Escape One Algarve – Final Call (Review)

Location: Your Home via the Magic of the Internet!

Players: 1-6 Devices (We recommend 2-5 players)

Price: €60 per room (About $70.45 USD at the time of writing)

Time to Escape: 60 minutes

Remember, when escaping the zombie hordes, a bridal boutique is the best place to hole up!

Theme:

From the Escape One Algarve website:

Zombies have taken over the city. Resources are running out and you’re facing the challenge of your life. Find your boarding code for the last flight to safety in the military-appropriated… bridal boutique?? Do you have what it takes to earn what you need to survive?

First Impressions:

Our virtual escape room jaunt has taken us some crazy places, but a bridal boutique in the middle of a zombie apocalypse definitely takes the cake for originality! We couldn’t wait to try this one out when we first heard about Escape One Algarve, and it certainly did not disappoint!

High Points:

Final Call’s theme, as previously mentioned, is wonderfully original! A bridal boutique zombie escape room is something I don’t think I’d ever have thought of, but I’m glad someone did, because it is truly one of my favorite themes, up there with Vampires v. Unicorns. The humor is implemented well, and meshes with the horror themes without overshadowing each other, ensuring that both the scares and jokes come through effectively. The set design also exhibits some of this fantastic duality, with a beautiful bridal boutique’s pleasant charm being invaded by zombie heads, military ammo boxes, and no shortage of blood! There is a fair amount of tech involved with this room, and it all translates well, with many sections of the room bolstered by interactions that have been implemented within the inventory system to ensure that more tactile interactions are able to be experienced by the players. There are also a few great B-movie style videos that pop up during key points of the game to complement the story, as well as provide a few jump scares and/or laughs. One of these videos in particular was very well done, leading to a climactic moment we absolutely did not expect! The finale was awesome, and we really enjoyed how the in person interaction that Escape One Algarve normally provides has been translated to the remote experience seamlessly.

Puzzles within the room are great, and flow well, with a non-linear set up that allowed us to bounce around the room at our leisure, taking on puzzles as they came, and making intuitive connections throughout. There were a couple moments where we came across some escape room standbys, and it was fantastic for us to be able to engage in these teamwork based puzzles we hadn’t been able to enjoy for a while due to COVID. I’ve never seen a physical teamwork puzzle work within a remote room, but Escape One Algarve has figured out a way to make it not only function, but be a entertaining interaction that engaged the whole team. For the most part, the puzzles were excellently creative, and it was really cool to see how they integrated into the theme itself. Many times, with some out of the box thinking, we made connections that we wouldn’t ordinarily expect, leading to great ah ha moments. I really enjoyed one of the late game puzzles that capped off a room long item collection in a satisfying way, and I loved how most all of the puzzles gelled in a way that made them feel interconnected. Overall, this is a great room that has some amazing ideas, and executes on them fantastically.

Low Points:

There was one puzzle in particular that we weren’t overly fond of, but luckily for us, we managed to skip it by using something else in the room to determine the answer. Unfortunately, that puzzle wasn’t meant to be solved at that point in the game, so it sort of threw off telescape’s inventory flow, and we missed out on a couple cool interactions. The owners did let us go back and have a look at the telescape interactions we had missed, and assured us that they would go back and fix the clue that allowed us to jump ahead in the game flow by accident. I’ve noticed that Telescape inventory alerts can be strangely loud and grating depending on what the settings are, and unfortunately, the alerts in Final Call were very loud. We also had a spotty connection to start, so I abandoned my device and joined in on my wife’s computer. This is to be expected due to the long distance between the US and Portugal, but I did miss a few things at the start.

Verdict:

Final Call is a great escape room to play from home, and I’m glad we happened upon it! A brilliant escape room experience filled with remote friendly puzzles and excellent surprises, I definitely recommend checking it out if you’re looking for a horror experience that mixes in a good bit of comedy as well. Final Call is definitely a beginner friendly room that still packs a good challenge for enthusiasts, and virtual players will have a fantastic time booking their flights out of zombie infested territory here!

8.5/10 (Great)

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