Audivio Studios: Pentargo Quarantine review
|Three days before the quarantine is declared, Jonas Colomes mysteriously disappears on a getaway through the mountains. His sister Anna, a police officer, will undertake an investigation and try to solve what has happened to him. She can go out, but you will help her from home. Are you ready?|
|No time limit|
|Difficulty level not stated|
|€2.50 per person (part of which goes to healthcare charity)|
|Online (based in Spain)|
|Played by Daiman, Paul and Bharath|
|Completed in around 2 hours 40 minutes|
8/10This one had a strong, realistic vibe to it given its wholly online nature. Where other games that we’ve played have dabbled in using things like Facebook Messenger, Quarantine leans hard into this concept. There are numerous moments when you will need to ‘step outside the game’ to progress, enhancing the immersion. Elsewhere, the interfaces are well designed and the use of actual photos and video throughout the experience, coupled with a genuinely engaging storyline, complete the picture.
9/10This is a fully online Spanish escape room that’s been converted into English. You play via their mock instant messaging app where you converse with Anna to piece together the real reason for her brother’s disappearance. Her automated messages contain lots of detail and include pictures, videos and files. The comprehensive storyline is loosely based on the current coronavirus situation. There’s quite a lot to read and it gets dark and edgy with some very strong language in places. This was unexpected but did help with the realism, which also extends to how you need to solve the puzzles. They even created a Spotify playlist to listen to as you play for added immersion. Their messaging system worked really well, although a couple of sentences were still in Spanish, but they didn’t hinder us.
8/10As mentioned, a great deal of what you have to contend with is less ‘typical’, with a considerable focus on ‘real-world’ solutions versus your more standard escape room style activities. This had the effect of them not really feeling like puzzles as such given their more natural integration into the story. I feel like I’ve not said enough here but part of the fun is figuring these things out for yourself and any detailed chat about the tasks you have to undertake will inevitably spoil that I think!
8/10The tasks required investigative and logic skills and felt very realistic with us needing to use our own initiative to scour the web to find online tools that would help us make sense of the evidence we were given. This was something I’ve not experienced in a play at home escape room before and I liked it a lot. It does make it a difficult game though, and it’s made even harder by the fact some of the tasks are lost in translation. One uses the American date format and another requires you to translate from Spanish to English and back again. As there were multiple choices for the translations, we were forced to use their provided help page to get a clue as it would have been almost impossible to solve otherwise.
9/10I had a great time with this one as I’m a big fan of real-world logic. Puzzles that make little sense in the world of the story throw me out of the game as I find myself questioning their necessity to escape etc. Rather than looking at something and trying to figure out its internal logic to unwrap it, I much prefer applying the logic I would if I actually found myself in that situation. Because that’s obviously the most natural way to deal with problems rather than counting coloured objects and things like that. To me, it just helps immerse me in the story when I’m not making wild leaps that I wouldn’t naturally do.
8/10I really liked how realistic this game felt. From the tasks that required us to use our ingenuity to the natural language used, although the easily offended won’t appreciate the colourful parts! It’s not a perfect game though, mainly due to the fact it was created in Spanish and then later translated as-is into English. I also found the way Anna messaged us annoying as she would send multiple short messages instead of just one long one. Pentargo Quarantine sends you to many online resources, some of which you will know (Google services, social media sites etc) and some you probably won’t (emulators, converters, editors etc). It may become a little exhausting if you try to complete it in one sitting.
10/10At €2.50, this game is seriously underpriced. It’s a full-length adventure with high production values and genuine care for the story that it’s telling. The puzzles fit seamlessly into the narrative leaving you with a well-crafted game for a ludicrously low price. Honestly, it would be a competitive game with others we’ve played at five times that cost. At the price it is, it’s an absolute steal and I, personally, can not recommend it highly enough!
9/10This was an unexpectedly quality experience that belies it’s bargain asking price of just €2.50pp. I actually put off playing it as I expected something simple. How wrong was I! It’s an extremely detailed experience that combines their faux messaging platform with real world websites, creating a sprawling online adventure that reminded me of The Insiders. There are the aforementioned flaws that you will have to work around though, but they add to the challenge. Pentargo Quarantine won’t be for everyone, especially those new to online escapes, but if you’re up for a challenge, this is well worth playing.
Theming - 8.33/10
Puzzles - 7.67/10
Enjoyment - 8/10
Value - 9.33/10