Amaze Escape Events: Crazy Doctor Online review
|Your friend Anna had some of the symptoms of COVID-19 so made an appointment with her doctor, Dr. Condor. She went to his private practice, but you haven’t heard from her since. It’s been days! You decide to look for more information and find out something strange. Your friend isn’t the only one who went missing after their doctor’s appointment. There are rumours that Dr. Condor is conducting horrific experiments on his patients. Someone should find out the truth. And you have to find Anna! One of your friends has already made an appointment with the doctor and will wear a hidden camera, so you can help her during this investigation. Can you find Anna, and make sure your friend does not go missing too?|
|Difficulty level not stated|
|€13-24.50 per person depending on team size|
|Online (based in The Hague, Netherlands)|
|Played by Daiman, Paul and Bharath|
|Escaped with 20 seconds remaining|
8/10After a lifetime of playing online and print at home games, we’re back in a bricks and mortar escape room albeit with a twist – it’s near Amsterdam and we’re playing remotely. As well as being a much needed breath of fresh air, the space itself was well designed, presenting an authentic facsimile of a doctor’s surgery along with a waiting room where the game begins. I was somewhat regretful that we weren’t physically playing this game as it looked like a fun hour with plenty of fun interactions with the set – imagine navigating a location where doors were locked and you didn’t have the key! Big shame that this wasn’t in-person! As far as the remote side of it goes, our host performed her duties in-character, looking for a missing person. This definitely added to the experience, as though you were controlling a movie like REC!
8/10This is an online version of their physical escape room Crazy Doctor that they’ve adapted for a lockdown world. You play live, vicariously through your host, from the comfort of your home(s). They have a camera mounted to their body which streams a feed to a Zoom call that they’ve set up for you. This allowed us to see what our host saw as we gave her instructions to search around the room and objects. She was very good, acting mildly terrified to being trapped inside a crazed doctors surgery, which helped set the scary tone. The space was realistically themed and looked great, complete with the things you’d expect to see, along with a blood-soaked bed and sink!
7/10Admittedly, the puzzles were on the simplistic side, there isn’t anything too challenging here. That said, you won’t sail through the game because of this as the remote set up means you cannot split up as a team and can only see what the host sees. Our escape time was within seconds of the hour due to this, but I can’t see anything challenging players too much. In fact, a criticism I have of the puzzles, and this may be an adaptation of the game for remote play, is that the necessary components all seemed to be nearby making observation challenges that tiny bit easier. But, they were all logical and engaging to work through. The only task I actively disliked was one in the finale which, to me, relied on outside knowledge. You could probably part way solve it based on a rudimentary familiarity of the subject but two parts we stumbled through based on guesses and old, locked away memories! It might seem obvious to others, it wasn’t to us!
7/10The puzzles were well designed and varied, albeit with a lot of locks. They weren’t that tricky and I felt like we played well, yet we escaped with mere seconds to spare! The main reason for this is it takes far longer to solve puzzles when you aren’t able to easily look around or split up. Due to this, they had to remove a few puzzles in the online version of Crazy Doctor to make it doable in an hour. There’s also a web page where you can enter words they give you to access better quality images of certain items that are not easy to see in the Zoom feed. We got some indirect help from our host as I could tell when we missed something as she would keep the camera focused on a specific area. One puzzle requires knowledge that not everyone would know. I feel like it should also be colour coded to negate this issue.
9/10I had a great time with this one! The puzzles had a nice flow to them, the host’s in-character delivery complemented the physical theming of the room and the remote aspect worked bizarrely well. On that front, it operated as a simple streamed video call. The host wore the camera so the game was from her POV and we directed her via voice instruction. Obviously, being streamed video, the quality wasn’t adequate for the precision that is sometimes needed in games but this had been accounted for. Whenever we found an object of interest, our host would ‘take’ a picture and ‘upload’ the image, sharing the link so that we could inspect a high-res photo of the item. I was initially sceptical of playing a physical room via video chat but it worked better than it had any right to!
8/10Having been in lockdown for a few months now, this was the first time I actually felt like being in an escape room, and it felt good! It may not be as good as the real thing, but I found it far more enjoyable than a print at home game. Crazy Doctor worked well online and there were no technical glitches, although there was one awkward period of silent darkness where I started thinking the connection had dropped, but I think they were just resetting the room. Your experience is directly affected by your host as they need to be in character whilst guiding you around without making it too obvious or too hard. Blair Witch style camerawork complemented the scary vibe. There’s multiple rooms, crawl spaces, secret areas and hands-on tasks so it’s a bit of a shame that we weren’t physically there to fully enjoy them.
8/10At three people for €49, this shakes down to roughly €16 per person – beyond 3, the total price increments by €10 with each additional member. For something approximating a live experience, this is way better value than printing off a PDF and solving flat puzzles with no atmosphere. It’s pitched at the right price, I wouldn’t expect to pay the full cost of admission as the experience is obviously diminished by not being able to physically engage with the location but this is a very good solution. It works surprisingly well and the game is well suited to the format. If play at home games just aren’t cutting it and you’re yearning to be back in an actual escape room, give this one a shot – it gets you closer than you might believe!
8/10You pay a premium if you want to be a team of just two, but for teams of three and above, the price gets very respectable. For our team of three it worked out at less than £15 per person at time of writing. Considering they have pretty much the same overheads for the online version as they would the physical one, the price is a lot lower than I would expect to pay for a bricks and mortar escape room. Which I think is right, as the experience for the end user isn’t quite the same, but this is a competitive price for a very good room. And with it being online, any English speaker around the world can play this without the cost of travelling to the Netherlands – bonus!
Theming - 8/10
Puzzles - 7/10
Enjoyment - 8.33/10
Value - 7.67/10