Format: Remote play
Variety of Puzzles 4/5 Originality of Puzzles 3/5
Difficulty 2.5/5 Pre-game atmosphere 4/5
Overview – The puzzles in this room were great fun and really well thought out, particularly the more time consuming, trickier challenges. Our GM led the experience brilliantly, setting up the theme well and guiding us through the story as we went. It wasn’t the most challenging of experiences, but it was still very enjoyable and I’m really looking forward to Roobicks’s future offering of a game aimed at enthusiasts with a higher difficulty level – we can’t wait to try that out!
You are on your way to an open house at a rustic country cottage, but arrive to find the house in shambles. You can’t help having a look downstairs… but then you hear the door close and lock behind you. There’s an elevator with a keypad, but you need a code. To find it, you must follow the trail of clues puzzle, solving the puzzles along the way. Can you be the first team to open the elevator and escape?
Team – Ster, Ni, Simon, Stu
Played – 20/6/20
Full disclosure – We were invited to play this game free of charge, though we’ve tried not to let this influence our opinion of the experience.
The race element to the way that these games are run provides a really fun, interesting dynamic to the experience. We all met in a video chat before starting, the four of us plus another team playing in the US. Before we started, our games master went through some technical instructions and made sure that everyone understood how to communicate via on-screen annotation and then we were off, racing to be the first team to the elevator and escape!
Escape the Basement
The puzzle set up here was really interesting. Instead of entering passwords or inputting codes, each puzzle had a short introduction and then appeared on the screen. Our GM listened for us to say the correct answer and would then move us on to the next section, which was really fun. It meant every puzzle had a little celebration as our GM jumped in and confirmed that our answer was correct.
The puzzles themselves worked very well over a video call and we were able to work collaboratively using the annotation, particularly on some puzzles which in a ‘real life’ escape setting would probably have been printed and so not involved the whole team. Adding notes to the puzzle together in order to reach the solution was really enjoyable and I can see how this would work brilliantly for a team building type activity.
Out GM was really focussed on what we were doing, leading the story fantastically and always ready to jump in when we found the solutions so there was no waiting around, which was great. She also very kindly called a number for us so that we could listen to a pre-recorded message as we were having a bit of a debate about who on the team was going to pay for a transatlantic phone call! It was a really great element to the puzzle, adding another dynamic to the way in which the game played.
We didn’t use any clues while playing, but we were told in advance that any clues we used would add either 1 or 3 minutes to our final time, at the GM’s discretion, which adds a bit more tension to the race when a team is stuck for an answer!
We completed the experience pretty quickly but thoroughly enjoyed ourselves as we went. Talking afterwards, we were told that during testing teams were taking 2 hours to complete the escape so I can see why the difficulty was lowered slightly! To give a proper flavour of the difficulty level, when we had completed all of the challenges and escaped, the team that we were racing against was still solving the first puzzle, so while we didn’t find the difficulty level too hard, it definitely offers a challenge to less experienced teams!