Month: October 2014

Room review: Break-in (Part 1)

NOTE: This room has been rebranded as End of the World – Break-In, a zombie-themed room. However, all the puzzles are the same.

Their description: A tip-off from your source brought you to this house in the quiet neighbourhood. The owner is supposedly a private collector in the illegal trade of stolen art pieces, but you did not notice anyone going in or out of the house after a week of stakeout. Running out of patience, you decided to sneak in to find out for yourself..

This room is advertised as Part 1 of this particular plot, and there’s clear effort put into the physical setting, so it’s a little confusing that the puzzles themselves are basically entirely divorced from the plotline.

The puzzles are also rather arbitrary, though at least they take several different forms and are presented in interesting ways. There’s a lot of handholding, so more experienced teams might find this room unchallenging. But there are also fun touches that could add to the enjoyment even if you’re experienced.

Overall, a pleasant experience, but not the strongest room. WORTH A TRY, particularly for beginners.

Puzzle difficulty: 3/5
Puzzle logic: 4/5
Multimedia aspect of puzzles: 2/5

Atmosphere and setting: 3/5
Exciting flourishes, use of technology or physical aspects: 3.5/5
Storyline integration: 1/5

Their suggested number of players: 3 to 8
My suggested number of players: 3 to 4


Room review: Xcape: Upside Down

Their description: You have successfully been identified as Dr. Hachi’s apprentices and this marks the beginning of your journey of adventure to the world unknown to the rest of the world! You have been introduced to the magical world as a training ground. Unfamiliar with all the customs and practices in the magical community, you need to learn everything from scratch so that you can leave here sound and safe. Your world is going to be upside down for the day!

This is a relaxed, fun little room from Xcape, with their most coherent attempt at a theme yet: Harry Potter. A knowledge of the Harry Potter universe will speed up your puzzle-solving, though it’s not required at all.

The puzzles are clear and obvious, down to a helpful ‘walkthrough’ of sorts in plain sight in the room. Unfortunately this also makes them a little bland, and many of them just rely on that old Xcape staple of matching (sigh).

But the draw of Upside Down isn’t really the puzzles. It’s the sense of fun. Xcape veterans might feel a little surprised or disappointed by how Upside Down is less physically complex than their other rooms, but that doesn’t mean it’s boring. There’s a great use of technology — unfortunately marred a bit by ‘lag’. If you think you have the right answer but are confused by the lack of progress, just give it a minute or two, and it will probably work. A very helpful staff member seemed to be overseeing our progress and would check in whenever we had the right answer but were just waiting for things to work, so that was useful.

WORTH A TRY, as long as you don’t expect much of an intellectual challenge, and go in prepared to have fun instead.

Puzzle difficulty: 2/5
Puzzle logic: 4/5
Multimedia aspect of puzzles: 1.5/5

Atmosphere and setting: 4/5
Exciting flourishes, use of technology or physical aspects: 4/5
Storyline integration: 4/5

Their suggested number of players: 4 to 8
My suggested number of players: 3 to 4