A group of friends meet up for a zoom hangout and stumble upon a world of secrecy and lies. Before they know it, they’re lifting the lid on a national scandal with international implications… No, it’s not another new Netflix show, it’s Crack the ClimateSilencer – the virtual escape room where you and a group of friends take on the climate crisis. I was invited to play it myself and loved it! Here’s my review.
If you’ve ever done an escape room in-person, you’ll be familiar with the elaborate immersive experiences they offer. Being plunged into a room that looks like it was ripped from a film set, with nothing but cryptic clues for escaping is surprisingly good fun. So how does that translate online? In the case of Crack the ClimateSilencer, very well!
The team behind the game did a great job of bringing the world to life. With a genuinely enticing plot and fun characters guiding your experience, it really does feel like being thrust into the middle of a mystery. I won’t spoil too much, but the basic premise is that your group of friends find out about a sinister plan to block the truth about the climate crisis from reaching the masses. Although it’s a fairly simple concept, it’s executed with high production value and delightfully over the top characters.
The game is suitable for 3-10 players, and sees you and your teammates scouring letters, documents and even the Bible for secret messages to aid your quest for truth. It’s no walk in the park either. In my playthrough we almost got stumped a couple of times before realising we missed a key clue. ‘Crack the ClimateSilencer’ is challenging enough to keep you engaged, without making you want to rip your hair out. There’s plenty of laughs to be had on the way too, making for a breezy hour (or less if you’re good) playthrough.
Close to home
What really makes Crack the ClimateSilencer special is its central plot. While taking on the climate crisis may seem like an insurmountable task, but the game does a great job of showing how you can make a difference in real life. Without giving too much away, you’ll leave the game learning some important lessons about self-interested multinational corporations, how to advocate for change and the importance of managing stakeholders.
Crucially the game doesn’t focus on your individual actions. Instead collaboration is the focus, not only in how you play, but in the narrative itself. While the game could’ve easily settled for ‘tackling’ the climate crisis through monitoring each player’s carbon footprint for example, instead there’s a focus on influencing whole groups of people, like the church, to take action. And it manages to do all of this without ever feeling too laborious or on the nose. It manages to strike the perfect balance of education and entertainment.
Crack the ClimateSilencer is at its core a great virtual escape room experience that’s well worth your time. Add to that the well thought out story of fighting the climate crisis and you have a game that gives you plenty to take back into real life as well. If you’re looking for some more fun video chat activities while the roadmap out of lockdown continues to unfold, Crack the ClimateSilencer is a highly recommended option!