London, Oct 2018
Stag and hen groups are a reliable source of custom for escape rooms, so perhaps it’s surprising how few games in the UK have a risqué theme – I’m aware of four in the country, and six months ago there was only one. One of those four is Hangover Déjà Brew, which takes inspiration from the movie The Hangover, though only in broad strokes: you’re in the role of a group of friends who’ve woken up the morning after a wild stag do with no memories of the night before, to find the groom missing and limited time to sort things out before his wedding is ruined.
This game is rated 18+, and there’s plenty of naughty content, though nothing more extreme than you’d see in the basement of a branch of Ann Summers. For escape room freaks like us playing every game we can get to, it varied between mildly amusing and mildly inappropriate, but I suppose for most groups choosing this theme over AIM’s others, a bit of nudity and sexualised content is the main appeal.
As with AIM’s other games, Hangover is free of padlocks and uses a mostly linear sequence of puzzles that tie in well to the setting, with a narrative that advances as you play. Our experience was that the game flowed a little less well than their others, particularly the section mid-way through that involved first a tricky search and then a memorable large puzzle; the latter just needed to give a bit more feedback and have a touch less ambiguity in the way it was presented.
The stand-out love it / hate it moment is something that only one person can attempt at a time – mercifully, it’s at a point when there’s plenty for other players to be getting on with in parallel, so didn’t become too much of a bottleneck for us. I needed quite a lot of attempts to beat the damn thing, and can’t say I felt very fondly towards it, though I suspect it’s a lot more popular with their primary audience of stag & hen do-ers.
Although there’s a choice of endings, the options presented felt a little restrictive to me, which meant that while it was nice to have a choice, that choice didn’t feel hugely meaningful. Still, another group of players might engage with that more, with differing opinions on which option to choose. Whether the theming is a draw or a turn-off will be the biggest factor in whether you enjoy this game: if it’s not your cup of tea then the game’s not sufficiently stand-out to give it a go anyhow, and conversely if you fancy playing an escape room full of adult naughtiness then the underlying game is easily strong enough that you’ll have fun playing it.