Escape the Crate “Rock N Roll Spy” Review + Coupon
Escape the Crate is a subscription-box-based game that lets you bring the experience of an escape room home! Every other month, Escape the Crate delivers a new adventure that might involve tasks like deciphering alien languages, murder mysteries, time travel stories, defusing bombs, and more. Escape rooms have become a quickly growing sensation in the last couple of years, so this is a fun way to engage with the craze.
This is a review of the Escape The Crate “Rock N Roll Spy” box.
This box was sent to us at no cost for review. (Check out the review process post to learn more about how we review boxes.)
About Escape The Crate
The Subscription Box: Escape the Crate
The Cost: $29.99 every other month + shipping
COUPON: Use code SUMMER2021 to save 20% off your first box.
The Products: Each box contains the puzzle pieces that go with an escape room-style story designed for 2-4 people to solve. Inside you’ll find letters, ciphers, puzzles, tools, objects, etc. that will help to complete the mission.
Ships to: US for $5. Shipping cost varies internationally.
Escape the Crate “Rock N Roll Spy” Review
This information sheet helps get you started with the crate. It tells you how to get everything set up. There’s a special link on the Escape the Crate website that will guide you and your “team” (in this case, my partner and I) through the game, so make sure you have a phone or computer handy.
Inside the box, we found all sorts of envelopes, papers, puzzles, and props to be used throughout our adventure, including some super fun 3D glasses!
Having the website guide you through the story/mission of the box means you’re not fumbling with a bunch of papers and potentially seeing information that would spoil things later in the game. As you play the game, the site will let you know which materials to open and when. Plus, each step is “locked” by numbers, names, or some other code that you must solve for before you can move on.
You have the option to read or listen to an audio recording of each section. I like this because it appeals to different types of learning/problem-solving styles. My partner and I decided to listen to each section first, but we’d skim through the written version of the information to confirm our understanding. The voice on the recording added a bit of personality to the experience. I’ve noticed a few places where the spoken words differ slightly from the written ones, but it’s not a big deal.
At each step, you are given hints that you can open if you need them. There’s no penalty for taking a hint, but you are still encouraged to use them sparingly. I am very competitive and also really like to challenge myself, so I have mixed feelings about the hints. I partly wish there was a penalty for using them so that we would be forced to try just a little harder to solve the puzzle in front of us. On the other hand, the ominous tick-tick-tick of the clock makes it very tempting to “cheat” at least a few times. This time around, I tried not to use too many hints—a decision that ended up backfiring!
This month’s adventure centered around a diner in a sleepy little town off of an Ohio state highway. The diner is run by a man named Benny, who might also be a Soviet spy! Our mission was to break into the diner while Benny attended his niece’s piano recital, and search for clues about this suspected spy.
I do love a good cryptogram! I found this mission to be fairly complex. It made a lot more sense to me than last month’s adventure, but it was still a challenge. There were a handful of times where we were this close to solving a clue, but just couldn’t connect the final dots.
The materials provided were good. I hate when I wind up with a bunch of “stuff” that can’t be reused or just takes up space. Although I feel like a few of the materials could easily have been left out, most everything that was essential to the game can be recycled or put to use in some other creative way. Don’t forget—there are clues hidden everywhere!
There is an option to download and print all of the paper components so that you can play again or pass the game along to a friend to try. I am really happy about this!
You track the time on your own, honor-system style. For this adventure, Escape the Crate gives you an option of a normal or an expert version of the game—we opted for normal. The game suggested 60 minutes for expert/experienced, 75 minutes for regular/casual, 90 minutes for easy/new, or to “play for fun” without a timer.
Since my partner was a newbie at Escape the Crate boxes, we decided to go with the 90-minute option. We wound up going 22+ minutes over, which was really frustrating for me! Last time, I said I was going to try it out with a larger team, but since these do make for a fun date night, it was just the two of us. (I’m happy to report he caught on quickly and was totally chill even when I started to panic about the time!)
The Verdict: I liked this Escape The Crate, and I’m sure it would have felt even more fun if we’d beat the time. Having a little experience under my belt did help, but this box was a completely new adventure with all new challenges.
Nonetheless, it was a fun time and I am excited to check out the next one—Escape the World’s Fair Killer! The level of detail put into these adventures is really apparent. They cover their bases. Of course, there are some cool physical escape rooms out there, and I don’t think this subscription could ever replace them. However, if you enjoy challenging your brain with escape-room-style puzzles, this is a wonderful way to get a similar experience without ever having to leave the house!
To Wrap Up:
Can you still get this box if you sign up today? No, you’d get the upcoming box. The Rock N Roll Spy box is available as a standalone purchase but is no longer as part of their bi-monthly subscription.
COUPON: Use code SUMMER2021 to save 20% off your first box.
Value Breakdown: This box cost $29.99 + $5 shipping ($34.99 per month) as part of Escape the Crate’s bi-monthly subscription. It’s still available as a one-time, individual purchase of $39.99 from their shop. The prices for in-person escape rooms near me are around $24-30 per person. In my opinion, getting an escape room experience for the cost of just one ticket is totally worth it, especially since the experience can be shared and/or repeated.
Keep Track of Your Subscriptions: Add this box to your subscription list or wishlist!
What do you think of the Escape the Crate “Rock N Roll Spy” box?