Just a stones throw from our previous game, we ventured to Xcape Rooms in Glasgow. A relativity new company having only opened in the Summer of 2019. The venue contains three games and we had been invited to play their spy game, Agent-X.
The Ocean Heart Diamond, which should have been exhibited in the museum, has been stolen. According to Intelligence Bureau, the Ocean Heart Diamond was placed in the vault of the Mafia XCAPE company. Your mission is to secretly sneak in,and get the Ocean Heart Diamond back using the clues we left. Are you ready for your mission agent ?
Having heard very little about the company behind the game we really weren’t sure what to expect as we were buzzed into the office block building on Hope Street. Having climbed the stair to the correct floor we were met by the owner and GM for the evening Jack. It’s always great to be introduced to a very enthusiastic and passionate GM. The previous group were just finishing up so we had chance to sit in the well themed reception area as we waited our turn. We didn’t have to wait long before Jack called us to play Agent-X. It important to note here that each of Xcape Room’s games are imports from China as the company is Chinese itself. At present it only has one location in Glasgow with the hope of opening more around the country in future. #
Now, many here that a game has been imported an immediately worry that it may have lost it’s personality because the owner may not have developed it themselves, much like some of the larger franchised rooms in the UK. What’s great here is that the game stands well on it’s own and has been designed with great care. The game play is entirely linear and was perfect for our very tired team of 2. I would say that four players would work here but any more than this could leave some people with little to do. The space in which the game takes place is fairly substantial with 4 separate areas you are required to traverse in order to escape.
On the whole, the game flows pretty well although there were a couple of moments where we needed some clarification from our GM on what we needed to do and communicated with them via walkie-talkie, our clue system for the game. These moments, I think, are down to the way a puzzle might have been translated from it’s original language. Nothing that would mislead a player but there were moments where the way it was translated could cause a little confusion.
The game offered a nice mix of puzzles with a combination of logic, observation, mental and physical to test your brain. Although there may have been one more numerical keypad than we might have liked, the mix of other puzzles and technology broke this up. Technology was a big part of the game and it’s automated via the games central CPU. Jack mentioned that the software that runs the room can even change the difficulty of the game if the players so wish. It is with technology that we came across one puzzle we haven’t seen before and really enjoyed it as something a little different.
We played the standard version of the game and we didn’t find it overly taxing but having already played one game that evening and failed and also travelled 5 hours we didn’t want to overstretch ourselves. With this in mind, we did progress through the game fairly swiftly only stopping for the few occasions I’ve already mentioned. If you are looking for a hard as nails, highly intelligent, unique escape room, you may wish to give this a miss but, if you are looking for an entertaining 60 minutes with plenty of fun and some different elements then Agent X is definitely worth your time.
The game is set within the building of the Mafia Xcape company which give you the idea of the setting before you head inside. Much of the space takes on the idea of offices and the first two spaces you enter certainly give off that vibe. There is an attempt to make these look a little different but you can only do so much with an office space but everything we found within it was tailored perfectly to the game we were playing. SOme of the finishing in the room wasn’t as good as it may have been but that is me being pickey. My only gripe was that each room had no ceiling other than the ceiling of the room it was built in. If I was going to be picky again, I’d have liked the walls to have reached the top or had a false ceiling put in in order to really immerse you into the environment you were in. The final room was well decorated to give the vault space a different feel but the room didn’t feel like a vault and less so when we had deactivated the laser maze. Again, small gripes on the whole for an enjoyable experience.
Xcape Rooms don’t profess to be the hardest rooms. They pitch them perfectly as games for your average escapee which is really the bulk of the market. They aren’t going to be the best games you have ever played but they are far from ever being the worst. They sit comfortably mid-range and are very happy with that. If you want a game that won’t overly tax your brain but do exactly what you expect from an escape room, look no further.
Escaped: 39 minutes with 2 clues.
Note: we didn’t not pay to play this game but it did not alter our review.