This review contains no major spoilers for The Nest, but does cover themes, strengths, and logistics.
Scout Expedition Co.’s The Nest is a magical experience—full of wonder, exploration, and heart. Step into a small storage unit and be transported into another world, another life. Through audio tapes that span a lifetime and the belongings of a woman you don’t even know, participants will learn about the accomplishments and the hardships in Josie’s life.
The creators of The Nest has a strong background in set design—and that’s what they have focused on here, transforming a singular storage unit into something that is absolutely gorgeous. With multiple areas, each defining a different aspect of Josie’s life, there are some truly innovative and novel moments. And the clues, puzzles, and tasks all fit within the narrative of her life. Everything felt cohesive, exciting, and new. There was even one reveal that caused me to audibly gasp with delight.
While The Nest may feel like the most beautiful escape room you have ever done, it’s not an escape room. As we discussed with them previously, there is no win condition; this is not a story to rush through. Take your time, explore the space, uncover the nuances that defined Josie’s life. There are plenty of secrets to be found. If you take it slowly, you will find some beautiful details about her life. It’s truly a journey to be felt—not to be won.
There are also no actors in The Nest. Rather, the voice actors and perfectly curated sets propel the narrative forward. While the sets are physically in the room with you, the actors feel like they are too. Through Josie’s audio cassettes, I felt the emotions she conveyed; and as she grew older, I felt the weight of her past in her voice. But it wasn’t just the sets or the acting that made this experience stand out from other experiences—it was the combination of both. The way that they interacted together. What you were listening to often reflected perfectly what you were seeing in the room. It was a great example of strong story telling.
Finally, the story was dependent on which cassettes you found, and in what order you found them. You may revisit an area, which gives another chance to find a missed recording. Some are hidden really well or require an extra puzzle to solve. You will miss a tape, and probably more than one. But that creates something unique. Different people will see Josie in a different light. You don’t get all the information, so it is up to you to fill in the gaps. Your previous experiences and the lens in which you use to view her will define her life. This story is almost as much about you as it is about her.
Scout Expedition Co. has created a memorable experience with heart and a set to match. They played to their strengths and they proved (again) that they know how to create a meaningful atmosphere. With their own narrative layered over top, this company created something special in a small storage unit. I greatly look forward to how they continue evolve and grow. This company is a rising star—and has already left an impact on the immersive world with this experience.