Review: Mission One: The Heist, Agent Venture
4.0Overall Score

Agent Venture’s Mission One: The Heist is a Zoom based adventure to complete alongside three or four friends/colleagues. Prior to today, I have never done an online escape room, and I am very eager to try one — it is a perfect Sunday evening activity during lockdown.

Before the event you are immersed into the world through well-designed emails and a customised quiz to help you work out your role on the team. My quiz reveals I should be the Hacker — I am pleased my shambolic attempts at learning to code have been recognised. There are four roles: Navigator, Communicator, Researcher, and Hacker. If you’re a team of five, like we are, then there is also a Co-ordinator.

Our adventure begins and we are greeted by our instructor who guides us around our roles — her confident tone setting out the key information. Each of us has our own set of private information: whether that be codes to hack into alarms, private files revealing the manager’s fingerprint, extension line numbers, or maps of B.A.D. Tower which we are attempting to infiltrate. The files are specific to each role and there is a significant amount of information in them. I cannot see the others’ handbooks, but mine is beautifully constructed — I don’t know what it’s like to work for MI5, but would expect that they have documents just like these.

Throughout our journey through B.A.D. Tower and into Bozo’s office, we are greeted by a variety of foes: guards, dogs, safes, even a shark tank. However, the focus of who is needed to complete the task and vanquish our foe is constantly changing. This is a very intense format and my adrenaline is through the roof — the changing of focus is really good as the pressure feels evenly distributed.

Grace, our guide, is brilliant. Her accents are incredibly varied and even when she is constantly improvising she is supportive and upbeat. I find myself giggling at one point at a dog bark performed by Grace herself; the joys of this medium and of actors’ versatility. I am very much swept away in this world and actually wear my glasses to embody my role — how ‘method’ of me.

My handbook has a plethora of information that I do not need to use, which are clearly tailored to other possible choices and routes through the building. You can tell how unique each experience is, which makes the job of our guide particularly daunting (and impressively performed). I am thrilled to see that there are two other completely different missions, as I may have to come back. To be completely honest I would do this one again.

Overall, this is a zany and creative evening which is perfect for those wishing to metaphorically escape our houses at this time and spend time with friends near and far, as distance is no object through Zoom.

Agent Venture Mission One: The Heist performs daily until the 13 December. For more information and tickets see Agent Venture’s website.