Small Time Criminals
Forget escape rooms, Small Time Criminals is the next level! It's a real world simulation game that's the closest you'll get to the adrenaline pumping thrill of robbing a bank, without actually doing it. It uses live performers, electronic buzzers and environmental changes to fully immerse you into the game. The group you go with become the thieves and you have 1 hour to rob the bank and get out with as much loot as you can. Be prepared to break into safes, hack computers, avoid trip wires and hide from the guard.
When I was still in high school (which was a long...long...time ago), my sister and I use to watch crime night on Foxtel every Wednesday night. It was hours worth of crime shows where the detectives would discuss past crimes and break down how they solved the case and caught the criminals. They always used those amazing re-enactments that were so poorly acted it was borderline comical. Watching these shows always made me think criminals were idiots. The amount of evidence they'd leave behind or mistakes they made was astounding. It always made me wonder if I would have what it takes to commit the perfect crime and get away with it. I figured 'Small Time Criminals' would be a way to find out.
This game is the closest you can come to robbing a bank without actually doing it. Everything that happens in the game is a result of your decisions and actions. You can interact with the actors and props however you see fit and it results in the game becoming unique to your group, so be prepared for anything. You can go/look/search anywhere at any time. There is no sequence of events to follow (like an escape room).
A big advantage to this game, is you can play it again and again and have a completely different experience. There's way more to experience than the hour allows for, so next time you go back you can focus on something completely different.
The uniqueness of this game really makes it feel real. My heart was really pumping as I was doing commando rolls under desks to hide from guards. More importantly, I was finally able to answer that question I'd always asked about myself.....could I commit a crime? Now I know....NO, DEFINITELY NOT ..... I'm going to need more practice.
Cat and I pride ourselves on being good at escape rooms and we thought this would mean we would be more than ready to take a crack at the new fully immersive bank heist game, Small Time Criminals. How very wrong we were!
If you have been to an escape room and are thinking of giving Small Time Criminals a go then before you do throw out everything you know about escape rooms. This experience is not like any you would have tried before.
As soon as you step foot in the door the experience begins, so be prepared. Cat and I both got into character and played along with the role-playing which I would highly recommend to get the full experience. It’s more fun that way.
I’m very used to an escape room where you work through each problem which brings you to another problem and you "Sherlock" your way through until you escape. This is nothing like that! The best way I can explain it is to compare it to any open world computer game where you can go where ever you want.
I think the excitement got to us as we did not work well as a team at all. Once inside we were like headless chooks. I did try to create some sort of process or order but with so much to do and see, it was hard to stay focused.
Your heart races as you try and hide from the guards and what I loved most is how the guards react to things that happen in the space. If you leave a door open or a key in a lock the guards will lock the door and take the key. You really have to be switched on and alert.
I definitely think we need to go back and give it another crack now that we have an idea of how best to go about working together. If I can offer you one piece of advice it would be to communicate with each other the entire time about everything you find because you never know what the rest of your team may have seen that you didn’t.
The best part about the entire experience is that we could go back again and (without taking any of the things we took last time) still find more than enough to have whole new experience. The game is designed in such a way so that you wouldn’t be able to steal everything. Make wise decisions, work as a team and most importantly don’t get caught.