Location: Your Home via the Magic of the Internet!
Players: We recommend 2-4 players
Price: £15.00 (About $18.86 at the time of writing.)
Who you gonna call?
From the Get Lost Escape Rooms website:
You are part of the Paranormal Research Anomaly Taskforce. You have been contacted by the infamous Dr Richard Hole to assist in his latest paranormal palaver. Dr R Hole has somehow found himself in a pickle, he appears to have picked up a paranormal pal. He’s issued a desperate plea for help in banishing his unwanted guest as it is proving to be quite the nuisance. Particularly when he’s having some issues keeping PRAT running! Do you have what it takes to identify and eradicate the bothersome ghost?
Dr. Richard Hole, such an accomplished man!
I’ll admit, as someone who loves puzzles, I will give high preference in choosing what sort of games we play to anything with a horror or supernatural theme, followed closely by lighthearted, comedic games. Luckily, Operation PRAT is both! A supernatural investigation with a naturally hilarious tone that was easily right up my alley. Not only that, but we would be working with the illustrious founder of PRAT, Dr. Hole! We invited our friends at EscapeTheRoomers, as we were sure they’d be great comrades for this ghost hunting adventure, and got to work.
So excited to work with our pal, Dr. R Hole!
One of the best things about Operation PRAT is the humor behind it. The video interludes and silly, almost absurd humor was something I really appreciated. Many escape rooms and puzzle games try for comedy, but it’s rare that designers can pull it off well, so I was pleased with how funny I found the game’s jokes. The story line was fun and light-hearted, with enough mystery to keep us invested in how things would turn out for the esteemed Doctor. The adventure itself starts out with Dr. Hole presenting us with his spooky predicament, and giving us a mysterious file as well as access to the PRAT website. There’s a lot of interesting information to go through, which was very well written and organized, with great clues subtly included throughout. Having read through most of the documents initially given, it was highly satisfying to come across a new puzzle that triggered immediate, intuitive connections with what we had read. The game itself flows well once we were able to get all the information settled, and though there was a big information dump at the beginning, it wasn’t overly arduous to manage. From there, things are mostly linear, with a new conundrum presented as we delved deeper into the mystery. The wins started off easier, with a smooth difficulty curve that slowly worked towards what I’d call a moderate challenge. Though things never got mind bendingly challenging, we very much enjoyed the difficulty level. There is a great variety of research puzzles, (which I usually dislike, but here are presented in a way that makes them much more fun than usual,) logic puzzles, and codes. There was certainly something to appeal to each member of our team of four, keeping us engaged throughout the experience.
Ghosts are horrifying. They ruin SO many good sheets!
The game starts off a little slow after the introductory video, just due to the amount of information thrown at players to start. There is a small clue to get things started, but since there’s a good bit to have a look at, it’s easy to get started down a rabbit hole and sidetracked for a while. In fact, we had the next puzzle in line solved before we were able to solve the first, so a small bit of gatekeeping might help prevent players from getting ahead of themselves. (I still do recommend reading over everything first, as it will be immensely helpful later, however.) Some passwords are very long, which can be a bit strange for folks used to shorter, succinct words or numbers. For veteran puzzlers, some puzzles might feel overly familiar, as a few are old hat for escape room enthusiasts. I still had a fun time with them, but they may be banal for long time puzzlers. We needed a hint or two a couple times, but the hints were at times a bit too vague for our liking.
Operation PRAT was a fun time, and a great hour long diversion for us during the lockdown! I think newcomers to the puzzling world will like this the most, as it presents a fun thematic game that introduces some standard puzzle concepts well, but as a escape game enthusiast, I still had a great time working through all the conundrums presented, so I think there’s something to entice veterans here as well. I recommend trying it out if you have a chance here!
Full Disclosure: Get Lost Escape Rooms provided our team with a complementary game.