Salzburg, Aug 2017
Exit The Room were kind enough to let us play this game 90 mins earlier than we’d booked in for – we didn’t tell them that we wanted to change the time so that we could go try one of their competitor’s rooms too.
Despite the name, there are no zombies to jump out at the players here. It’s a post-apocalyptic scenario where you need to complete the cure for a zombie virus and thereby save humanity, or whatever’s left of it. So it’s more or less a laboratory theme, though in a very industrial style, with fewer whitewashed walls and more barrels of radioactive waste.
This is a room with a few really nice looking pieces that mostly succeed in concealing that the room is otherwise quite cheaply decorated, though it does have a bit of a thrown together look that detracts from the immersion.
The majority of the game is a fairly linear sequence of quite physical puzzles and tasks. It’s also surprisingly search-heavy, which tended to be what tripped us up. I suppose it’s suitable for the aftermath of a zombie apocalypse, but there are also plenty of potential red herring pieces of information and distraction items, including a fun, original piece of kit that I was disappointed to realise wasn’t actually needed for the game. Players over-interpret every little thing they find, and can be quick to shout ‘red herring’ when those guesses turn out to be wrong; but at one or two points I felt this genuinely crossed the line into giving apparent clues that were only there as distractions. In fact, the worst of these was highly similar to the real clue, just with letters moved around, to the point that I successfully solved the puzzle using the red herring info and thought they’d simply made an error.
We took an embarrassing total of four hints, all of which were for things I’d classify as search or observation fails, but there’s little here to give players a mental workout. That’s not a weakness so much as the game style, and if you don’t mind the searching and the red herrings then it has a lot to recommend it. The tasks range from the fun if very slightly gross, to the cooperative, to an end section that is a clear step up from the rest of the game. Once again there’s nothing special here from a puzzle point of view, but there’s some very nice custom equipment that fits the theme beautifully and gives a great end to an otherwise unspectacular game.