|Game experience: EXCELLENT
|A very elaborate, tensed atmosphere.
Some original puzzles that will test various faculties.
‘Saw’ is probably the perfect movie scenario to adapt as an escape room: trapped by a mad serial killer, his victims are left a glimpse of hope if they manage to solve all his twisted puzzled in a limited time. One could claim that this movie was a precursor of escape games!
Leavinroom has perfectly used this similitude with their game Instinct de Survie (formerly named ‘Saw’). The welcome is friendly, but once you’re separated from your friends and sent into the hands of the serial killer, this is a whole new story. Blindfolded, you will have to wait in fear, feeling his presence without having the faintest idea of his machiavelic plans. You will open your eyes in an oppressing, icy room, where your first task will be to get back some freedom of movement. The lighting is phantomatic and the decors filthy (be reassured, you will get some protective clothes beforehand) – this is certainly a great immersion work.
If you want to get out of there, you will need to be fast and effective: there are many puzzles that imply a large variety of mechanisms. One of them is especially fun and will exercise (to a moderate extent) your physical abilities. To get out, you will need to exercise your reasoning and perception (not only visual) skills, but also your dexterity, your endurance – and most importantly, you’d better not be claustrophobic or scotophobic! Curiosity might help you– but also lead to some good fright. And be careful about where you put your hands, as there is a real risk of (very light, be reassured) injury! You might see it as a drawback, but I would rather see it as strengthening the immersion; I mean, what would be a Saw-inspired adventure if there was no risk at all of physical damage?
The gamemastering was overall well-managed. There was only one small drawback to our experience: a short circuit deprived us from a very clever set of puzzles – I hope it has been fixed since we played the room. Also, the gamemaster entered into the room for the debrief as soon as the time run out, which was a bit of an abrupt change of atmosphere – one might have imagine a more frightening ending.
This is a very difficult room with a success rate of 6% – probably the most difficult in Paris. We failed near the end, as we could not see the solution to the last puzzle. Despite our failure, Instinct de Survie remains for me one of my very best experiences in Paris (see here my top in Paris). It is to some extent comparable to the also excellent Lost Asylum at One Hour Escape Game, though both games play on different aspects: Lost Asylum will positively scare you, where Instinct de Survie rather brings about a very oppressing atmosphere. The horror theme for sure leads to wonderful escape games, and you definitely have to try both. Make sure also to try their other room Motel, as well as the follow-up on Instinct de Survie, the room Game Over (formerly named ‘Saw – Game over’), which I haven’t tried yet.
Game played in June 2016
A teaser video is available here.
Other reviews (in French): Escape game Paris, Polygamer, Escape game France, Escape game blog, Esperluette, Par ici les sorties, Top escape, Escape blog, Game of escape, Allo escape, Les potes d’échappement , Friendsando, Actu-loisirs, 4 geek, Just a noob, Ce que pensent les hommes, L’escapeur, Test-escaperoom, Escape game – guide, Les aventures du chouchou cendré.