Cardiff, Dec 2016
This was the second room we played from Escape Reality, and although it shares some of its flaws, overall we found it more enjoyable, even though we narrowly failed to escape within the 60 minute deadline.
It shares the same slightly flawed hint system (see the Alcatraz review for details), which in case of problems falls back on staff coming into the room, as well as the dim lighting and torch use throughout. This time we started with one fewer torches than players, though in fact that didn’t turn out to be as frustrating as I expected, mainly because the room wasn’t as dark as all that.
The puzzles were more varied and creative than in Alcatraz, and in some cases a little more technologically sophisticated. There was one exception, where we fairly soon understood the principle for how to solve something but which gave various answers depending on which of several equally reasonable starting assumptions we made. That was made worse by there being two possible locks to use the answer with, meaning we ended up trying one variation after another until we happened to stumble on the one that was correct – better design would avoid that. But that was the exception, and the rest of the room was a lot smoother.
It’s definitely a difficult room. According to their leaderboard, finishing with a minute to spare is sufficient to place you in their top three fastest times ever. If you’re not put off by the hint system and you’re looking for a challenge, it’s worth giving it a look.
An issue I have with both their rooms is that they had slightly too much focus on maths in their puzzles; in this room, one of our team members had to stand and watch for 15 mins as we tried to crack the final puzzle to leave the room. I would have rated the room more strongly but for the issues above, and the fact that some of the space still felt very artifically decorated. However still a fun room for a challenge.