The Isklander trilogy is an alternate reality adventure, a virtual escape room. The trilogy is made by the Swamp Motel, an immersive entertainment company and the experience makers behind the London based Resident Evil 2 escape room / haunted house hybrid.
In the virtual escape room, you scrumage through social media posts, hack into emails, scavenge through websites, make phone calls. It’s a combination between fiction and reality, an augmented reality approach to the game. The escape room can be played with up to 6 players. You all are present in a video meeting where you and your team are presented with the case you need to solve in under 90 minutes.
Isklander makes great use of the theme of Lonon and the shady going-ons (in this story) to help describe a wonderfully crafted story. The story has a level of intrigue that makes you want to hunt down each clue and solve it. In some instances, you will have to comb over the evidence more than once to find the clues. The team-based activities make this a joy. The acting and voice-overs all add to the mysterious going ons, it’s all superbly produced and presented.
We played through the first story: Plymouth Point – A Missing Person Hunt. In this story, Ivy Isklander has gone missing and it is our job to find her as we have recently just joined Plymouth Point Resident’s watch.
My team consisted of 4 players in total. One person on the team was sharing their screen as we looked through the clues. I found the experience to be very fun and interesting. It started off as a video call with an old lady which made it seem like it was real. The clues were easy to follow and were not very confusing. The only thing that was a bit obstructed was the one part where we were to find the second part of a recording but we could not figure out the puzzle until the clue was sent to us via chat.
As another player on the team, what I liked about the game is that it was easy to play and ran smoothly. There were parts where things were easier to find, and solve and some weren’t that easier. I personally really enjoyed playing and can’t wait to play the others!
To be honest, I have never been in an escape room, so I did not know what to expect. I did see the trailer for how to play Isklander. I am happy to say it was a lot of fun and I did enjoy myself and it was much better than what I thought when I was looking at the trailer. To be fair as this was the first part of the trilogy, I did enjoy the setup and the story. I would have loved for it to have a few more live-action performances; as I think they were so engaging and hooked me in. I did have the odd network issue (that could have been on my end) but it was a little annoying. The time seemed to go so quickly but that could have been because I was having such a good time with my team trying to solve the escape room. I would like to play the other two parts of the trilogy to see what else Swamp Motel can do with this: reality adventure. I would recommend anyone who likes the idea of a virtual escape room to check it out with their friends and family, I am sure they will have a lot of fun.
A big thank you to Nassir and the rest of the games team for all their help in this review.