[FROM ANYWHERE IN THE WORLD, live from SAINT-JOHN, New-Brunswick]
Ce compte-rendu est également disponible en français (c’est par ici).
New Brunswick’s borders might be closed for now, but thanks to the help of an insider, it is still possible to “visit” the home of Fawkes industries’ rich CEO (without him noticing, that is) on the outskirts of the beautiful Bay of Fundy. The people at Breakout Saint John will put you in touch with “X” and voilà! Easy peasy!
Directly from the comfort of his secret hideout in France (we are in Quebec), Steve the fraudster, a regular acolyte for our Parisian escapes, joined us to complete our trio of hamburglers. The Heist was his first escape experience on Canadian soil and also his first by videoconference. By the end of the mission, he was one happy camper ! #PreachingRemoteGamingOnePlayerAtATime
The Heist :
|⭐️⭐️⭐️ – –||⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ –||⭐️⭐️⭐️ – –|
|💲 / 👤||⏱||💬|
|60 $ for 4
10 $ / extra player
|👥||👥 ideal||Our group size|
|1 – 10||3 – 4||3|
💻 Remote, live with an avatar / 🇨🇦 R.O.C
Your target for this Heist mission is James Fawkes, a wealthy collector of rare artifacts, CEO of Fawkes Industries, and puzzle enthusiast. This isn’t an ordinary heist. Normal people keep their valuables in a metal safe but not Mr. Fawkes. He keeps what we are looking for hidden behind a number of elaborately constructed puzzles.
X’s job was to get into the mansion undetected. Your team will be responsible for helping them through the mansion, gaining access to Mr. Fawkes’ financial information and making a transfer of funds from his account into your team’s account. Be careful to ensure your team stays undetected.
Can you direct your team and weave your way through Fawkes elaborate puzzles in time to pull off “The Heist”?
– Storyline from Breakout Saint John’s website
Mr. Fawkes’ mansion
The section of the mansion that we invaded looked like a museum. The place is rather sober; it seems that Mr. Fawkes is not a man of bling. Still, the set gives the impression of being huge. As you can see in the photo, there are many doors, all leading to various galleries in which Mr. Fawkes displays, sometimes recklessly, his precious artifacts. His blind confidence in his security system will one day surely be his downfall. Over the last few years already, the manor has been robbed on a regular basis!
Opening so many doors and discovering the many new game environments can give you a boost of adrenaline (especially when you know that there is not much time left on the clock) ! This is an ideal playground for those who like to explore.
Mr. Fawkes’ puzzles
We knew that Mr. Fawkes was a puzzle lover, but we didn’t know to what extent! We were surprised by the large number of steps that had to be taken in order to get our hands on the loot. Not too hard, the puzzles are accessible to all player levels. The sheer number of them makes the game a challenge, and, frankly, the 80 minutes of game time is very welcome.
It is worth mentioning that the eccentric character also likes technology. You will therefore find very few padlocks in his mansion. Even if the game is heavily based on manipulation, the vast majority of these remain relevant from a distance. For others, there will be the dashboard.
The original version of The Heist proposed a non-linear scenario whose goal was to amass as much wealth as possible during the time allotted for the burglary. Each stolen item had its own value, the winnings thus collected were accumulated at the end of the game to give the final score. There was a lot to do and, according to Matthew (co-owner of Breakout Saint John), few teams could boast of having completely ruined the owner of the mansion in one visit.
To enable remote play, the game has been modified to be much more linear, although the dashboard (again) will allow participants to work on different tasks.
To a lesser extent, the company still uses the point-base system making the scenario accessible and satisfactory for all levels of players. This will give beginners the chance to leave the manor with a notable loot, while addicts who can finish the adventure faster will have the opportunity to tackle an additional play sequence for even more cash.
The remote experience
Breakout Saint John sets the mood with a thematic invitation email to the Zoom session. Once connected, we briefly met our friendly game master and we launched a short introductory video. After that, we were all set ! Time for the heist !
The company has developed a dashboard that is very fitting for mission. The interface is set up to give the impression that we are hacking into the camera system of the house.
During play, codes given by the GM will have to be entered in order to unlock new viewing angles and other documents necessary for our mission. From there it will be possible to inspect several elements of the room in close-up. With the help of judiciously integrated online mini-games, you will also be able to solve some manipulation puzzles remotely. This hacker tool is not only useful and well done, it is essential. I love it.
Taking into account all the previous elements, we were a little surprised to notice that the GM did not hold a particular role. We didn’t really feel like we were guiding “X”, our undercover accomplice mentioned in the synopsis, nor did we feel the thrill of a clandestine operation. In my opinion, this can affect the level of immersion in the room. Even more when playing remote.
Show me the money !!!
I must say, it was our lucky day. The watchdogs were probably napping (thanks to X for feeding them the sleep pills), because we were able to stay in the manor for a few extra minutes. It was just enough additional time to finish the job. We managed to empty all of Mr. Fawkes’ bank accounts and get back to our couches seconds before they showed up!
Since Fawkes Industries’ CEO earns millions a day, his bank accounts are already well replenished. Time for another Heist ! Will you be the next team to take a shot at his fortune ?
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Full disclosure: this game session was kindly comped by Breakout Saint-John. Photo credits: Breakout Saint John.