Escape the Crate is a bi-monthly subscription-box-based game that puts all the fun of an escape room in a box delivered right to your door. Every other month, Escape the Crate delivers a new adventure from time travel to a murder mystery, with puzzles designed to be solved at home.
The Cost: $29.99 every other month, plus $9.95 shipping
Note: "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.
Are you a sucker for Norse mythology? The Marvel movies seem to have brought it out in plenty of us — oh ye lovers of Thor and Loki, where are you? This month's Escape the Crate is just for you with a Vikings-style adventure straight to Valhalla.
Why am I sharing this with you? Let's just say when the latest landed on my doorstep, I was more than a little excited. Finally! A whodunit mystery board game (well, sort of), and it was in my house!
What's Inside the Box
Escape the Crate always does a great job of using every ounce of real estate in your game box to enhance game play, and this month was no different. The entire game box (which comes wrapped in a white envelope to prevent important game clues from being ruined during shipping) was absolutely covered in Viking-styled clues like these images of horned helmets.
The box was also stocked with a number of small items that you'll use during the game such as a wooden token, and a small sand timer (which will come in handy next time we play Boggle as ours is long gone — oops)!
There are also a ton of papers inside the box, all designed to be used as clues as you work your way through the Viking escape room. The first one you will want to find if you're playing will direct you to the online portion of the game. In order to make up for the fact that they can't send hefty items to everyone's home (and really, who could keep them all?) and there's no on-premises host when you're playing during family game night, Escape the Crate creates a custom online element for every one of their escape crates.
Each one offers pre-recorded videos and challenges that help you along the way. Sometimes they'll be a bit tricky, but the website also offers up hints, and there's no shame in using them. If you're challenging yourself and fellow players by timing the game, using hints does not count against the clock. Also, do NOT forget to look everywhere on the box. There are clues on the outsides and insides — so if you've shoved all the spare papers inside to keep them from making a mess, pull them out.
Good to know: It's much easier to work as a team when everyone can see the website screen, so opt for a laptop or even your TV — a cellphone works in a pinch but presents a challenge as everyone has to crowd around.
This month's crate website explains that you'll be setting sale with some Vikings (the escaping Vikings is to come!) as you head west on adventure. But between rough seas and some not-so-nice sailors, there be trouble ahead, mateys!
The first game — there are always two in Escape the Crate — was "Sail the Longship," which was more light in nature than the second game this month, and they warn you about this right up front. You set sail with Vikings in game one; you have to worry that your own home is under attack in game two (called "Defend the Home"). While it wasn't necessarily scary, I appreciated the warning out there as that can be a bit uncomfortable for anyone who has been victim of a home invasion — so just something to know!
Hands down, my favorite part of this month's game was the theme — if you're already into Norse mythology, it will be right up your alley. If you're not familiar, you're about to learn a lot. Just check out this fun item that is included in the game!
My favorite part of this crate was all the learning about Vikings that was packed into game play. For example, did you know that the pole that the sail hangs from on a Viking longship is called a "yard"? Or that a Viking ship is called a "longship"? I do now, because I played this game!
More You Should Know
Can you still get this box if you sign up today? No, if you order now your first box will be "Escape: Night of the Vampire" for some Halloween-style spookiness. However, you can purchase this box (as well as most previous boxes) as a standalone purchase for $39.99.
What do you think of the Escape the Crate "Escape the Vikings" box?
Keep Track of Your Subscriptions: Add this box to your subscription list or wishlist.