay for the game for the entire team. It is just $34.99 per group of any size. After paying, you’ll get an email with a website and the login username and password.
The review below will be as spoiler-free as possible. I’ve blurred out some of the critical details in the screenshots. But if you prefer to no risk it, just scroll down to the bottom for the “final thoughts” section where I’ll say if the game is worth playing.
Once you are logged in, it is time to start playing the Taken 2 Spotify playlist to set the atmosphere. It isn’t necessary for any of the puzzles, but it does provide an excellent background.
The majority of the game takes place within the “Interpol” website, where you’ll be able to access emails, a criminal database, security cameras, a phone, the dark web, and hints if you need them.
But you will sometimes need to load other websites, maps, or even Twitter to complete challenges.
In the game, Detective Sergeant Gariepy asks you to track down Caesar, who has stolen a priceless necklace called Andromeda. But to do that, you’ll need to follow the clues and track down multiple people before you can get a lead on the wanted criminal.
On the game’s website, there is a handy progress report where you can track your progress. As the game is rather long, it is convenient to get a sense of how much longer is left.
Escape Manor suggests the average playtime is 1 hour and 30 minutes to 2 hours, but there is no time limit.
In this game, it is possible to split the group and have everyone working on different parts of the puzzles. For example, in the secure chat, you often will get a series of questions (indicated with orange circles). So each member of your team can tackle a different problem. When the correct answer is entered, the orange circle will display a checkmark.
When playing, you’ll also need to have your phone handy, as there are several moments where you’ll need to scan a QR code to load extra websites or download pdfs.
As the story progresses, you’ll get links to security camera feeds and criminal names to search in the database as you eventually make your way closer to finding Ceasar.
Story wise, it is easy to follow and the design follow the theme perfectly. I appreciated there was never a moment where I didn’t know what to do. Even if it took me a few tries to figure out the correct answer for the problem.
For the most part, everything went very smoothly. We did have one or two problems with the poker table’s security feed and a chat with a chicken farmer. But thankfully, we were able to sort it all out.
Overall the game has a cohesive theme, expertly designed puzzles that are diverse in their design. The puzzles highly vary in difficulty, but as you can get unlimited hints from the hints tab, even beginners can tackle the game and complete it.
For our game, we managed it complete it using one hint, and it took us close to two hours as we solved every problem as a group instead of dividing the puzzles up.
For the price, $34.99 provides excellent value considering it offers at least one hour of entertainment for a group of people.