Escape the Crate “Quest For The Lost City” Review + Coupon
Escape the Crate is a bi-monthly 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 “Quest For The Lost City” 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 MAMMOTH to save 15% 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: The US for $5. Shipping cost varies internationally.
Good to Know: “Retired games” (boxes that are no longer part of the subscription) are often sold as one-time purchases on the Escape the Crate site for $39.99.
Escape the Crate “Quest For The Lost City” 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, me and my partner) through the game, so make sure you have a smartphone or computer handy.
Inside the box, we found all sorts of envelopes, papers, puzzles, and props to be used throughout our adventure, including items that required cutting–have your scissors ready! Pro-tip: If you are able to decipher what needs to be cut upfront, snip away before you start the clock!
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. I tend to listen to each section first, then skim through the written version of the information to confirm understanding. The voice on the recording also adds 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 view 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. For this puzzle, we only used the hints a few times to confirm that we were on the right track.
The goal for this box is to find the lost city of Patiti which was said to be filled with gold, jewels, and priceless treasures. Usually these boxes include a lot of detail that equates to a history lesson of sorts, but this one seemed to be a little more focused on the tasks at hand.
My partner’s feedback was that some of the clues were more logical/easier to solve than others while at least one could have gone multiple ways and was pretty far-reaching. He also felt that the small print was very difficult to read on some of the handouts. (Ok, maybe that was my aging-eyes feedback!)
The materials provided in this box were meh, in my opinion. I feel like they were kind of just thrown in for the sake of having something tactile in the box. I suppose they could at least be reused in someone’s craft room, however.
Take note that 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 suggested 60 minutes for expert/experienced, 75 minutes for regular/casual, 90 minutes for easy/new, or to “play for fun” without a timer.
We opted for the 90 minute time limit and went about 5 minutes over. Clearly, we were not pleased about this. My partner felt that if the timer had been more prominently displayed, he/we would have been more focused and probably would have beat the clock. Perhaps we’ll try this the next time!
The Verdict: As usual, I enjoyed this Escape The Crate box. Now that I have a few under my belt, I always begin thinking I have a better sense for how the game-makers put things together, yet I get stumped every time! It has been fun to try them with a new partner each time, however I think it would be interesting to see if having two “seasoned” players would shave off some time.
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 “Quest For The Lost City” box is available as a standalone purchase but is no longer as part of their bi-monthly subscription.
COUPON: Use code MAMMOTH to save 15% 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!
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