Can You Escape Malta: The Pub

Can You Escape Malta was our first online escape room from abroad, as close to a holiday we’re going to get this year! Ironically, we went with a quintessentially British theme – something we’ve all been missing – the Pub. 

Yep, we’ve finally taken advantage of what is probably the biggest upside of online games, being able to play escape rooms from all over the world. This is a game I’m really glad I got to play. 

The Basics

This game takes 1 hour to play, and we escaped in 54 minutes. Cutting it close! We played this game using Zoom, showing us the point of view of the avatar. We also used a website called IMGBB to view pictures our avatar had managed to send us. 

We found this game quite challenging, partly due to the number of puzzles and locks we faced up against!

The Story 

Your friend is on a work trip in Malta. On the last night, he decides to head to the Pub. There’s no one except for your friend and a weird looking barman. Your friend orders a beer. As he takes the first sip, your friend realizes that the barman has also vanished. By the time your friend realizes there might be trouble, he finds a masked man pointing a gun at him. He locks him inside, stating he is a puzzle psychopath who has prepared a series of puzzles which need to be solved for him to escape. Before locking him in, he activates a bomb which he says will explode in 60 minutes and which is impossible to diffuse.

Your friend video calls you. You are his only hope. Guide him through The Pub and help him find the way out. Your 60 minutes start now!

Players

We played with our usual team of 3, and I wouldn’t suggest more than 4 players, due to the layout of the game. For this game, you pay for the amount of screens you use. It is £45 for 2 screens, and £67 for 3+ screens. Though this is a bit high for online games, it is what we usually see for avatar style games.

Objectives/Goals

The aim of this game is to free your captivated friend and help them escape in 60 minutes. The explanation for why we are helping is simply that our friend called us. As far as storylines go, this one is simple but effective. 

Rules/Mechanics

Before you play the game you are sent a video that covers the story of the room. Your avatar who is also your GM will cover it with you too. 

Our GM was very enthusiastic and cheered even louder than us when we managed to open a lock. Every time we were trying a code or a key, he would say he thought it was going to open, in the same stubborn, confident way we all try a tiny key in a huge lock. In previous avatar games, we would sometimes get a feeling from the avatar that the code was correct even before you had tried the lock. No risk of that here. It was frustrating at times, when we were wrong, but it really made it feel realistic. 

There are quite a few locks in this room, and it was easy to forget what kind of information you’re looking for. 4 numbers? 5 letters? A key? I would recommend having a little list of the locks you’ve found to help keep you on track. 

As you go through the game and get access to different places, the avatar will ‘message’ you images of the rooms. These are definitely worth checking out to get more views of the room. 

Controls 

These controls followed the usual for avatar games, using clear instructions to guide the avatar around the room. There isn’t a tutorial, but the avatar is very friendly and gently guides you, asking what he should look at next, where he should try a code. 

In-game Information

The timer for this game is on the avatars watch, and he will regularly update you on the time, especially when you are getting near the end, really amping up the pressure. 

There was no counter for the number of clues you got. From playing different avatar games, and from running games ourselves, we know when you are in the room with the team, it is easy to give such subtle clues that the team almost don’t know you’re helping. This helps us feel independent, and also makes it hard to count the clues. 

Elements in Motion 

Being locked up by a ‘puzzle psychopath’ is a classic theme in escape rooms, one I will never get tired of. The constant worry that the villain will return at any moment, even you know really that they won’t. 

To me, the game had a high quality set. It was very immersive, and the majority of the puzzles followed the theme. There wasn’t many electronic puzzles, but there were some intricate, unique mechanical puzzles that I thoroughly enjoyed. This game was full of both eurika and kick yourself moments; both integral to a brilliant escape room.

The puzzles flowed from one to another quite well. There were of course times where we weren’t sure what to do next, or how to use an item, but I never felt lost, or that you required a leap of logic to solve something. 

The Verdict 

Before playing this game, we saw a lot of hype for it online, and I have to say it was all well placed. This was an exciting, enjoyable, enigmatic escape room. If it were not for it being put online, it is a game I would likely not have heard of, let alone been able to play. Our host was brilliant, and we totally got lost in this game. 

Put your escape room skills to the test and give the Pub a go, at https://canyouescapemalta.com/live-video-escape-room/

Ellie

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