top of page
  • Writer's picturelastcallthtr

A Life in a Storage Container

Breaking form a bit, we’re here with a dialogic review between Ashley and Sabrina, who went and saw The Nest! Sabrina went before when it was run by Scout Expedition, and went back to see it again with Ashley, who was going for the first time. In this experience, you win a storage unit with unknown contents in an auction, entering to find the life story of a woman named Josie told through the objects she’s left behind.

Sabrina:

Since I’ve seen this before, I know I have plenty of thoughts on the experience from my repeat play-through, but I want to hear from you first! What were your impressions of The Nest?

Ashley:

I mean, I went in totally blind basically. I knew it was some sort of audio-based immersive experience and puzzles were involved, and that it had good reviews. But, as was evident from my surprise in the introductory office, I didn’t even realize we had won a storage unit, and had no idea what was inside. Overall, I thought the story was very poignant, and almost made me cry on several occasions. I could see at different points where the story was leading, but it still surprised me. I thought the ending and epilogue were especially beautiful.


Sabrina:

I think one thing that struck me a bit after seeing it the first time and playing it through again was the way that Josie’s life seems so… mundane? Not in a bad way, but a lot of the hardships she faces are things that normal people go through. It’s something that’s really powerful about the piece: the way it creates this strong connection and these strong feelings about things that happen to a lot of people. And that’s another thing that the ending also ties together beautifully. It creates this desire to hear the details and story of other people. It’s lovely to follow the arc of the story going from “what expensive and fancy thing will you find in this storage unit” to just discovering the beauty of a woman’s life that’s really lovely.


Ashley:

Yes, that’s exactly it! There’s a lot of joy and loss that’s really relatable, and stories that you’ve heard before, but I definitely think it’s a good thing about it. It makes it almost universal.


Sabrina:

There’s also something about the plot events being things that people tend to go through alone, or go through and not talk about. They’re the type of things that aren’t rare, but also the type of thing that you don’t notice until they happen or you start looking for them. Not hard taboos, but also not easy to discuss. What did you think about the design of the experience?


Ashley:

Right off the bat, I was overwhelmed by how high quality the production design was, from the multiple rows of the storage unit and creepy fog to the intricate details of every area that we explored. I kind of had the willies at first, like, “Oh no are we going to be murdered in this storage unit!” But after a little bit that pretty much passed. I get scared easily, and I can be jumpy, but I did at least know that this wasn’t supposed to be a horror experience.


Sabrina:

Totally, it’s definitely a bit spooky at first, especially when you’re settling into the experience and getting used to what it’s going to be like.


Ashley:

Yeah! I also really enjoyed the mystery of not really knowing the size of the space, and several of the areas that got revealed were really cleverly hidden. Another part of the production quality that really struck me was when we smelled the cloves! I’ve never really been to an experience that took smell into account, and I was almost immediately able to make that memory connection based on the smell.


Sabrina:

I loved that moment! Because I knew the scene that was coming up, and from your smell you absolutely nailed guessing the setting. In a similarly sensory way, I also appreciated the use of analog technology -- of course, there’s the cassette player that you’re told about from the beginning, but throughout the experience there were other small forms of analog devices that added a layer of sound and touch that are really evocative and nostalgic. As well as all the fun unique interactions in the experience, like puzzles and interactions that were clearly specific for certain memories or settings.


Ashley:

I also know we’re at an age where the older technology is something we’re aware of, or have memories of from being a kid.


Sabrina:

It’s hard to think of any aspects of the space or sensory experience that I didn’t like. The one thing I would mention is that it was definitely cramped at moments. With our group of two that felt like an intentional part of the spatial design of a crowded storage unit.


Ashley:

I simply would have enjoyed it much less if I went with more than just one other person.


Sabrina:

Totally. The original design was for 1-2 people for a reason, though I can understand where increasing the number has potential for greater financial accessibility if the cost is being split multiple ways. Still, I’d definitely recommend a group of one or two if possible. In terms of other aspects of the spatial design, I thought having a singular flashlight and cassette tape player was a good way to keep us discovering things together and kept us from splitting up, though it did mean at times one of us would end up in unexpected darkness.


Ashley:

At first having just one flashlight frustrated me, but later on there were enough ambient light sources that it was okay. Did you have any other thoughts after seeing the experience again?


Sabrina:

From both playthroughs, the experience design really feels like it captures the feeling of a live action video game, particularly one of a walking simulator style. The video game comparison is common in immersive because everyone’s trying to figure out how to explain an interactive format, but in the production design it felt clear that you were looking for a few specific interaction points, and then everything else could be explored and touched but wasn’t the main action. And I thought it was really cool how the physical space felt immersive but guided in that way.


Ashley:

For me, it felt like those old time eye-spy computer games I used to play. Like the whole time you’re looking through a bunch of things but don’t quite know what you’re looking for until you find it. The whole experience gave me a lot of nostalgia.


Sabrina:

I love that. It also reminded me a bit of What Remains of Edith Finch in terms of its overall emotional experience. On the whole, I’d fully recommend this experience for people who want to experience a live, immersive story that reflects on the nature of memory and the beauty of a life. As mentioned, I’d say one to two people is ideal for the experience, though they do allow more. The spatial, experience design sensorily evokes a sense of nostalgia and longing, and really plays into strengths of the immersive storytelling in this format.


Editors’ Notes: This review was written after Sabrina and Ashley saw The Nest in March. Tickets can be purchased through Hatch Escapes’ website: https://www.hatchescapes.com/the-nest.

21 views0 comments

Recent Posts

See All

Kommentare


bottom of page