After hearing so many good things about ‘The Panic Room’ we finally made the pilgrimage there to complete one of their “Enthusiasts’ packages” (a genius business move on their behalf). After quite a few emails back and forth with the wonderful owner Alex we finally came up with our list of 5 for the day.
I’ve decided to split the review into three, to give each room the attention it deserves before talking about the rest of the experience.
We began our visit with Old Father Time, followed shortly by Wizard of Oz. We then took a lunch break before Ten Fathoms Deep and The Loop. Another break (and cake) before finishing off with Espionage
Old Father Time
The reason we insisted on doing this room was because we had heard such good things about the set, and we weren’t disappointed. The set really immersed us in the story of a fairytale forest, and although it wasn’t a big set we didn’t feel crowded. The furniture and props were all high quality, and I absolutely loved it.
We were actually advised against doing this room because Alex felt we wouldn’t enjoy the linear nature.
However, although it perhaps was a bit more linear than other rooms, it wasn’t boring – it felt like there was plenty to do and see. The puzzles were all different and we were able to split up and come back together as we liked. It definitely lends itself well to team work, and it was a great start to the day.
The hint system was also really good – having told our GM, Sim, our experience she told us she would send us nudges, but wouldn’t send us a hint unless we asked for it specifically, which we really appreciated. This was also in the form of a screen, my favourite, and the alert tone fit with the theme.
We took 42 mins to escape, and it felt extremely satisfying. There were some really nice surprises in the room, and it did feel completely magical.
This room wasn’t at all accessible physically – there is a step into the venue, then stairs to the room. There isn’t too much space to manoeuvre in the room, and some of you will need to crawl. However, there is somewhere to sit in the room.
There are puzzles that require hearing and colour recognition. What I really liked though was that for the main narrative there was both an audio and written component, so you could follow either way. The room is mostly well lit, although there was one part where you may struggle if you are only partially sighted.
Pros – Set, puzzles, hints
Cons – Space, slight linearity
Wizard of Oz
The set was superbly done, apparently created by professional pantomime builders. I would say this was one of the best sets of the day, and really did make us feel we had been transported. The set was extremely high quality throughout, and really invests in the immersion – one of the few rooms who have got you invested in both your entrance and exit and working them into the gameplay.
This was also a fairly linear game, but we only really noticed this for the first couple of puzzles. After that, the room really opened out and we were no longer tripping over each other.
Again, the puzzles were all quite unique (which is consistent across all rooms here), and perfectly suited to the room. There was something for everyone to do, and puzzles and solutions were all logically linked.
We escaped after 48mins, with no hints. We had a fantastic time, and it had us raring to do for the afternoon.
Again, the venue requires a step up and there is stairs to the room. There is also a step within the room, but the room itself if nice and spacious and does have somewhere to sit.
The room is mostly well lit, but there is one section with dim lighting. There is a puzzle requiring you to hear, and puzzles requiring you to identify colour.
Something I think is quite smart is that everything is at a height suitable for children too, so everyone can take part.
Pros – Set, puzzles, hints
Cons – slight linearity