Six months after the great inventor Professor Tepet’s death, M.I.6. gained access to the lab where he kept all of his greatest inventions. Among the files, they found an abandoned document called A-I-9 detailing an artificial intelligence peacekeeping program. Scientists finally managed to recreate the program, rolling it out across the nation. A type of robot (called ‘9bots’) were integrated into society. The NHS could diagnose patients before symptoms appeared while the army neutralised threats before they happened, the country thrived, for a time. 24 hours ago an anomaly appeared in the code shutting down internet and telecommunications worldwide and soon after chaos ensued. A-I-9 is corrupting the system from the inside. This was meant to be impossible. The only way to stop it is to destroy it before it can destroy us – can you get past its self-protection systems?
“The end of the world was always going to be man-made. The only question was how?” – Professor Errol Tepet
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Played: 29/05/2017Team size: 6Time taken: About 20 minutesOutcome: Successful escape!
Honestly, we played this with too many of us. Do it either with a small team, or inexperienced players. We're relatively experienced, and there are lots of parallel puzzles. I don't remember how long we took but our host appeared breathless at the door 30 seconds after we escaped as he hadn't quite paid attention and didn't expect us to finish so fast!
As a guide, we turned up exactly on the dot of when we should have but somehow still missed the communal briefing with all the other teams. Then after we got out, we had our victory photo, a nice chat with out host, a bit of a wait while they worked out if there were any free slots for other puzzles later in the week (they try to sell you a reduced rate voucher for another game afterwards, but as we were only around for a week there was no point if we couldn't use it), chatted some more, and still didn't see a single other person (we could hear them!) before leaving.
As we have learned is to be expected of Clue HQ this was a fun, solid game. Enough of a challenge to keep us busy (we split up immediately on the advice of GM) but not enough content to fill out the time. Good quality props and screens - just nothing particularly special. An ideal game for a less experienced team of two. Not all puzzle were very well linked to the narrative (but this is often the case with many rooms). Our main complaint was the lack of clarity on one of the clues, which we basically had to be told the answer to simply because the UV markers used were no longer visible. It's a shame as this is such an easy fix but requires care and attention from staff in order to prevent it from happening.
One of their older games but can still hold its own. A non-linear format allows multiple puzzles to be tackled, indeed when one of us was stuck we would switch and move to a different puzzle. There is one puzzle that has the potential to be as infuriating at the 'drip' puzzle (if you know, you know) but they have mitigated the listening phase of the puzzle.
I'm a sucker for most sci-fi themes, so with a choice of games for a morning slot at Clue HQ's Birmingham branch I went straight for A-I-9's story of battling a rogue artificial intelligence. Also, the alternatives were their Cell Block C and Bunker 38 rooms which have been franchised to a wider number of locations across the UK, so it made sense to go for the harder-to-find game.
Clue HQ is one of the UK's large escape chains, with currently three core branches and close to a dozen franchise l...