Team Exit: Spy at the President’s

Warsaw, Mar 2017

Rated 3.5 out of 5
Billed as Team Exit’s harder game, it started and ended strongly, but had weak points through the middle. The briefing (pay attention!) instructs you to deactivate the lasers in the room, which give a very impressive atmospheric start; similarly the “escape” at the end has been done before but is still good fun when done right.
The room itself required a lot of searching; we were only two players, so we needed pointing in the direction of two separate items that a larger team might well have found. The searching for this was fun, but principally for this reason I would suggest that it’s best played with groups of 3 or more.
All but one of the puzzles were fairly standard; however a few of the puzzles were fundamentally flawed in their execution:

  • There was an obvious puzzle in the centre of the room. However the clue to it was ambiguous at best (they had tried to clarify a bit but even after we got it, I wasn’t happy we’d had enough clarity / direction); we considered over 10 reasonable solutions to it before striking the correct one.
  • An electronical puzzle was setup for good teamwork, but had an over-sensitive configuration (we have seen a very similar puzzle done right in another room in Warsaw); it also didn’t have anything to do with the theme.
  • By contrast, the second puzzle in the diamond room was original and very much on theme; however even after being shown how to do it, I’m not convinced it was reasonably achievable by someone who didn’t have the luxury of time.
The room construction was reasonable, although the reveal of the diamond was frustratingly slow. Possibly they did this for atmosphere, but there’s a difference between drama and tedium. I also felt the use of laminated clues, which generally I frown upon except as a measure of last resort, could easily have been avoided.
Overall the room is enjoyable but mostly hard for the wrong reasons. Worth doing if you’re around, but Warsaw has better rooms to try first. 3.5 / 5
While broadly agreeing with Sam’s comments above, I feel the need to highlight some of the points in this game which were memorable, well-executed or even both at the same time:

  • A spectacular start (though I thought it was underused) and a fun end
  • Far and away the slowest automatically opening panel I’ve seen anywhere, ever
  • A genre-bending puzzle solution that will have you kicking yourself if you miss it (fortunately my teammate was more on the ball than I was)
  • Entertaining references to Barack Obama (will they eventually update it for the White House’s latest occupant, I wonder?)
  • An off-theme but fun task involving skill and communication.
  • A custom-built and rather cool large component near the end
It’s got plenty to do and should provide a decent challenge even to larger teams – the two of us failed it even with some pretty liberal hinting from the operator.
While it was let down by sometimes iffy puzzles, it did have some cool touches that made it a fun room escape though not a stand-out one. 3.5 / 5

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