Escape the Crate Review + Coupon – “Escape The Ripper”
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 Ripper” 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. Save with longer subscriptions.
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.
Also, the website will help you reset the game, including downloading and printing any lost or destroyed paper components. That way you can play again or pass the game along to a friend to try.
Escape the Crate “Escape the Ripper” Review
This information sheet helps get you started with the crate. There’s a special link to a website for your specific crate that will guide you and your “team” (in this case, me and some friends) through the game. So make sure you have a smartphone or computer handy and charged. We used a laptop and I think it worked better since the whole team could see the information at the same time. Sometimes the puzzle you need to solve is on the website. So a bigger, shared screen is better.
Having the website guide you through the set-up and story 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 enter on the website before you can continue. Also, it’s a big help to have a pen and paper for notes. There was also something to cut this month, so get some scissors too.
The website also begins with an example puzzle to help you understand how they work.
Inside the box, there are all sorts of envelopes, double-sided papers, puzzles, and props to be used throughout the adventure. Usually, everything you need to unlock the next step comes from the clues on the papers, props, or website. We were glad to see the company is continuing to use the nicer paper. Everything was of nice quality, colorful, and well designed. I feel like the presentation gets a little better with every installment.
For the Escape the Crate experiences, you play as part of a team that travels through time to solve murders, save extinct species, or retrieve relics. The setting for this box was London during the Jack the Ripper murders. Interestingly, this month’s box has two versions of the story. First, a “family-friendly” version void of the gory details. Participants search a mansion for evidence to convict Jack the Ripper. The creators call this version “classic” and a bit easier than version two.
The second version is harder and considered “PG-13.” It’s no surprise given the subject matter. In this version, you are on the streets of London trying to catch the murder red-handed. My friends and I played this version and didn’t find it too bad, but parents playing with kids or anyone squeamish may want to stick to version one. It was very thoughtful of the makers to give subscribers the option. And for some, it will be like getting two games this month.
You have the option to read or listen to an audio recording of each section. I like this because you can look at the table while the scenario is being read to you. It’s also nice when you need to clarify what you heard. You can find the text without having to search through the audio file. The voice on the recording also adds a bit of personality to the experience.
At each step, you are given the option to receive hints. They start vague and get increasingly obvious. There’s no penalty for using a hint, except maybe a loss of satisfaction from having to use one. We’ve completed boxes without hints, but also had some when we needed several. It’s nothing to beat yourself up about. It’s about having a good time.
Each step can only be unlocked with a name, word, or number. The website will say, “You need a five-letter word.” However, this is a cheat at times. Sometimes you can make an educated guess because you know how many letters or digits there are. I will say, now that I’ve done a few of these, the creators know you’re looking for the easy answer and often come up with creative ways of making you think outside the box.
In addition to a few papers, there are generally a handful of props included. This box included a foam heart, a length of lace, and a magnifying glass. Note: the website says you may have a small box instead of a magnifying glass depending on your shipment. Each prop will come into play during the escape and you may use them in a way you didn’t originally expect. The box itself also comes into play.
If you feel so inclined, you can time yourself. The website says each version should take about 45 minutes, but it’s more about working together to figure out puzzles. I personally like to play with several people, because everybody’s mind works differently and it’s good to have so many different sets of eyes on the puzzles. However, we’ve found that we often are working on different puzzles at the same time, and by the end, we’re asking, “When did we solve that puzzle?” All is well that ends well, I guess.
The Verdict: This month was a bloody good time. We didn’t find the subject matter offensive or unsavory. Although we didn’t play both versions, we thought it was awesome to get two “rooms” this month and may play the other on another day. While it’s not quite the same experience as a real room, we all agreed it was a fun – and cheaper – way to spend a night with each other. We think it’s nice to have a break from the competitive board games and work together on one. My friends are always excited when I text them that the newest installment of Escape the Create has arrived.
To Wrap Up:
COUPON: Use code SUMMER2021 to save 20% off your first box.
Value Breakdown: This box costs $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 Ripper” box?