London, Jul 2016
As a rule I enjoy rooms for large teams less. Even with experienced players, it’s difficult to co-ordinate effectively, and you end up spending too much time re-checking things that others have already looked at, or with some players less involved.
Penitentiary is only of one two exceptions to that. The puzzles kept all seven of us busy, splitting across multiple people well – and there was one section in particular that needs four people at the very least. That section was also a stand-out moment and those who weren’t involved in it as we played wanted to give it a go after we’d finished (which the operators kindly let us do).
More broadly, it’s a large, well-designed room that flows nicely, and if the storyline is less emphasised than in Omescape’s other rooms, you’ll be too busy solving puzzles to notice.
The key for the high rating here is the teamwork required. They have puzzles that need separate groups to work together, multiple people to act simultaneously, and I actually thought the theme was pretty good (albeit in two very distinct halves).