Escape Valentin - the first digital Valentine's Day-themed escape game that promotes special programming by Discovery Investigation France.
— Investigation FR (@InvestigationFR) 13. Februar 2017
Just in time for Valentine's Day, Discovery Investigation France launched the online escape game "Escape Valentin" on February 13th. Promoting the special Valentine's Day-themed crime evening on the channel, the interactive game, which is the first digital escape game, is available on a dedicated microsite until February 27. Players can connect the game with their Facebook accounts to personalize the experience. Furthermore, participants have the chance to win an XBox One or vouchers for SFR's video-on-demand service.
While Discovery Investigation airs four episodes around murders and crimes that took place on Valentine's Day, fans can play the locked-room escape game "Escape Valentin". In a first step, players must log in with their Facebook account and select five friends to send them an invite to play. They will then be included in the game to personalize the suspects.
The plot revolves around the players' plans for Valentine's Day. They are meant to go out on a date, but are kidnapped by a supposed stranger. When waking up in a locked room in an unknown location, they need to use their investigative skills to escape.
Players have five minutes to identify their kidnapper out of four suspects and escape the room. Those suspects are their Facebook friends who have been invited to play along in an earlier step. To help players along, the 360-degree view of the room allows to explore several clues lying around. They either corroborate or contradict the suspects' alibis. For example, one of the personalized suspects says he has been to the movies, which is verified through a movie theater schedule. After having examined all the clues, users can guess which suspect is the real kidnapper.
After having successfully escaped the room, players are told that Valentine's Day might not be the safest day. A link to the Discovery Investigation website is provided.
The result of the "Escape Valentin" game can also be shared via Facebook or Twitter in order to compare the time users needed to escape with other players. All players who completed the game automatically enter a sweepstakes, whose winners will be randomly chosen on February 28. The grand prize is an XBox One, 50 runner-ups receive a voucher for three months unlimited access to SFR Play VoD.
Discovery Investigation not only launched the digital "Escape Valentin" experience to engage viewers with the special programming event, but also took to the streets of Paris and handed out roses on Valentine's Day. An attached note reminded recipients to tune in that night and the experience's hashtag #EscapeValentin was also prominently featured.
Matthias Puschmann is the Managing Director and Cofounder of VAST MEDIA, a media research and consulting company based in Berlin that provides international television industry leaders with qualitative competitive market analysis of digital entertainment and content marketing.