Played: 3 Apr 2022 Team size: 3 Time taken: We were never told! And no clock in the room. Outcome: Successful escape!

I was in Rome for a long weekend with friends for geocaching.  When we saw the weather forecast, we decided that an indoor plan would be a good idea for the forecast thunderstorm!

We chose this game for its language independence in-room, and the strong English on the website which made us confident that any hinting we needed would work.  The theme was unusual, and not scary, so we settled on this room.

The venue's easy to find, and has a small lobby area and large lockable cupboards for your stuff.

We theoretically had three tasks - discover the secret recipe, discover how the machine works, and escape before security comes back.  However, for the most part, the puzzles didn't feel like we were in a factory working towards those aims.  More a case of "this puzzle leads to a solution that fits what this particular padlock out of 'all the available unlocked ones we've had the whole game' needs" which didn't feel immersive.

There's one puzzle which to be honest, wasn't very covid-safe, and probably could have been adapted for now.  This choice seemed even stranger as this was the first venue in the 3 days we'd been in Rome which cared about our Green Passes!

The route through the puzzles is very (possibly completely) linear, so I think the three of us that there were was enough.

The game doesn't seem to make use of automated unlocking in puzzles where it would make sense to, which did lead to a short delay while the puzzlemaster manually confirmed we'd done the right thing.  They also started hinting us on something we'd already completed (two puzzles earlier) which was confusing and wasted some time, and suggested they weren't really following what we were doing fully.

A final unexpected thing was the lack of a clock in the room, making it hard to gauge our progress or how long we had left before being able to ask another hint (the hint policy is 'when you have asked for a hint, you can't ask again for 10 minutes' which is just indicated with a light).

Team size: 5 Time taken: About 23 mins Outcome: Successful escape!
quite easy

This is a very convincingly-made cave, although the scenery doesn't reach all the way to the ceiling which does break the immersion.

This room had lots of good tactile puzzles, with the elements being fairly in keeping with the theme and environment, which was good.  We did find that it was hard to tell what had caused the unlocking sometimes, especially with a larger group and people doing things in parallel.  This was slightly compounded by one puzzle unlocking even though I'm convinced we didn't finish it if what I was trying to do was right (the gemstone puzzle).

We found all the puzzles very straightforward, but we it was the only game they had available when we booked and was a lower difficulty rating than we'd have chosen had we been less last minute.  It's a nice touch that if you do get out super quickly, they'll offer you a free drink to make up for the reduced amount of time that you've been entertained for.  Which is good because we were expecting there to be a whole extra stage at a certain point and it was a bit disappointing to open the door and be out on the corridor!

Team size: 3 Time taken: About 35 minutes
quality material😨creepy

This was the second of these games we've played, and we all rated it as being significantly better than The Balthazar Stone.

The build quality is excellent - if being nitpicky the chain around the box falls off with light handling and certainly won't contain that ghost!

The puzzles all seemed well-constructed, and the story was well-woven throughout the puzzle.  It did feel like we were trying to solve the a mystery, not just work out the answer.

I've rated it as 'creepy' as there are ominous written messages from the ghost within the puzzle materials, which some may find creepy.  There are no sudden scares or similar.

Team size: 3
quality materialillogicalquite easy

We approached this a little unsure of how it would end up.  The promo material left us fairly certain that it would have a decent build quality, but we were unsure of how the puzzles and story would play out: a decent challenge for puzzlers, or a name famous in a different realm cashing in on the escape room bandwagon?

As we expected, the materials were all generally good quality, although on unlocking the stone at the end, we realised that this bit of the box wasn't glued and we could have just slid the wood aside without troubling the padlock!

When it came to the puzzles, we found that some puzzle elements weren't coherent with the story's timeline, which lead to us not realising that we hadn't used some things fully.  The overall story didn't quite hang together.

We've only done 2 of the 3 so far - do this one before The Ghost in The Attic as it's the weaker of the two.

Played: 16 Feb 2020 Team size: 4 Time taken: n/a Outcome: Successful escape!

Really enjoyed this room.  One thing to bear in mind if you're after the thrill of the escape is that you're trying to steal as many of the 12 gold bars as you can from their locked safety deposit boxes before the Police arrive.  Therefore it's more of a 'room entry' game with a score out of 12 than a 'room escape' game.  This does also mean that even though the room is rated as 'hard', even with a less experienced group, you'll probably still get into the vault, and it's a question of how much you steal.

I felt that the room was thematically strong - it did feel like it could be a small branch of a random independent bank!  Albeit one with  very poor security procedures...  There is one thing that you have to do that is thematically out of line with a heist (so we didn't do it for about 5 minutes), that then also doesn't work in the way that is would in a bank (in operation or location), which was a bit of a shame.  We did manage to make one critical part of the equipment freeze and had to have the GM come in to fix it, which I've taken half a star off for (particularly as it sounded like a not uncommon issue and could be addressed with reprinting a sign).

I was impressed that our GM was honest enough to recommend that we *didn't* do their easiest game based on our performance in this one.

And we'll be forever annoyed about not managing to get the 12th gold bar.

Played: 10/02/2020 Team size: 6 Time taken: 52ish minutes Outcome: Successful escape!

I really wanted to like this one more than I did, as it looked very promising.

The puzzles were fairly straightforward, and we did have a bit of a technical issue with one switch.  I didn't really find it noticeably more immersive than any other rooms I've done - perhaps because of the too-loud and over the top constant sound effects (I don't think codebreakers would have been working in rooms so loud you have to shout over the sound of the aerial gunfight that you can somehow hear from your underground bunker), but the immersion was worse the further through the game you got.

6 people is definitely too many - the last 10/15 minutes was basically a 1/2 person job so we finished on a bit of a low as most of us had just been standing around for a while.

You will get dusty in this, it's unavoidable.  And there is a part with a very enclosed space.

Outcome: Successful escape!

This room had more scary parts than we were expecting.  This did slow us down, as we were wimps and didn't want to open things!  Puzzles were alright, but not mindblowing.

Played: 11/01/2016 Team size: 5 Outcome: Successful escape!
Played: 24/11/2018 Outcome: Successful escape!

As a Girlguiding member, I really wanted this to be a good experience, not just jumping on the room escape bandwagon.  But unfortunately it was just a bit meh.  Components were quite tired, and we needed a fair few hints, most of which resulted in us just going 'but why would you do that'.

Played: 01/06/2017 Team size: 3 Outcome: Successful escape!

I think this is my favourite game so far (ever).  The theming is very well done, and it's just really good fun.  The puzzles were the right amount of annoying!

Only minor quibble is that we did manage to irretrievably lose a component that meant we had to be given the solution to that puzzle, although I imagine they've addressed that since we did the room.

Played: 29/05/2017 Team size: 6 Time taken: About 20 minutes Outcome: 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.

Played: 14/04/18 Outcome: Successful escape!

This room's a little more straightforward than their other room.  We still enjoyed it, but as experienced solvers, I think we'd prefer something meatier.

Played: 22/04/2017 Outcome: Successful escape!

Enjoyed this room; played it simultaneously with another group of friends and we were out first so the host let us watch them mwahahaha.

Outcome: Successful escape!

Really enjoyed this room.  A good mix of thinking vs doing puzzles, and some requiring teamwork.

Outcome: Successful escape!

Was dreadful.  The lobby and setup was so well done, I had high hopes.  Then we were shown into basically an empty room with no evidence that it was done by the same company that themed the outside so well.  The puzzles were rnothing to write home about.

Played: 15/03/2019 Team size: 5 Outcome: Successful escape!

Hint Hunt run two different games out of the submarine room.  We found this room quite frustrating because of this.  Red herrings and diversions are one thing, and part of the puzzle experience, but things that were genuinely puzzle parts but for a completely different game arc became annoying.  There is a part of the game which requires physical dexterity in a confined space which really should have been designed to be larger - only one member of our group of 6 was physically able to do this due to space constraints.

Outcome: Successful escape!
Outcome: Failed :-(