Professor BlackSheep seeks to recreate the original genetical experiment that turned him into a sheep. He has launched a cyber attack on our old mainframe in the hope of extracting secret data, along with the genetical research he’s missing.
In order to stop the Professor from breaching our firewall, you and your team will have to access Mr Q’s old base. The only way in, however, is to shrink down to the size of a mouse with the help of the Shrink’o’Mat.
Word of caution, agents: the technology you’ll be exposed to is…a bit unstable and still experimental. You’ll have only 60 minutes to counteract the cyber attack and secure the mainframe before the Shrink’o’Mat’s effect wears off and things get messy.
Team – Ster, Ni, Simon, Stu
Played – 29/9/18
(Reviewed by Ster)
This visit to ClueQuest was a little different to our previous visits as we were playing this room as part of a competition and therefore played the room before it officially opened. There were 20 teams in the competition, all having won the chance to tackle Origenes by achieving a time in the top 5 for one of the other ClueQuest games over a month long period. Our team had already completed all of the ClueQuest missions, so we won entry by playing the outdoor mission that ClueQuest put on to allow teams in a similar position to have a chance at winning entry too, we were really grateful that ClueQuest put on the outdoor mission as we were very excited to have a go at Origenes!
On arrival, we were shown to the ClueQuest conference room to wait while the previous team completed their mission and we spent some time discussing the other ClueQuest missions that we had played. It was a very different experience to previous visits, particularly being interviewed before and after playing (I don’t think any of us managed to come off as particularly charismatic on camera and we struggled to think of anything interesting to say for quite a few of the questions – sorry to anyone who ends up watching those videos!) but it was very exciting to be getting a sneak preview! Our hosts were friendly and welcoming and we really enjoyed discussing Origenes and the other ClueQuest missions with them.
The first part of this room requires quite a bit of teamwork and I think involved a fair amount of, maybe not shouting, but possibly talking more loudly than usual as we worked out what was going on. I really enjoyed the first puzzle, it was different and frustrating but in an entertaining way rather than in a way that annoyed anyone. I didn’t think that it was overly complicated to work out but the solution required a bit of time and teamwork to complete, which was a great start to the room with everyone working together on one puzzle.
Once the first hurdle had been overcome, the real work began. Or, possibly not quite as we kept getting stuck! One aspect of this play that made our experience quite unique is that, due to it being a competition, we weren’t allowed any clues that would give us an advantage over other teams, this meant that when we got stuck, we really got stuck! We kept obsessing over a detail that meant absolutely nothing and spent a good long while just staring at each other not being able to work out what came next. In any other play of this game, one pretty simple clue would have pointed us in the right direction, but in our situation I think that we came the closest we have ever come to actually arguing during an escape as we were getting so frustrated!
That’s not to say that we didn’t enjoy the puzzle, we were just really quite slow on the uptake! This room has some really interesting puzzles to work through that we all enjoyed getting stuck into, including a few things that we’ve never seen before and really impressed us. There were quite a few puzzles that required a high level of teamwork, something that we always enjoy in an escape.
This is a fairly linear room, so most of the time we were all focussed on one puzzle, which had both positives and negatives. There was one puzzle in particular that ended up taking all of our brainpower to solve, as we sat on the floor disagreeing on how best to describe a variety of strange symbols. That really highlighted the different ways in which we think and would probably have been easier if we’d actually been working in pairs as we would have understood each other better!
The theming and story of this room is great, I loved the way that the room has been decorated and the ways that the puzzles related to the story were brilliant. The final puzzle was quite frustrating, but once we’d worked out which team member was best suited for which role, we managed to solve it without too much difficultly after a pretty rocky start. It also fit really well with the theme, even though we were panicking at that point as we were running out of time!
Ni – I thought this was a great looking game as well as being a lot of fun to play. It’s definitely one of the harder rooms I’ve done and does require a lot of team work. The variety of puzzles – especially the physical aspects, were well thought out and very enjoyable.
Simon – It’s clear on entering the room that so much effort has gone into the scenery and setting, and this definitely pays off. There are some really clever uses of different props and items related to your size and this puts a unique spin on this game. The puzzles themselves were definitely difficult, so I wouldn’t recommend this game for first-timers. Generally there was a great variety of puzzles and these were enjoyable to solve, however two puzzles meant that I couldn’t give this room the 5 out of 5 that it almost deserves: One puzzle felt very much like a copy of another in the room. The other was great for the first time, but it required three ‘rounds’ and just felt a bit samey. Having said that, this was a fantastic room and I would highly recommend it.
Stu – Once again, another classic escape room from ClueQuest. As mentioned in the review we did this as part of the competition and therefore we weren’t able to have any clues. This did add a different element to the experience but unfortunately also a lot of frustration. The room was brilliantly themed and the puzzles were extremely challenging at times. I’m not sure it was my personal favourite of all the ClueQuest games but it was definitely a game that ranks highly overall.
Escape time – 60:17 (Extra time was allowed for more accurate ranking of teams)
This room was just great fun! The theme and the story were brilliant and the puzzles were enjoyable and challenging. I’d say it’s the hardest of ClueQuest’s rooms but probably my favourite due to the design and the variety of really interesting puzzles.