Escape the Crate Review – “Escape From Camelot”
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 From Camelot” 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 From Camelot” Review
Every box comes with an information sheet that helps get you started with the game. There’s a special link to a website for your specific crate that will guide you and your team (in this case, three of us) 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 setup 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.
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. The presentation gets better with every installment. As does the creativity of the puzzles.
For the Escape the Crate experiences, you play as part of a team that travels through time to solve murders, save historical figures, or retrieve relics. The setting for this box is the time of kings and knights. King Arthur is missing and the legendary Round Table has been broken into four pieces. You and your team must complete four quests to restore Camelot to its glory before it’s too late.
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.
At each step, you are given the option to receive hints. They start vague and get increasingly obvious. They are there to stop you from being too frustrated. Sometimes you just need that extra help. 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. And it’s usually a word that relates to the theme. So, if you figure out the first two letters are S-W, it’s not hard to guess the word is SWORD. 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 … er, I mean crate.
In addition to a few papers, there are generally a handful of props included. This box included a pennant, a toy dragon, and a double-sided wooden coin. 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 chapter should take about 30 to 40 minutes, but it’s more about working together to figure out the 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. Plus, it’s sort of like a team-building exercise.
The Verdict: After three boxes with just my wife and me, we finally were able to get a third to help us and the results were drastic. We were able to figure out most of the puzzles without the help of hints and it was much more fun. I say it every time, this subscription is much better with more than two people. I really like when the box is broken up into chapters, so this was right up my alley. Each part did its own thing and none of them seemed like throw-aways. One thing Escape the Crate does really well is taking an otherwise obvious puzzle and adding an unexpected element. There is usually one puzzle that is particularly difficult. These are great fun with friends and are family-friendly as well. This month’s installment arrived while I was on vacation. When I saw it on my porch when we got home I thought about how much fun it would have been to have it with us on vacation. These would be great in a cabin, beach house, or even a hotel room on a trip.
To Wrap Up:
Can you still get this box if you sign up today? No, order by 7/31 to receive the upcoming box “Escape the Ruins”. However, you can purchase this box, as well as most previous boxes, as a standalone purchase.
COUPON: Use code SUMMER2021 to save 20% off your first box.
Value Breakdown: This box costs $29.99 + $9.95 shipping ($39.94 per delivery) as part of Escape the Crate‘s bi-monthly subscription. The prices for in-person escape rooms near me are around $24-30 per person. I love going to an actual Escape Room as much as the next person. However, getting nearly the same experience for the cost of just one ticket is totally worth it, especially since the experience can be shared. Plus you can have a few drinks and don’t have to worry about the room being booked up the one night all your friends are free.
Keep Track of Your Subscriptions: Add this box to your subscription list or wishlist.
What do you think of the Escape the Crate “Escape From Camelot” box?