|Game experience: GOOD
|A good variety of puzzles.
Some rare items.
|An aging puzzle.
Some red herrings.
I’ve now played all three rooms at ‘Tempête sous un crâne’ (you can read here my review of ‘Liberty’s castaway’), but the first one I played was ‘The Elixir of Octave the Vampire’ (‘L’elixir d’Octave le vampire’, formerly called ‘Moi, Octave, 364 ans’).
Octave is 364 years old and as you can guess, the secret of his longevity is not feeding on carrots. He is now chasing some innocent prey in the street of Paris but will be back in one hour, so you have to hurry up to find his elixir of immortality at his place before he’s back.
You are immersed already from the very start with the gamemaster, alias John Pest the detective, explaining you your mission. You then start your adventure in Octave’s living room, decorated in a nice – if a bit old-fashioned – way. There were a few funny details that contributed to give some flesh (and blood) to Octave’s character – who is, as you will discover, an authentic 21st century vampire. Some place in the room was slightly damaged, which was a bit detrimental for both the immersion and solving a puzzle.
There was a nice variety of puzzles, relatively classical but pleasant. They are a bit more on the logical side and (slightly) less on the searching side that ‘Liberty’s castaway’. One lock, which had some Southern Asian roots, was very original, and I wish I would see more of them in escape rooms. One puzzle involving your body position might lead to some puzzlement and funny situations. There were some red herrings though, which were in my opinion totally useless (as nearly always with red herrings).
Finally, the gamemastering was adequate, neither too present nor too absent. I wish the gamemaster would not have entered into the room with us at the start to show us the emergency button, though, as this spoils a bit the immersion.
We eventually exited with 8 minutes left – this is a room that should be doable by teams with a little bit of experience, while not being too obvious. Like ‘Liberty’s castaway’, 3 or 4 players would be an ideal team size. I would say that ‘Octave the vampire’ is somewhat more difficult than ‘Liberty’s castaway’ – though it’s difficult to compare them, since the former relies more on logic and (a bit) less on searching skills. I think that I slightly preferred the Octave room, but that’s a tough call, and I you liked one of them, you will probably like the other, as I did. My favorite, though, was their third room ‘Enquête de haut vol’! (review to come)
Game played in September 2017