Escape the Crate “Escape the Mothman” 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 murder mysteries, time travel stories, tasks like deciphering alien languages, 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 “Escape the Mothman” 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: 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 “Escape the Mothman” 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.
The last few boxes have included a sample puzzle of sorts to get you familiar with how things look/feel before beginning your stopwatch. I’ve found them to be generally a lot easier than the real puzzles, but it’s an ego boost if nothing else and gets you excited for what’s to come!
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 box, we had to use the hints for pretty much every clue. We were generally on the right track, but there was always something very obscure (or illogical!) that we were missing. I did not like this!
The setting for this box was Point Pleasant, West Virginia, the sleepy town where the alleged sightings of the Mothman took place in 1966. Living not too far from this location, as well as having seen the 2002 movie starring Richard Gere, I was semi-familiar with the legend of the Mothman. One of the reasons I really like this box is that they intertwine history with an imaginative spin!
This box included a handful of “prequel puzzles” which at first seemed like a bonus. I’m not sure they added much to the game, however, other than a significant amount of unplanned time. We wound up having to stop the clock and come back to the puzzle the following day.
The materials provided in this box were great. I can’t stand waste, but this month included sunglasses, crayons, a game of jacks–all things I can hang onto and use many times!
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 came in just under the wire! As noted above, we used clues to get us over the final hurdle on most of the puzzles in this mission. Honestly, if we hadn’t the timer might still be going! I guess I’ll take the “W” even though it doesn’t feel fully earned.
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! This was my first repeat partner so he knew a bit better what to expect, and I do think that helped our time. It’s always fun to see which puzzles are a snap for me but a challenge for the other player, and vice-versa. One of these times I hope to try it with a bigger group to see if it helps or hinders things.
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 “Escape the Mothman” 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 delivery) 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 “Escape the Mothman” box?