|Game experience: GOOD
|A nice variety of puzzles to solve.
Being in the oval office.
|Lots of padlocks.|
After playing at ‘The Escape Game Chicago’, I did not have to look very far to find another venue: ‘EscapeHouse Chicago’ is located in the same street, barely 50 meters away – the second venue of a chain that originally opened in Milwaukee. I entered the place to ask for some information, and although there was no group of players I could join on that day, they could propose me a spot in the afternoon for ‘Save the White House’ – the easiest of their two scenarios.
During your orientation training as a Secret Service agent, you find yourself locked in the White House while missiles are shot to the US. You have one hour to find the codes to launch missile interceptors and save the White House! Yes, it makes no sense, but whatever, here you are.
The immersion was successful thanks to a fairly convincing recreation of the oval office. That might not be the most exotic environment ever, but even the non-American among us have seen this office appearing often enough in the news, movies or TV series so that we can feel quite excited entering the place. A slightly more elaborated scenario would not have hurt though – for example, progressively discovering documents involving a political manipulation underlying the launch of the missiles?
The puzzles were relatively classical, with many, many locks to open. Still, there were a few manipulations, including one involving a bottle that I had seen for the first time the day before in ‘the Heist’ room of ‘The Escape game Chicago’ – well well, I guess one of them must have influenced the other… A few of the puzzles involve the history of the US presidents, but you don’t really need much prior knowledge to solve them – with a small exception towards the end, but the gamemaster may help you if, like me, you’re not American and are unlikely to know the relevant fact. One of the riddles also involved the funniest play of words I have ever seen in an escape game!
The gamemaster was very friendly and helpful during the game, reminding me of the possibility to ask for hints when I was taking a bit too much time, and encouraging me with funny messages. His help was well-timed as I escaped with only seconds left – this was great gamemastering work!
To escape I had to run, look carefully in ever corner of the room (that’s a figure of speech in an oval room!), and think hard during one hour, and I had to use all three hints allowed. So this is a room that can be completed by a large enough team of beginners – and the structure is probably non-sequential enough so that every player can remain busy, at least during the first half of the game. It would also be an interesting challenge for a team of two experienced players (or one!).
Note finally that this venue has been opened by a spy-themed restaurant that you should definitely visit afterwards for its great immersion: entrance through an anonymous office where you will have to complete some challenges to prove your value as a future recruit, hi-tech military pseudo-devices everywhere, and an exit hallway where you will have to use your best physical abilities to avoid triggering the alarm!
Game played in November 2017
Other review: Roomescaper